Thinking about logistics earlier and gaining flexibility to make decisions that can reduce the carbon footprint of a project, as well as building greater resilience to supply chain disruption.
Logistics is often left until late in the day when it comes to the construction process. But it is the critical nerve center of a project and needs to be monitored, understood, and optimized from the very beginning if a sustainable future for construction is to be realized. Addressing logistics at the end means you can only impact a small part of the process, while establishing a logistics plan from the beginning can inform your subsequent choices and help establish more sustainable operations.
Constructing even a small building involves significant logistical challenges. Materials and modules come in a raft of shapes, sizes, and weights; can be made by multiple manufacturers; and can take many different transport routes to the work site. Integrating all these elements in a single vision and making sure they arrive on site exactly when needed is a considerable challenge. For the new tower project, making sure these elements were tracked and understood with a sustainable logistics design established from day one, was essential.
To do this, designers turned to using the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) tools, stakeholders on the new tower project were able to apply supply chain analytics solutions to quantify environmental impacts across the product lifecycle, from sourcing raw materials to delivering finished goods and construction modules. This approach allowed for the creation of different what-if scenarios, from which teams would be able to select an optimal strategy, with minimal environmental impact.
The team used the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform as the central point for all their smart logistics designs. By providing a single source of truth, all different stakeholders could communicate freely, from architects to manufacturers to contractors. The platform enabled the team to more effectively plan how materials and labor would move through the project in a timely manner.
It is thanks to the power of holistic visibility that all project KPIs – whether they are around cost, timelines, or sustainability – can be tracked and met. By creating a real-time, virtual twin of the tower project, the latest information can be inputted, logistical decisions can be modified to maximize efficiency and minimize the carbon footprint, and the construction plan subsequently updated.
For any given logistics project, some options are cleaner than others. Transporting by rail, for example, could turn out to be less emissions-intensive than transporting by road. But even if this is the case, can you be sure rail gets you your materials on time, and within budget? And how then do you co-ordinate this between all your logistics chains, across the whole project? Simulation allows for this kind of route optimization.
Smart logistics doesn’t just mean lower emissions – it means more disruption-resistant operations. There’s an old saying in military strategy – “no plan survives contact with the enemy”. Or, as Mike Tyson more simply put it, “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face”. That punch might come in the form of infrastructure failure, or industrial action, or just traffic accidents. Whatever it is, disruption is a fact of life for logistics planners.
But thanks to the virtual twin – which updates continuously and automatically – stakeholders can act rapidly when choosing alternative logistical arrangements. With this information, they can select options that hit sustainability KPIs, as well as delivery and cost expectations. Those choices can then be easily communicated throughout the project. And all this makes for more agile and more resilient construction operations.
Thanks to the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform, logistics companies can visualize, manage and optimize their operations to make them efficient, resilient and sustainable from the beginning
Click below to learn more about how the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform enables early optimization of logistics across the entire supply chain, reducing its overall carbon footprint and making it more resilient to disruption.
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