Sustainable infrastructure projects fueled by Oracle innovation

Brian Wienke, Product Marketing Director | January 6, 2022

An increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius is the threshold, according to the UN climate body, that would mean the difference between livable and never seen before devastation.

Whether you believe that an increased global temperature is to blame for the recent rise in natural disasters or not, the reality of these events results in loss of life and economic impacts.

At a time when infrastructure projects look to rebuild economies, create jobs, and improve quality of life, how we build is an important component to what we build. Preventing continuous increases in carbon emissions is a good practice and will require efforts and changes from every industry, and at every stage of the asset lifecycle.

The construction industry has not been viewed as a pioneer of sustainability measures. But that looks to be changing, possibly due to pressure from investors. It has been estimated that construction accounts for nearly 40 percent of global emissions, 28 percent of which comes from raw-material manufacturing, according to McKinsey.

If left unchecked, carbon output from construction could grow over the next 30 years due to demands of an expanding population.

To effectively drive green infrastructure construction, a whole-lifecycle framework will be required that may include new policies and regulations. PwC stated in their blog Global Infrastructure Trends that “multilateral development banks (MDBs) are prioritizing inclusive, resilient and sustainable technology-driven infrastructure.”

Public agencies should create a prioritized list of programs and projects that will attract sustainable infrastructure investments.

Technology that can help construction reduce carbon

Predicting natural disasters or other effects climate change could have on assets is a difficult task and could pose a challenge for investors. Smart applications, purpose-built for construction, can improve decisions, provide insights, and help mitigate risks.

“Technology offers every organization in the world an opportunity to help reduce carbon emissions,” said Richard Petley, senior vice president and managing director, technology and cloud, Oracle UK and Western Europe.

Oracle Construction and Engineering software helps by streamlining project management and construction time—the less time a project takes, the smaller its environmental impact.

Scenario planning tools in Oracle Primavera Cloud Service allow you to perform multiple what-if models to better plan, even when uncertainty exists. Portfolio optimization lets agencies prioritize projects and create alternate plans in the case of blockers.

And budget planning and funding functionality allows for tracking funding sources and how the money is being spent for better transparency and traceability.

Oracle Primavera Unifier’s business process automation speeds up review and approval time, ensures nothing falls through the cracks, and drives compliance. Dashboards can show key metrics by project or vendor, making it easier to furnish reports to governments and shareholders for better transparency.

The Oracle Construction Intelligence Cloud Service uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to leverage the vast amount of data from an agency’s past projects to predict potential risks on current projects, giving you insights you can act upon and enables data-informed decisions.

Connecting people, processes, and data across all teams and stakeholders is crucial to project momentum and avoiding risk. A good example of this is the Mayflower Wind project off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard in New England.

Oracle Aconex software helped shorten the time to route and track the comprehensive permitting process at the federal, state, regional, and local government levels by up to 60 percent.

With multiple government agencies and vendors involved in the project, “it is hard to even imagine managing the permitting process without Oracle Aconex,” says Weronika Nowak, document control manager for Mayflower Wind.

When completed, the farm has the potential to generate over 2,000 megawatts (MW) of low-cost clean energy and has a planned asset life of 30-plus years, making it critical that the wind farm operate as efficiently as possible to maximize the life of the equipment and continue to offset carbon emissions.

Doing our part: Helping industries reduce carbon

The Oracle Industries Innovation Lab in Reading, UK, will open in the spring of 2022. At the lab, customers and partners will experiment with innovative strategies to lower carbon outputs in alignment with UN, British government, and Oracle corporate goals.

The materials for the lab facility—from carpeting and wood to concrete and steel—are sourced in ways that reduce carbon. By saving so much carbon, the site will offset its emissions and demonstrate carbon reduction strategies for customers.

Oracle’s innovation labs in Chicago and Reading will continue working closely with the construction industry, along with utilities, communications, food and beverage, hospitality, and transportation.

Geoff Roberts, Oracle’s director of energy industry strategy who will manage the new lab, says smaller carbon footprints start with the basics of construction.

“Take steel and concrete, which are only two elements of a major project. We’re starting to see low-carbon choices in both materials. Construction environments must be sustainable throughout.”

Oracle Construction and Engineering, the global leader in construction management software and project portfolio management solutions, helps you connect your teams, processes, and data across the project and asset lifecycle. Drive efficiency and control in project delivery with proven solutions for project controls, construction scheduling, portfolio management, BIM/CDE, construction payment management, and more.