Balfour Beatty VINCI digitizes HS2 construction workflows with new drone software – sUAS News

BBV adopts drone software from Esri UK to cut costs and improve safety on its 90km stretch of HS2

July 6, 2022 – Esri France today announced that Balfour Beatty VINCI (BBV) has deployed its Site Scan for ArcGIS drone flight management and image processing software, to support its drone deployment strategy on its Midlands section of HS2.

Faster and more efficient drone surveys are already saving around £20,000 a year on monthly construction progress surveys at a single site, instead of using physical surveys and updating later CAD models. BBV estimates this could save around £1.6m if the same workflow was applied across 80 sites in the first year.

Another benefit was the elimination of 800 days of ‘hazardous work’ and a saving of £30,000 per year from monitoring aggregate stockpiles, using a single drone operator to perform 3D volumetric measurements in 20 minutes. Previously, contractors would take an entire day to physically measure inventory and calculate transportation needs, often working in steep and harsh environments.

Site Scan for ArcGIS is used to perform drone site surveys, manage aggregate inventory, and monitor construction progress. Various 2D and 3D outputs are generated for sharing with multiple stakeholders, including high definition images and 3D terrain models. The new software was rolled out across the BBV business to nearly 400 users in fall 2021, including 13 drone pilots.

The major civil infrastructure project stretches from the Long Itchington Wood tunnel in the south to the West Coast Main Line junction near Lichfield in the north, with a major junction with Curzon Street station in central Birmingham. The main civil engineering contracts will cover earthworks, ground engineering and numerous structures, including bridges, viaducts and tunnels along a 90 km stretch of the new high-speed rail line UK.

“We needed the right software to handle increasingly complex and varied drone usage and meet the needs of multiple teams, from logistics to site managers to engineers,” says Dan Fawcett, director of the innovation at Balfour Beatty VINCI. “New digitized workflows are rapidly replacing traditional physical work practices and introducing new levels of efficiency, accuracy and security. On major projects like HS2, the ROI obtained is significant.

Other applications of the new software include helping to show compliance of design tolerances in built structures against BIM and CAD models, speeding up design cycles, especially in the design of earthworks and construction. excavation and monitoring the installation of utilities. Site Scan supports RTK drones to ensure highly accurate data capture and point cloud creation. Superuser training for Site Scan is provided by Heliguy, Esri’s UK partner, specialist in drone consultancy, hardware and training.

Site Scan for ArcGIS is Esri’s cloud-based image processing and drone flight management software, offering flight planning, hardware management, scalable image processing, and unlimited data storage , as well as seamless integration with BBV’s Esri enterprise GIS system.

About Balfour Beatty VINCI

  • Balfour Beatty VINCI represents a powerhouse for critical infrastructure in rail, transport and other iconic projects in the UK and beyond. Balfour Beatty VINCI’s involvement in breakthrough Design, Build, Finance and Operate (DBFO) projects provides unique end-to-end asset knowledge that is crucial to developing the best solutions to the infrastructure needs of the UK
  • Balfour Beatty and VINCI started working together over 30 years ago when they were both members of the TransManche Link consortium which delivered the Channel Tunnel
  • As leading infrastructure groups, Balfour Beatty and VINCI Construction offer opportunities for trainees, apprentices, interns and graduates as well as sponsored degree opportunities


About Esri United Kingdom

Esri is the global market leader in geographic information system (GIS), geolocation, and mapping software. Esri has regional offices, international distributors, and local support partners in more than 100 countries on six continents. Founded in 1969, Esri software is deployed in more than 350,000 organizations worldwide.

AEC organizations use Esri’s GIS to plan, design, construct, and maintain smarter buildings and infrastructure. Esri’s UK customers include BBV, EKFB, Argent Related, Arcadis, Mott MacDonald, Skanska and Costain.