BAM join venture to tackle weather risk in construction

13 October, 2020

British start-up, EHAB, leads a consortium of world class UK-based organisations to improve weather-related risk management and compensation handling across the UK’s £110bn construction sector.

● EHAB close £320k pre-seed raise led by Insurtech Gateway, alongside Startup Funding Club and Lan to Capital

● Revolutionising weather risk management with IoT, DLT and Parametric Insurance

● Piloting technology with BAM Nuttall and Ferrovial Construction on 5 construction sites

Climate change is making it more difficult to predict weather patterns and when combined with the upward trend of extreme weather, construction is being exposed to greater levels of weather risk, the costs of which already run into the billions globally each year. EHAB is a venture backed startup using big data, distributed ledger technology (DLT) and internet of things (IoT) to streamline weather risk management for the construction industry.

“EHAB are transforming how large construction projects are managed by building the first fully-automated, data-driven risk management solution for this industry. We are very impressed how the team are approaching such a complex challenge.” Richard Chattock, CEO, Insurtech Gateway

EHAB are the lead partner on The Weather Ledger, a collaborative 12 month project funded by Innovate UK, which brings together world leading innovators to demonstrate the value of leveraging DLT and IoT in the construction industry. BAM Nuttall and Ferrovial Construction offer critical industry insights and pilots for demonstrating the impact of the project, Clyde & Co. provide specialist input to build EHAB’s legally-compliant ‘smart contracts’, Connected Places Catapult are driving standardisation and uptake across the sector, and Digital Catapult provide technical review and advice on IoT and blockchain technology.

“Agile and fresh partners such as EHAB can objectively examine the way we do things in the industry and work on how to overcome the embedded behaviours and practices that are stifling productivity growth.” Colin Evison, Head of Innovation, BAM Nuttall

The appetite for innovation is evident throughout both Ferrovial Construction and BAM Nuttall, with engagement from a plethora of stakeholders, including foremen, senior agents and heads of departments. The platform is now being tested live on 5 projects across the UK and it’s clear that such cutting edge advancements are only made possible with buy-in from across these construction partners.

“Our construction partners in BAM and Ferrovial Construction have been a pleasure to work with, and absolutely integral to the development of this solution. It shows the huge potential that innovative collaboration has to offer the industry.” Josh Graham, CEO, EHAB

Recently published discussion papers, authored by Digital Catapult, on the topics of Industry Insights and User Insights provide a snapshot into the UK construction sectors largest challenges. Based on industry expertise both papers provide further reading on the vast potential that The Weather Ledger can offer in light of the sector’s need to modernise, digitise and keep healthy profit margins.

"Clyde & Co is delighted to participate in the collaborative efforts to develop the Weather Ledger as a legal solution to weather matters in construction contracting. As a law firm which is at the forefront of smart contracts and technological innovation we see the Weather Ledger as becoming the go to method of dealing with weather related events in construction contracts ." David Hansom, Partner, Clyde & Co.

The solution uses weather data from sensors placed on site to track hyperlocal weather. This data is stored in a distributed ledger; shared between all the parties to the contract, and smart, legally compliant contracts, trigger if predefined thresholds are breached. This expedites several layers of admin and reduces the likelihood of dispute as the infrastructure of a distributed ledger ensures the dataset is untampered and therefore reflects reality. The additional features of the platform see decades of weather data and a risk matrix combining to provide key insight for planners and bid writers, helping them avoid weather risk when scheduling. The final piece of this solution uses the same smart contract technology to offer a smart policy. This is a parametric insurance policy which helps contractors cap their exposure to risk and benefits from the same streamlined approach, ensuring that delay costs can be mitigated and help projects smooth their profit curve and get back on track.

“The value of innovation in our sector is far-reaching and highly beneficial to all stakeholders. This is why innovation is a strategic priority for Ferrovial Construction. The team at EHAB have created a tool that will enable adhesion to programme, mitigate risk and join all parties together in recorded data in real time for commercial benefit to all. We are extremely happy to assist with the investment and testing phase of such a useful tool.” Elena Perea, Agent, Ferrovial Construction and partner lead to Weather Ledger project.

Weather is an ever-present topic in British life and industry. Current risk management strategies are inefficient, and in most cases, inadequate. Through The Weather Ledger, companies can improve their visibility of ultra-local weather conditions, use big data to plan schedules more optimally and mitigate the impacts of weather delay. This will lead to increased productivity, reduced expenditure, improved cash flow, and more-timely project delivery.

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