Openwall is a growing timber engineering business, primarily providing timber frame structures to the construction industry, with a key focus on innovation and developing Modern Methods of Construction.
The company merit itself on its commitment to maintaining the high trading standards they have always valued and delivered to its customers. This includes a vigorous internal auditing system which has resulted in continuous positive and high industry accreditation.
Openwall was keen to develop an open- source digital platform for multiple construction businesses to be able to upload and store their offsite and onsite quality control information and other relevant documentation as part of a best practice routine.
Not only will this help businesses maintain a digital copy of their records, reducing paper trails and potentially decreasing the chance of being misplaced, but the digital platform will enable business owners and building inspectors to access this documentation remotely.
The LCR4.0 Holistic lead partner, the Virtual Engineering Centre (VEC) supported Openwall in assessing their needs and what they wanted to create against the most suitable technologies that could further support the development of the initial concept.
The VEC suggested adding QR codes using Augmented Reality (AR) to streamline the accessibility to any uploaded documents such as quality control checks and performance certificates. This access can also be tailored depending on access levels and which personnel needs to see which specific documents.
A building inspector will be able to quickly scan the QR code placed on the outside power meter box of a
house under construction and contract, gaining access to all the information allocated to that particular house, such as details on the build and specifications standards that were followed and implemented.
The VEC also recommended using Microsoft SharePoint and developing an app as a proof-of-concept to trial document storage and access, before rolling out to wider construction partners.
The use of a QR code will speed up the inspection process whilst removing the need for face-to-face meetings and paper-based documentation. This will also enable building inspectors to work more autonomously, in addition to having digital copies of all information needed for future audits and improving traceability.
Openwall is now exploring the possibility of extending this digital platform, realising the wider potential to incorporate performance sensors and information for fire services for example.
The case study can be downloaded here.
The support from the teams at the Virtual Engineering Centre has been fantastic for Openwall. We have been able to explore the best next steps for our company whilst their teams of digital experts made recommendations on the technology, we could adopt for achieving our goals.
We believe this really has the potential to transform and rapidly improve a process, reducing time spent on inspection whilst also enabling companies to securely store all organised documentation for ease of use.- Paul Fugaccia, Openwall Limited