If we want to create a healthy living environment, we will have to start using our space more efficiently. This means no new unnecessary road traffic and improving the existing traffic flow.”
“By digitalising what we create. Before we apply a kilometre of asphalt, we first build that road digitally. You could say a digital twin brother. By thoroughly testing this road, we limit failure costs. You could compare it to Max Verstappen, who spends a whole week in a simulator before he makes his way around the track.
Afterwards we measure the use and behaviour of what we have created and interpret that data. We do so by installing sensors in roads, tunnels and bridges. Those sensors collect data to monitor the strain on the infrastructure, which makes it possible to predict life expectancy. This is important to us as a construction company, because the number of our long-term management and maintenance contracts continues to increase.
We used to work with theoretical models. Now, thanks to monitoring, we know what the actual status is. For instance, many structures were built in the sixties and seventies of the past century. They definitely have some residual capacity left. If our works are no longer a ‘black box’ thanks to data, we will be able to forecast maintenance and life expectancy. And if you use these constructions as well and safely as possible, then you will save money, energy and reduce CO2 emissions.
It is possible to make things even smarter by creating algorithms based on that data: that way, a solar noise barrier will automatically ‘move’ towards the place where it catches the most sunlight.”
“We are creating room for this digitalisation programme, with regards to both people and means. By now we have our own software engineers, who speak a different language. Their knowledge combined with our building expertise yields a valuable mix. Besides the fact that we enjoy working together like this, it enables us to develop additional services.
Data has become serious business: our client the Directorate-General of Public Works and Water Management uses data from the Princess Beatrix lock to check if there is sufficient capacity to process the multitude of inland vessels. Availability, accessibility and reliability are very important in a transit country such as the Netherlands. Improving all of that through our sensors and the connected software and algorithms, will generate many opportunities. This is new territory to Heijmans as well!
We love it when experts from other sectors join own teams. Knowledge partners, with similar goals, so that both parties can move forward. That’s why we are now also making our digitalisation move known to the outside world.”
“Artist and producer LudoWic has sonicated four of our projects. Doing so, he connects data variables to sound characteristics, such as volume or pitch. Data streams from a rail bridge, noise barrier and from asphalt have been incorporated into LudoWics tracks. You discover patterns and rhythms, you are, so to speak, listening to the ‘health’ of infrastructure. LudoWic is turning our data into art!
Under the name Heijmans Bits & Beats he will also be playing these four sonications live this year, for instance, at the Amsterdam Dance Event.”