Project testing use of 5G technology

By Andy Brown07 March 2022

The remote island of Shetland is where BAM is testing out a private 5G network on its construction site

The contractor BAM Nuttall, part of Royal BAM Group, is using private, stand-alone 5G network on a construction site for the first time in the UK.

Working in partnership with Attocore and Building Research Establishment (BRE), on the island of Shetland, Scotland, BAM Nuttall’s project team is designing and constructing the civils infrastructure at Kergord on Shetland for SSEN Transmission’s HVDC convertor station and substation.

Part of the Shetland HVDC link, this major link between Shetland and the Scottish mainland will feed renewable energy to the electricity grid and connect Shetland to Great Britain’s grid for the first time.

The 5G network, funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), aims to test the potential of new digital technology.

The project site provides the ideal conditions to measure the benefits of 5G for the construction industry; weather conditions are cold, wet and harsh; winter’s daylight hours are short; clients and management teams can’t easily visit the site and rely on reports, data, images and insights to track progress and make decisions

BAM’s project team is collecting evidence of how new technology can help improve safety, sustainability and increase collaboration and create more effective and efficient solutions.

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.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the results and ultimately sharing the benefits across wider industry.”

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