John Sisk placed innovation at the very heart of his business when he founded it in 1859
Innovation is at the heart of our business
We continually commit to investing in training and exploring new technologies, fostering and encouraging the Sisk visionary mentality in all our people and continually challenging both ourselves, our supply chain partners and our stakeholders to be creative and innovative in everything we do.
Throughout our history, we’ve frequently delivered on this innovative approach, using new technology, materials and/or building techniques on countless projects for the ultimate benefit of our clients.
Innovation in practice at Center Parcs
Tracking live progress was critical to the team at Center Parcs. The two most innovative techniques we used at Center Parcs were Digital Project Delivery and Lean Construction.
Another major challenge the team had to overcome was managing resources and materials. These issues were overcome using Lean Construction. The three key techniques used were Work Sampling, Just-in-Time Delivery and Kitting.
Robotics enhancing productivity
Sisk has become the first contractor in Europe to introduce robotics to construction projects, investing €150k as part of its commitment to enhance productivity on its sites and minimise health and safety risks to its workforce.
The innovative robotic tool known as a Material Unit Lift Enhancer (“MULE”) was developed by the New York based company Construction Robotics.
The MULE was used in the construction of the multi-storey car park at Sisk's Wembley Park E05 site. The car park will form the base of a new residential development next to Wembley Stadium, offering 458 Build to Rent apartments managed by Quintain Living.
This is a lift assist device designed for handling and articulating material weighing up to 134lbs on a construction site into place. The tool allows the material to feel weightless, reduces fatigue and injuries, and increases productivity by between 50-400%.
The MULE will not replace bricklayers or masons; rather it will improve their working conditions and enable them to focus on other aspects such as the pointing of brickwork. In addition, special oversize blocks have been created for the Wembley trial and developed to increase productivity whilst utilising the MULE.
Benefits of MULE
- Eliminates the fatigue and physical wear and tear associated with repetitive heavy lifting and twisting that can result in injuries and shortened careers.
- Improves wall quality as the mason can take the time to verify a quality block or stone placement with reduced fatigue.
- Eliminates hazards of lifting heavy loads as the controls and gripper are designed to hold the load if power and air are lost.
Digital Smart Containers
Sisk has developed an innovative system of ‘Digital Smart Containers’ that are linked to a QR code. This enables our site teams to access project information, review quality checks and tasks for each flat, all in one unique place.
This system has proven to increase our efficiency by 35% in only four months. In the same period the overall production efficiency (e.g. QA checks, issues fixed by subcontractors, work approved) increased by 21.1% (with a target of 35% by Q4 2019). The Digital Smart Containers have also led to a reduction of paper printed in our office by 44%.
Step 1 – How we set up the system
The system was created by assigning unique QR codes to the flats and considering each code as a ‘Digital Smart Container’. The container is used for two main reasons: To retrieve the drawings associated to the relevant area of the building by scanning the QR code placed on a flat summary panel outside the flat; To contain within the necessary digital forms needed for QA and handover.
Step 2 - Link all the information for a digital container
With support from Autodesk, we developed a cloud based API between our CDE (Viewpoint) and BIM 360. The API automatically transfers information from VFP to BIM 360 Field. This ensures information onsite is up-to-date and approved.
Step 3 - Planning
A key benefit of the digital container is the ability to link the contractual programme to the QA and handover site activities. Linking this information to our digital containers during the platform setup phase, enables the system to check the actual handover date for each phase of construction against the program.
Step 4 - Training and Upskilling supply chain
For our supply chain to utilise these new processes we had to deliver training sessions. They are trained in the use of the software using real world scenarios and expected to disperse this information amongst their colleges so the learnt skills spread throughout our supply chain.
Step 5 – Data Capture
Data capture occurs live on-site by our trained operatives using tablets storing the required information, synchronised before every site visit. Using the installed software, the tasks performed by operatives can be completed digitally and automatically uploaded onto a central database (along with images taken whilst carrying out tasks) to be accessed by any relevant party. Tasks performed include but are not limited to QAs, snagging and handover. These tasks were previously completed using a manual paper process. An inefficient method with no live control of which areas had been checked.
Step 6 - Data Management
Once this data is stored on the server it is automatically analysed and converted into a live dashboard on the digital platform. The whole team has access to this data which can be edited into different layouts dependent on what information the user wishes to investigate. This dashboard has proved to be an invaluable tool to highlight detailed flat information or high level data (for the entire building).
At Sisk, we are always looking at new, innovative ways to enhance productivity and make conditions safer for our workforce
Electric Vehicles at Center Parcs
As a company, we are investing significantly in energy efficiency to improve the way we do business – EVs are just one of a number of initiatives we are rolling out as part of that commitment.
Sisk’s investment in EVs is part of a broader initiative by the company to significantly reduce its carbon footprint as it continues its endeavour to become a leader in energy management within the construction industry.
Royal Academy of Arts Link Bridge
The Royal Academy of Arts (RA) redevelopment project celebrated the 250th anniversary of the Academy as a place to make, exhibit and debate art.
The highlight of the project is the construction of a Link Bridge that for the first time connects Burlington House (BH) and 6 Burlington Gardens (BG).
With its predominant position, spanning across the Academy’s courtyard, the Link Bridge is one of the project’s most visible elements. Not only does it play a practical role allowing the free movement of visitors between both buildings, but it can be considered a work of art itself due to its aesthetic qualities.
The design of the Link Bridge consists of a structure divided in two levels, connecting the lower ground floor of BH with the ground floor of BG, the transit of the public between levels being allowed by a staircase and a lift. The structure is made of fair-faced reinforced concrete (RC) of a light colour that contrasts against the dark shade of the existing brick façade.
The Link Bridge has essentially been designed as a cantilevered structure with a 750 mm-deep footing located on the BH end, which distributes the loads evenly to the ground and provides resistance against overturning.
From the foundations three parallel walls raise to the bridge’s upper level, helping to form the stair core and lift shaft while acting as cantilevered beams from where the bridge deck spans to BG. For structural purposes, the lift shaft has the function of transferring the loads of the bottom slab of the bridge to the footing and the ground.
The concrete mix used for the construction of the Link Bridge had to guarantee that all the design requirements were met. Therefore, a solution was sought which would provide not only structural stability but also fulfill the conditions detailed below.
Due to the walls being 250mm thick and the pours reaching up to 5m of height to minimise construction joints, the mix required high workability and should not involve vibration, as pokers would have been difficult to use in the small space that the designed reinforcement allowed.
Sequence of works
The first step in the construction of the Link Bridge was the creation of a suitable working space by cutting back the existing structure in the lower level of BH where the Link Bridge was meant to connect with the existing building. This was followed by the installation of sheet piling, in order to retain the ground and the contiguous delivery road, and the excavation and blinding of the foundations of the Link Bridge.
Simultaneously an opening was created in the existing brickwork in BG’s lower ground floor and ground floor to allow the construction of the box frame and the columns and foundations that would support the opposite end of the Link Bridge.