Tunnel Business Magazine

FEB 2018

TBM: Tunnel Business Magazine is the market leader for North America. TBM is written for leading professionals in all aspects of tunneling and covers project stories, design elements, contracting strategies, legal issues, new technology and more.

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TUNNELINGONLINE.COM 1 5 TBM: TUNNEL BUSINESS MAGAZINE // FEBRUARY 2018 Bauer – A recent study publishe ey & Company shows that while productivity in other industries has risen by 30% since 1995, the construction industry has seen only 7% growth in the same time period. A key factor in that stagnant pace has been the speed at which the construction industry has adopted new technologies which have been transformational in other sectors. I see massive opportunity in the construction industry to embrace technologies like advanced manufacturing, automation, 3D+ engineering & design, modular design, etc. by borrowing knowledge from other industries. Morrison – I think that the area where we are seeing the most innovation, and certainly the quickest innovation relatively to the rest of the industry chnology is constantly evolving, allowing us to build larger tunnels in a greater variety of ground conditions. Collecting and using the large amounts of available data is an area that is being widely used in other industries to improve efficiency, lower costs, and reduce errors. With the equipment that is already in us ete robotics, grout pumps, etc., it wouldn't be a big stretch to utilize sensors to automate the collection of numerous data points from each operation. This information could be utilized to improve the process, sometimes in real time. Wilson – It's been true in the past, and it's still true: the bulk of the innovations in the underground industry is driven by the manufacturers and ma chnol- ogy, cutters, gaskets, conditioning agents, cements, and fiber reinforcing. The one thing that could advance the efficiency of the industry is more acceptance of things that are differ- ent or "not what we've done before." This is difficult for own- ers to do, not wanting to be the first on the block to do some- thing new, but is necessary and could be done by developing test programs where failure of the test would not result in failure of the project. T U N N E L S P R O J E C T S C A N B E E X P E N S I V E A N D R E Q U I R E A LO N G C O N S T R U C T I O N P E R I O D, B U T P R O V I D E A LO N G L I F E S PA N A N D G O O D R E T U R N O N I N V E S T M E N T F O R T H E P U B L I C . W H A T C A N W E D O T O H E L P T H E I M A G E O F T U N N E L I N G I N T H E P U B L I C E Y E ? I S T H E R E A WA Y T O R E D U C E T H E C O S T A N D T I M E N E E D E D T O B U I L D T U N N E L S ? Bauer – We as an industry need to be better at getting the pub- lic excited about tunneling projects! Too often the only news stories that the public see are related to cost overruns, delays, and accidents. Better public outreach is needed to focus more on the societal benefits which will come along with the project when it's finally completed to keep the public's eye on the prize! Morrison – I think a proactive marketing effort is imperative to promoting the image of tunneling to the general public. Due to the inherent nature of tunneling being underground, the industry is often out of sight and out of mind for most people. People sometimes only learn about a tunneling proj- ect when something goes awry. Educating people about using tunneling to improve infrastructure and increase efficiency, while preserving the often limited above ground space for other uses, will help in this effort. To drive down costs, innovation will need to continue and will probably need to move at a faster pace. Lessons can be learned by looking outside the industry to see how new tech- nology is being used to improve efficiencies and reduce costs. Wilson – We need public stories on underground successes. Too often we talk to ourselves. The journalism community can help by identifying messages from project successes that would make good reading for the general public, and then facilitating getting those messages out there. Construction phase staffing is an important tool that can be used to reduce the cost and time needed to build tunnels. A conversation between a knowledgeable de- signer's representative, contractor's engineer and/or field supervision, and construction manager can solve a chal- lenge that might otherwise become protracted and costly. It's not a new story, but it's a very simple way to reduce project cost and time, for both design-bid-build and de- sign-build projects. C O N C L U D I N G T H O U G H T S … Bauer et is healthy and well positioned to grow steadily as our cities age and the need for minimally intrusive infrastructure projects increases. Morrison – The outlook for tunneling is generally good. There will continue to be a need for more tunnels in the foreseeable future. However, the industry will need to continue to inno- vate and market itself to the general public to attract talented people and to keep pace with other industries. Wilson – One really good thing: there's a lot more focus on safety now than ever before. Incident rates in the under- ground industry are quite low, and this is a direct result of changing attitudes on the part of contracting executives, su- pervision, and craft labor. Consolidation of engineering firms has no benefit to the end user, and arguably a reverse benefit to both employees and the DBE community. This is because individual projects are made successful by individuals, and individuals are mo- tivated by things other than working for the largest firm in the country. The logic of "one-stop shopping" while arguably making it easier to manage a project with a minimum of sub- consultants, does a disservice for DBEs by (1) making entry harder, and (2) encouraging DBEs to become job-shoppers instead of service providers. The best thing we could do to improve efficiency of our industry is to encourage the sharing of lessons learned from past proje e everything went right, but also the jobs where they didn't go so well, and what could have been done differently. The usefulness of this in- formation should outweigh the reticence to share mistakes or less-than-perfect processes. A different attitude amongst all industry participants is necessary to capitalize on our col- lective experience. C O V E R S T O RY

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