Utilizing Artificial Intelligence in Construction Management

KEN International is keen to stay at the epicenter of technological developments, seeking new and innovative ways to do things more efficiently as well as more effectively. We always strive to be early adopters of pioneering tools that offer an edge to us and our clients, but we are careful to consider every aspect of these tools before we make them part of our workflow in order to get the most out of their capabilities without jeopardizing the integrity of other parts of our work.

All that said, we are already exploring the amazing opportunities brought to the field of construction project management by artificial intelligence. Through tentative utilization in the context of modules that are incorporated in our CPMS (construction project management) tools, we are in a position to evaluate their use and estimate the added value in our decision making, the time and cost savings, and the overall benefits to be reaped for us and our customers. These modules are developed by 3rd party software experts and talented startups who are working in accordance with the guidelines that we designate, covering all aspects of construction under a single unified platform.

AI learns from data, and we at KEN International possess large amounts of construction management related data. We closely monitor and log all of our processes, both on the sites and in the office, so we quantify all actions and transform them into useful data. This of course is done to help our experts connect and correlate the various elements of construction management, identify and predict risks, perform proactive planning and damage mitigation, and finally act more methodically in all aspects of our work. It is the same set of data though that we now offer to AI modules for additional analysis and evaluation, as well as all data from our previous projects that helps speed up the machine and deep learning processes and thus yield better and more accurate results in the end.

Conclusions and prediction depth are based on experience and human insight, however, AIs can actually go beyond our perception by thoroughly correlating hundreds and even thousands of complexing and interrelated bits and pieces that make up construction management, especially in large-scale projects. For now, all work happens on the level of “narrow AI” meaning that each module is focused on a single element. However, our future goal is to unify all of these modules and create a general AI that will receive all of the generated NLP (natural language processing) data, classify it, evaluate it, and then report on the generated predictions.

Examples of narrow AI application that are already part of our processes:

• During our work planning and work items scheduling, we input the meteorological data of the last decade that corresponds to the building site location. This way, our AI module can predict the weather with more precision, evaluate risks and give us a deeper insight on when to rent excavation equipment, what delays can occur, how to avoid trench flood, etc.

• For our quantity surveying and cost management, we use a special AI module that can predict the material cost fluctuation based on a combination of market data of the past five years, geo-locational materials availability, market competition indexes, and global financial trends. Large-scale projects can last for many months or even years, so being in a position to be capable of predicting the materials price fluctuation is important for the generation of an accurate cost plan.

• Safety procedures are also strengthened and supported by AI. Our safety managers on site use the SmartVid module of Procore to monitor the workforce and identify safety risks as well as their relation to the utilization of specific PPE gear. No site workers are allowed or left to work without PPE, and since this AI tool can automatically scan the site for such discrepancies, there’s nothing that we miss or slips our attention.

• Quality assurance and the relevant inspections are not only performed by people. We do laser scans by using drones or handheld scanners and our Doxel software AI is then measuring progress and productivity, indicating the percentage of completion and the earned value. This allows us to predict issues and take proactive action as the monitored progress is compared to a specific progress context defined by our thresholds.

• Finally, our designers use a multitude of “Generative Design” algorithms that are helping them perform automatic routing of MEP lines, automatic generation of supporting mesh-like structures based on the dead and live loads, and the automatic completion of structural elements based on given criteria and specifications. All of these algorithms are based on AI that has been meticulously developed for many decades by leaders in the field of professional software development.

We are at the forefront of technological developments, leveraging every available new tool and methodology to make the most out of our clients’ budgets, achieving ultimate optimization under all conditions and the enhancement of the value of our projects. This way, we step into the future with confidence and certainty, infusing the same values and mentality to our customers.