Often times I hear people in the design and construction industry say, “NO design is ever 100% Accurate.” There is no denying this saying. It is 100% correct. No matter how much we try, we always fall short of that 100% accuracy benchmark; and that inaccuracy, I have noted, demands a price from us.
We know very well, that new infraconstruction work is completely dependent upon estimations of where exactly old infrastructure was built; but countless times it happens, that we find our estimations are wrong. For example, it happens that we find old cables 6 meters away from the estimated point, or that the solid rock analysis that had been done before was inaccurate. Small inaccuracies like these, slowly build up and lead us to big trouble.
These inaccuracies force construction workers to make subtle changes in design, by making on-site decisions so that they can accommodate for the inaccuracies. And therefore, again take us back into the cycle of inaccuracy. Because next time, when the designer sits to design, he will design on the basis of earlier designs, which of-course do not accurately represent on-site information.
NO design is ever 100% Accurate
This is the old ineffective solution we earlier used to solve this:
Some years ago, when we realized this; we decided on making reports, take photographs, and log points of those inaccuracies, thinking that this record of on-site information could be used by clients and designers later. Undoubtedly, this was a great starting point. We at least acknowledged that there was a problem, and seemed keen on solving it.
But here is where it failed: Those records could never be used.
They could never be used, because they were recorded in the most unorganized and boring ways, that no one could find them when they needed them, and when they found them, they could not find any meaning in them. Think of this: those important information that are invaluable to change the face of our cities, were usually handed over digitally via USB’s to clients. Via USB’s? Let’s face it, in today’s busy world people forget where they keep their life saving medicines. It is foolish to expect that they will remember where they keep their USB’s. This silly error has already cost us a fortune of information.
This is the revolutionary way I say, we should adopt now:
We should store that information in a way, that people looking for them have access to them within minutes; because if it takes longer, in this attention deficit world, nobody is going to bother to look for them.
So if we ask ourselves, what tool should we use to store that information, so that we find that information when we need them? We will find that this question does not have a direct answer, because where we store them totally depends upon what we wish to store in them. So we need to first find, what to store in them?
I would say that the 1st job that that information has to do, is to tell us the specific details of where something is, for example, tell us the specific location of a well, and the pipes connected to it.
Now if I ask, what could be the best way to store this information, so that I get it when I need it, and I get it easily without having to put in much effort to find it, and when found… read it.
The clear answer to this, is that we need to have a tool built specifically for this purpose. A tool that is convenient to store information, and convenient to access information.
Is there such a tool?
There is not just one, there are many. Out of those many, municipalities are already using one, called Infrakit as their official tool. They use this to save all their on-site information (lighting poles, well installations etc.) And I have found that they are happy with it. Check if it could come handy to you as well.
Now having understood, what information we store, and where we store it? Let’s find how we could store that information?
I see, that there are two ways:
- Allow the contractor to make his on-site decisions and record them. This is how we have always done it. The difference only being that, yesterday he would write a boring 2-D report on it, which added no value. Today he will do it using a tool, that makes the information quick and easy to understand; which is much efficient than making a report. But it still does not solve the problem completely. Here’s how: Our designs though now recorded, will still be different than the designer’s vision of it.
- Now if we do not have any value for functional efficiency, or aesthetics. We need not bother question this. But if we care for our cities to be efficient and beautiful, then it becomes utmost important that we solve this problem completely from the very roots. Hear me out.
- If we have our designer to be a part of the construction, and we make him do on-site visits with the contractor. The designer becomes duty-bound to ensure that the built is as close to the design as possible, even after several on-site changes have been made to it. In other words, it is now the designer who guides the changes, and records them, making sure that, what was expected is built.
Certainly, all this will cost us a little extra money. But the choice is ours. Do we want our cities to be functioning at full power, or are we satisfied with them being barely functional? The difference is that of between two people. One in complete health, full of energy, therefore enjoying life totally. And the other, who is malnourished, and therefore, lacks energy and is deprived of life. Ask this. Will the one full of energy bring greater returns, or the one deprived of energy?
Ask this. Will the one full of energy bring greater returns, or the one deprived of energy?
If you liked what you read, I would want you to give back to all infrastructure industry people by:
- Sharing this article at social media
- Leaving a comment below. And tell me what you think about this.
- Join the Infra Pioneer Group so we can take this further.