Last reviewed 31 March 2022

The Building Research Establishment (BRE), has partnered with BAM Nuttall and Attocore to create a secure, standalone 5G network that is being used on a UK construction site for the first time.

The 5G network is part of a programme to support nine UK 5G trial projects in early 2021 with £15.2 million funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) to test the potential of the technology and demonstrate the benefits.

Other standalone 5G networks are also being trialled across a range of industries.

BAM’s team is deploying numerous 5G-supported solutions, including digital live cameras and drones, mixed-reality and virtual visualisation, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things sensors to monitor construction processes and measure progress.

Although 5G has rarely been used by the construction industry, the new network will allow BAM to use a mix of digital tools, while a team analyses the data to improve decision-making and delivery methods.

The potential safety benefits include: using artificial intelligence (AI) to carry out site surveys and send back live data which means less people surveying remote locations and tracking progress and hard-hats with location sensors to track people’s whereabouts and alert safety advisors.

Colin Evison, Head of Innovation at BAM Nuttall said: “5G is unlocking increased use of digital tools and models as we explore safer, more modern and efficient ways to work in construction. We’re excited for the next steps as we trial new solutions which, without the 5G network, wouldn’t be possible.”