Digitisation in the construction sector: a story to be written

In terms of digitisation, the construction industry is slowly starting its transformation. However, solutions already exist which will soon allow the two worlds of construction and operations, for building and infrastructure, to communicate with one another, while very little interaction was possible up until now. Pascal Berger, CEO of Sixense Group, explains.



The digitisation process in the construction industry is going at a slower pace than in other sectors. How far have we come in this respect?

We are still at the beginning of the journey, even if digitisation is already in place in numerous areas, such as quality control or supply chain, which follow established standardized processes. However, as far as the core business is concerned, construction on one hand and infrastructure operations on the other, digital tools are still not visible at a large scale. There are many stakeholders collaborating and interacting in these activities. One of the challenges that digitisation addresses is the orchestration of these actors, who need to have access to a common source of information continuously and updated in real time. In this context, the key principles to be implemented are the digitisation of the operational tasks and the capture of real time information to provide updated status on the work or the asset.


What is the main purpose?

The ultimate objective is to monitor the full life cycle of the infrastructure in order to help make decisions during construction, operations and maintenance. Today, the two worlds of construction and operations continue to exist separately. Both are being digitised, but independently. Therefore, there is still a gap between these two worlds, which do not yet communicate efficiently. A seamless process between them needs to be built; the goal being to manage and control the data throughout the full life cycle.


Are there already solutions to achieve this?

We do have a solution under development. It is a data integration platform called Beyond. This platform can be activated during the construction phase, just as it can be used during the operations and maintenance phase. Digitisation will then expend through the multiplication of use cases generating value. Over time, the multiplication of such use cases will create a seamless connection between construction and operations, through the emergence of common standards relevant for both domains.


Environmental responsibility is one of the new challenges facing construction companies. Will digitisation enable the industry to meet its commitments on this topic?

Environment is a major stake for these new technologies, in which I also include artificial intelligence, and how they can contribute to this challenge. These technologies offer new ways of ensuring infrastructure and building sustainability, which essentially means expending their lifespan. Thanks to real-time monitoring, it will become possible to get a better understanding of how these infrastructures age and evolve. Civil Engineers will be able to optimise their maintenance so that buildings and infrastructures can last longer, while anticipating and managing risks, whether these risks are linked to ground events (landslides, subsidence, etc.) or to the structure of the edifice itself.



An article from #JMLECO BFM Business by Scribeo (France)

Sixense coauthors the new ASCE publication

The American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 150,000 members of the civil engineering profession in 177 countries. Founded in 1852, ASCE is the nation’s oldest engineering society. ASCE stands at the forefront of a profession that plans, designs, constructs, and operates society’s economic and social engine – the built environment – while protecting and restoring the natural environment.


ASCE’s newest publication

ASCE recently released its newest book, “Remote Sensing for Monitoring Embankments, Dams and Slopes, GSP 322”. It provides information on selecting and deploying a monitoring network to assess the behaviour, geometry, total and differential for embankments, dams, and slopes (EDS) movement, and potential risks of the EDS movement on people and infrastructure. It includes information on a broad range of technologies for deploying remote sensing:

  • Radio Detection and Ranging (radar),
  • Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR),
  • Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR),
  • Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR),
  • Digital photogrammetry and image processing,
  • Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS),
  • Automatic Motorised Total Stations (AMTS), and
  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).


Sixense’s contributions to the book

This book, sponsored by the Geo-Institute Embankments, Dams and Slopes Technical Committee is the product of many practitioners’ and academicians’ contributions over a period of more than 24 months. Employees from Sixense USA and Iberia contributed to this collective work through book planning and co-authoring the InSAR, AMTS, Satellite Internet, and Case Histories chapters. Practitioners and researchers will find this publication useful in understanding and utilising currently available remote sensing technology and to advance and refine the monitoring of embankments, dams and slopes.


Both the print and e-book are available for purchase on ASCE Bookstore.
More detailed information about individual book chapters can be found on ASCE library.