Construction planning is a monumentally complex task. It can take months to match the building sequence with the availability of contractors and materials. And even once the schedule is in place, there’s no way to tell if it’s really the most effective way to achieve all the goals of the project. There’s perhaps no better example of a really hard construction problem than scheduling.
ALICE, the artificial intelligence(AI) assistant from Stanford University’s tech startup, Alice Technologies, is exceptionally impressive for its AI scheduling engine and has stepped up to reinvent how construction projects are scheduled.
It develops construction-engineering software for general contractors, subcontractors, and real estate developers. ALICE collects information like crew size or type of cranes, equipments, construction materials, modeling, production rates and consolidates this knowledge, alongside a BIM model, into a centralized planning system.
First, a qualified specialist construction scheduler works with the project owner, supervisors, contractors, architects, and engineers to create a “rule set” for ALICE that describes the scope and limitations of the project (goals, timing, resources, etc.). ALICE Technologies then utilizes these guidelines to create millions of planning situations, create 4D designs and Gantt charts for the top 10-15 alternatives and compares them over time. In a trial run, ALICE was able to offer 22 scheduling strategies for the proposed project for Mortenson Construction and was able to reduce the previous schedule by 84 days.
The future of construction scheduling promises to be more exciting and through AI applications like ALICE, users can understand the construction process through an interactive visualization, and can quickly modify a schedule to reflect the shifting realities of the construction cycle. Project managers can look forward to creating actionable, detailed plans to solve age-old inefficiencies in the construction process with the help of technology.
Team, B. O. S. S. E. (2019, May 1). Building a Future Together: Top Construction Technology Startups.
(2018, July 31). ALICE AI Assistant Cuts Construction Schedule by 15%.