Construction Site Management and Safety Audio-Visual Modules Introduced

French software specialist Creative Business Solutions introduced at Bauma two new audio-visual modules that utilize 3D virtual reality software. The first depicts construction equipment deployment and safety along with other aspects of site management. The second illustrates the safety aspects of construction sites and equipment, together with the simulation of accidents. Both are available on a USB key.

The site management module is part of the MethoCAD suite of construction site planning, management and training software.“The modules are addressed directly to the management on the building site, team leaders and workers,” says Albert Fitoussi, of Creative Business Solutions.“Virtual reality 3D graphics plus the use of sound allows anyone to put themselves right in the centre of a project, even when it is at the planning stage, and so prepare for optimal site management and safety.”

The user visualises the various sequences by means of a menu under Windows. Fitoussi says that the software allows checks to ensure that, for example, tower crane lifts are safe or that a particular model is suitable for operating in a confined area. “MethoCAD uses AutoCAD information from manufacturer’s libraries to ensure that equipment is represented accurately,” he says.

MethoCAD is also designed for use in presentations to clients. Easily-generated 3D views illustrate exactly how the scheme will progress. The software also includes virtual reality ‘walk-through’s’ that enable entire operations to be previewed in 3D. The system covers tower crane planning, with features to ensure safe loading and avoidance of ‘clashes’ by checking the minimum clearances between cranes. This can be particularly complex on sites with many cranes where safety cannot be managed without software.

The software takes account of all kinds of other site activities, including the use of earthmoving machinery, trucks, formwork, the permanent works and the routes for vehicles entering and moving around the site.  Positioning of tower cranes can be checked both in plan and elevation, which is particularly important to ensure safe distances between jibs, counter-jibs, anchor cables and masts for all the cranes on a site.

It also allows for the planning of safe use of mobile cranes, particularly when dismantling tower cranes at the end of a project when space and access are limited. “In general, companies make preparations for positioning the tower cranes they will use on site but preparations for mobile cranes tend to be neglected,” says Mr Fitoussi. All too often, he says,” the mobile crane driver arrives on site only to find that access is limited and that the job would require the crane hook to be extended further than permitted values,” he adds.

Mr Fitoussi says that Creative Business Solutions has worked in partnership with manufacturers to make sure that MethoCAD includes up-to-date information on all the key parameters. The site management module allows the user to check that the operation can be carried out within allowable limits.

The Eco-friendly sites (ESM) module, which depicts construction site and equipment safety, also includes accident simulation features, is aimed primarily for site staff training in construction companies, says Fitoussi, and can easily be used in self training or by the trainers with other visual aids.“Through using the latest virtual reality software in three dimensions, together with sound, the user will identify with the character and recognise the environment of the construction site, and be more conscious of the risks,” says Albert Fitoussi.

The MethoCAD module can be used anywhere and is designed to complement the existing training materials of construction companies. The Eco-friendly sites (ESM) module is intended to assist contractors meet today’s high on-site environmental quality standards by incorporating traffic disturbance, waste management, ground pollution, visual impact and site safety aspects.