ALICE Technologies and Align JV – a joint venture of Bouygues Travaux Publics, Sir Robert McAlpine, and VolkerFitzpatrick that is delivering the Central 1 (C1) portion of HS2 Phase One – today announced that the two organizations will be expanding their partnership on HS2, one of the largest infrastructure construction projects currently underway in Europe. ALICE Technologies’ construction simulation and optimization platform helps general contractors worldwide leverage the power of AI to plan, bid and build their large-scale infrastructure and commercial projects more efficiently.
A national high-speed railway linking London, Birmingham and the North, the HS2 network will ultimately carry more than 30M travelers each year. The C1 portion of HS2 Phase One that Align is delivering is 21.6km of high speed rail infrastructure and includes a 3.4 km viaduct that will support trains traveling at speeds up to 200 mph.
Align initially came to ALICE Technologies with a goal of “pressure testing” their existing construction schedule for their viaduct. The Align team wanted to find opportunities to optimize the sequence and resources to minimize cost and environmental impact.
While humans are skilled at planning and strategizing, computers are ideal for simulating options and resolving constraints. By using ALICE, general contractors combine their industry experience with ALICE’s powerful simulation capabilities, enabling them to make faster, data-driven decisions.
The traditional approach to planning is for a team of planners to build the program, assign durations, and determine costs and constraints. The program then goes through a number of reviews by commercial and operational leads. Building alternative programs is time consuming and resource-intensive. With the ALICE platform, Align has been able to generate mllions of potential sequence options – along with fullly-loaded construction schedules – for the planning team to evaluate.
Using ALICE, the Align team explored a variety of “what if” scenarios to ensure they had the most robust program of work. For example, what if the teams that installed the concrete pile caps worked on Saturdays? And what if they increased the size of the team? ALICE also helped the team explore the optimal mix of crews required on the substructure in order to increase the utilization of their crews and minimize downtime for labor and equipment.