Taking a look at a construction site in Berlin from the Ruhr area together with a Bavarian colleague to see whether the civil engineering work has already been completed and when the new pipes were delivered: E.ON and its business customers are now able to do all this with ease – using 360° images and artificial intelligence to visualize construction sites. The company has invested in German-American start-up HoloBuilder, an, in doing so, is contributing to the further digitization of the energy industry, optimizing construction processes and simplifying customer communication during the construction phase.
With its cloud solution, the start-up, which has its roots in Aachen and is headquartered in San Francisco, not only enables virtual construction site inspections and 360° live streaming from the construction site, but also “time travel”: Construction managers, business customers and partner companies can fast-forward and rewind at any time and thus better track construction progress. Another feature is the virtual measurement of distances on the construction site, which makes remote planning much easier. Thanks to the patent-pending technology and the use of artificial intelligence, users can also receive automated progress reports, recognize completed installations and determine moving quantities of earth. The images for the software are provided by a 360° camera in conjunction with the so-called JobWalk app, which employees can use on site to activate the camera and document the project.
E.ON will use the HoloBuilder-solution in the future to build network projects such as substations and switchgears, as well as large city energy projects. Thomas Birr, Head of Strategy and Innovation at E.ON, says: “As a future-oriented, innovative company, we have to reinvent ourselves continuously, constantly optimize our processes and digitize our business. The digitization of construction projects offers a high, yet unexploited potential. By investing in HoloBuilder, we are ideally positioned to implement projects for the energy transition in a more digital way – and thus more efficiently, faster, and more customer-oriented.”
“The increasing cross-sector demand for our solutions shows us that we have hit a nerve as a start-up – the digitization of construction processes offers enormous opportunities. E.ON was the first company in the European energy industry to recognize the potential and is taking on a pioneering role in the digitization of construction sites and infrastructure. We are convinced that this completely new way of planning, executing and monitoring construction processes will set new standards,” says Mostafa Akbari-Hochberg, founder and CEO of HoloBuilder.
E.ON network operator E.DIS has already successfully tested the innovative software in a pilot test and has subsequently driven it forward within the company. During this test phase, E.DIS used the 360°-visualization, among other things, for planning the new energy supply concept for a large Berlin hotel on Alexanderplatz. E.DIS CEO Alexander Montebaur says: “The pilot test has already shown a significant improvement in communication between all parties involved and has encouraged us to roll out the HoloBuilder solution widely in our area in the future: The software is expected to be used in more than 20 major projects and over 500 smaller projects per year.”
E.ON network operator Avacon has also tested the technology and will use it in future for its own projects as well as for external projects – initially mainly for the construction of transformer stations. “The HoloBuilder-technology leads to significant time savings compared to conventional construction documentation. In addition, we can save up to 50 percent in travel costs because on-site appointments on construction sites can be significantly reduced,” says Marten Bunnemann, CEO of Avacon.
HoloBuilder, Inc. is a San Francisco-based construction technology company that designs, develops, and sells enterprise SaaS software. HoloBuilder offers reality capturing solutions for progress documentation and construction project management. Making use of 360° imagery data, computer vision, and artificial intelligence, HoloBuilder is the fastest and most insightful solution to document construction projects. HoloBuilder is being used by 59 of the largest 100 General Contractors in the United States. Its investors include Brick and Mortar Ventures, Tandem Capital, E.ON, Foundamental, and NRW.BANK.
For more information, please visit www.holobuilder.com