Construction safety and efficiency across London is set to significantly improve following the completion of a pilot project to digitise the underground electricity cables and gas pipelines.
The pilot, undertaken by Energy Assets Networks (EAN) with grant funding from the Government’s Geospatial Commission, in partnership with the Greater London Authority (GLA), has vectorised the position of underground cables and pipes as part of the National Underground Asset Register (NUAR) initiative.
Data gathered by EAN includes pipe and cable size, material, location, route and connections, and can be displayed on a clickable map that reveals detailed asset plans and information.
The EAN London project is one of a number around the country mapping utility assets digitally to develop the NUAR platform.
“This data will ultimately form part of a vast national digital resource that highway authorities, utility companies and their contractors will be able to use to carry out works in the safest and most efficient way,” said Andrew Collin, network manager at Energy Assets Gas Networks.
“The information we’ve vectorised, and which will soon be uploaded to the live NUAR platform, pinpoints the depth and position of our cable and pipe assets across London within an accuracy of a few centimetres. This rich data will enhance the technical support we can provide to customers for planned developments, while at the same time reducing the risk of accidental – and potentially dangerous – electricity and gas ‘strikes’ by operatives during site works.”
“This activity provided a valuable learning experience for EAN as an asset owner,” said Collin. “We now have the knowledge and technical know-how to adopt a ‘vector first’ approach to digitising and sharing asset data. We also continue to contribute to working groups engaged in the wider national project.”