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Major contractors invest in AI construction optioneering

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Japanese general contractor, Takenaka Corporation, and civil works company, Bouygues Travaux Publics, will use the Alice Technologies platform


Alice Technologies, whose construction optioneering platform uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help contractors plan, bid and build large-scale infrastructure and commercial projects, has announced two major partnerships.

Takenaka Corporation, one of the five largest general contractors in Japan, and Bouygues Travaux Publics, one of the largest companies in the civil works sector, will use Alice’s platform on several major projects around the world.

Takenaka works on a range of developments, including airport terminals and stadiums, of which around 70 percent are design-build.

Alice first worked with Takenaka on the development of One Bangkok, a major multi-use project in Bangkok, Thailand. One Bangkok combines hospitality, retail, art and cultural experiences, together with the city’s offices, hotels and residences.

With the Alice platform, Takenaka generated more than 300 different ways to build one of the project’s large mixed-user towers as it explored solutions that would reduce risk and drive efficiency. According to Alice, Takenaka was not only able to de-risk the project by confirming its baseline schedule but was able to identify an opportunity to trim more than 30 days from its original schedule through the judicious use of overtime.

Takenaka now plans to use Alice’s platform on key projects from preconstruction through project delivery. During preconstruction, Takenaka team members will use Alice for “optioneering”, to explore the scenarios that make the most efficient use of project resources (labour, equipment, and materials) and to test the impact of changes in key variables on project outcomes. For example, a manager might use Alice Precon to determine how the number of cranes, manpower, or the order in which zones are being worked on could affect the speed and cost of the project.

Alice explains that by using its platform to create and test options, Takenaka will be able to submit the best solution for the project. Then, when it comes to the execution phase, Takenaka will use Alice Manage to control its project schedule and budget. If circumstances change – as they inevitably do on most construction projects – the Takenaka team can then use Alice to quickly update project plans and recover from project delays.

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“Alice gives us an entirely new capability: to explore numerous potential ways to build a project before we ever break ground,” said Takao Tamotsu, general manager, construction planning, Asia Region, Takenaka Corporation. “We see many potential opportunities to put the Alice platform to work and are pleased to be expanding our use with such an innovative partner.”

Bouygues Travaux Publics specialises in complex projects involving tunnels, engineering structures and road, port, and rail infrastructures.

The French company plans to use the Alice platform on key projects from preconstruction through project delivery. During preconstruction, a manager might use Alice Precon to determine how the addition of a second tunnel boring machine could affect the speed and cost of a major tunnel project.

“Alice is ideally suited to help us to win and deliver the big infrastructure projects that represent the core of our business at Bouygues Travaux Publics,” said Bertrand Burtschell, Deputy CEO at Bouygues Travaux Publics. “In the design and commercial phases, thanks to the Alice platform, we can use the power of AI to design the optimal plans.

“In the production phase, Alice will help us to reduce execution risk and ensure that we hit our schedule and budget targets.”

In May 2022, Alice announced a $30M funding round led by Vanedge Capital. Additional new investors include Bouygues, Gaingels, GRIDS Capital, JLL Spark, and MetaPlanet, which joined the round along with existing investors Future Ventures, Merus Capital, and Rising Tide.


Caption: Takenaka first used Alice on the development of One Bangkok, a major multi-use project in Bangkok.
Image courtesy of Frasers Property Holdings (Thailand) Co., Ltd


 

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