Providing the increasing services demanded by a growing population cannot be achieved using existing UK infrastructure, warned Gaist’s head of business development, Ian Job
Ian Job highlighted that significant innovation in key areas will be vital for supporting the UK infrastructure sector as it moves towards future technologies such as smart cities and smart grids and to meet cost and commercial challenges.
Job said: “There are over 800,000km of sewer and water supply pipes in the UK that have an estimated average age of 70 years.
“One of the biggest challenges facing the utilities sector right now is that this ageing infrastructure needs to be upgraded and replaced to provide Britain’s population with the services they will need.
“A key focus for Gaist is supporting providers as they move through this process. Making projects more efficient – from the office or onsite – is really important to us and we think it is crucial to get work right first time, to minimise disruption.”
Job added: “With an increasing focus on green technologies and initiatives, we want to reduce the effects that this work has on the surrounding environment so that as little time as possible is spent disturbing the highway and causing disruption to the public, while helping to ensure works are completed to the required standards. Having the tools that Gaist provides is absolutely necessary to be able to achieve this.”
Gaist’s unique digital twin of the UK’s road and pathways infrastructure creates a complete and precise view of the highway network, allowing utility providers to plan and execute projects with an extensive knowledge of their working environment, without the need for costly on-site surveys.
Delivering surveys and professional services to over 30 Local Authorities, Gaist has been referenced for its innovative technologies several times in the House of Commons Transport Committee report: Local roads funding and maintenance: filling the gap.
In the past, utilities providers relied on visual inspection but now, with the tools provided by Gaist, providers are able to have an in-depth knowledge and analysis of the state of the road from their computer before any projects commence.
Job noted that whilst Gaist’s technologies have been widely utilised by Local Authorities and highway companies over the past decade, Gaist is now focused on breaking into the utilities and telecoms sectors and providing this industry with the same benefits that others have seen.
Job concluded: “With ever-increasing demands being placed on utility providers, now is the opportune time for Gaist to expand into other areas and the utilities industry is at a perfect stage where our technology can do a lot to support their work and reduce costs.”
A growing population, coupled with next-generation technologies enabling the future of smart cities, means that demands placed on utility providers are not likely to subside.