More must be done to retain public building asset health if ‘demolition’ is discouraged as part of climate goals – says Screening Eagle
A major focus and sustained investment in structural inspection is ‘essential’ if we are to expect ‘longer life-spans’ from our buildings and structures to mitigate the pace of climate change, says global leaders in inspection technology, Screening Eagle.
A recent call from leading engineers in a report from The Royal Academy of Engineering demands that Governments ‘end the unnecessary demolition of buildings’ – as the construction of new buildings results in significant CO2 emissions.
Screening Eagle, which is headquartered in Switzerland, is urging new thinking within the built environment sector around the long-term asset value of buildings and structural assets – such as bridges, tunnels and roads.
Extending building life-span
As the embodied carbon associated with new building’s accounts for 30-40% of a building’s life cycle carbon, it is clear that if demolition is to be discouraged by the UK Government (other climate conscious global governments are expected to follow this approach), then more must be done to preserve the life of existing buildings.
If buildings need to last longer, then Screening Eagle, which specialises in digital visual inspection workflows, says asset owners must have greater confidence in the structural integrity of their building assets.
Screening Eagle’s CEO and co-founder Marcel Poser says he is very supportive of this idea, but, warns asset owners not to underestimate the need for greater awareness of the structural health of buildings. “Many structures are decaying at unprecedented rates; many have been poorly constructed or poorly maintained over the years, and become inefficient,” he said. “Structures are crumbling and that means not only unprofitable assets, but also massive inefficiencies and safety risks.”
Mr Poser believes a more responsive approach to fault-finding has to be found. “If we can find a way to keep buildings for longer – then we are making a valuable contribution to slowing down the pace of climate change. We must shift from sporadic analogue snagging every few years towards technology-driven preventative methods. As well as making buildings and structures – such as roads, bridges and tunnels – safer and more efficient, this approach can also “flatten the curves” of assets’ lifetime degradation,” he says.
Pursuing this philosophy has already led to several landmark products from Screening Eagle. For instance, its Inspect software makes it possible to have all visual inspection workflows digitalised in one tool. It also avoids the pitfalls of fragmented data by moving everything to a single ‘source of truth’ data platform and places all defects-related data on 2D/3D views or on maps. The latest AI technology is used to analyse all defects during an inspection, whilst a collaborative emphasis makes it possible to bring in siloed individuals and external teams in a seamless way.
The result is that any asset owners or operators using Inspect – or another related product such as automated photo documentation software Capture – have the chance to make more deeply informed decisions about maintenance.
“This kind of technology not only does makes it easier to protect the long-term value of an asset, it also means that the entire decision-making process can be streamlined and accelerated,” says Marcel Poser.
Screening Eagle is holding a series of webinars on seamless digital inspection workflows; CLICK HERE TO REGISTER