Circular data for a circular economy

As a company, it has always been our goal to help achieve a more circular economy. Here is what we have discovered so far.
A circle in green forest representing a circular green economy



Qflow has been deployed on over £3bn of mixed use, residential and commercial high-rise in London, and here’s what we learned:

  1. On average 60% of material and waste data is either lost or incorrectly recorded
  2. Construction teams waste a ridiculous amount of time chasing and recording that data (in some cases up to 80% of their time)
  3. Qflow can help increase project profits by 14.9%

The Project and Challenges

The commitment to achieve various sustainable certifications, from BREEAM to LEED is an admirable one. But the impact of evidencing this sustainable construction has resulted in construction teams drowning in data. From proving the sustainable origin of timber, to ensuring alignment with the WRAP quality protocol for recycled aggregates, teams are capturing on average 240 waste and material delivery tickets a month, with some larger sites handling over a thousand!

This process takes time and causes stress among the team when it is found to be a flawed system resulting in re-work and the inevitable programme delays. Ultimately, this does not help teams move towards a circular economy.

The Solution

Qflow was deployed on a range of developments, from commercial high rises, to luxury residential apartments. Qflow’s app is used to snap a picture of every delivery note that arrives at the site gates. Our Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology combined with Natural Language Processing (NLP) then analyses each ticket and identifies if it is complete and complies with the project specifications. If information is missing or wrong, Qflow sends an alert to the appropriate team requesting them to follow up with the provider to obtain the correct and complete information.

The Benefits 

By automating the capture of every single material delivery and waste transfer to and from your construction site there is the obvious benefit of time saved typing up all those pieces of paper, and making sure everything is captured (there is no opportunity for delivery notes to get lost in pockets, or typed up incorrectly) turning that 40% of data capture into 100%*. 

By analysing this data in real-time, any missing or incorrect data can be swiftly identified and followed up; eliminating the stressful end of the month audit. 

Most importantly, this real-time identification of non-complaint deliveries reduces the risk of re-work being required, which in turn reduces the risk of programme delays.

The cumulation of all these benefits is a saving of 0.3% of the project budget. Of this, 38% comes from direct time savings and avoided costs in managing non-compliances, and 62% comes from avoided programme delays. With Qflow eliminating this unnecessary expenditure, this equates to a 14.8% increase in profit.

Moving forward

Accurately tracking materials and waste on construction sites is just the beginning. Qflow’s machine learning team are working with this and other data sets to unpick the complex interdependencies within the construction and asset management process, making it possible to identify opportunities to not only improve productivity, but also reduce waste generation all together. We are working hard to help the industry achieve a more ‘Circular Economy’ within construction, and we are excited by the additional opportunities this creates. 

Want to explore how Qflow can help track waste across your project? Reach out to our discovery team on info@qualisflow.com to arrange a demo or schedule one through our demo page.

*Qflow can only process data captured by snapping a picture in the app, data not captured will not be processed. Qflow uses machine learning to process data, we work hard to continually improve the accuracy of this system, and we recommend you maintain your existing audit checks.

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