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Revolutionising weather assessment practices for SMP Alliance with EHAB

EHAB helps Alliance of National Highways, Fluor, WSP, Jacobs, BAM, Morgan Sindall, Costain and Balfour Beatty bring data and science to weather risk assessments across 1000km+ of motorway upgrade schemes. 


Executive Summary: 

In March 2023, EHAB, the first weather risk management platform for construction, started its journey with SMP Alliance, a modern enterprise comprising National Highways, Fluor, WSP, Jacobs Engineering, Costain, Balfour Beatty, BAM and Morgan Sindall. So far the engagement has focused on the QSRA (Quantitative Schedule Risk Analysis) elements of SMP Alliance's ongoing motorway upgrade schemes. Potential further expansion of the EHAB platform features have been identified to further enhance project risk outcomes.


The organisations:

  • EHAB: A leader in weather risk management, offering an advanced weather model, planning tools, smart contract solutions, and parametric insurance. 
  • SMP Alliance: An enterprise established to design and deliver a large programme of motorway upgrade works for National Highways. The Alliance has the vision to be industry leading in making infrastructure safer, greener and evermore efficient for everyone.
  • Deltek: Deltek is the company behind Acumen Risk; a risk management software that works to support the scheduler's efforts to model, manage, and mitigate project risk. 


The Challenge: 

SMP Alliance's motorway upgrade projects, like any other construction activities, are at the mercy of the weather. The unpredictable nature of weather, exacerbated by climatic changes, can drastically impact schedule timelines, safety, and costs. Reflecting its drive to embrace innovation, the Alliance sought a more advanced proactive and scientific approach compared to traditional and mostly reactionary methods of managing weather risks.  This is where EHAB and the integration with Acumen Risk came into the picture.


The Solution: 

EHAB’s weather risk management platform was designed specifically for this purpose. Its tools help forecast the impact of potential weather disruptions in the long term, giving SMP Alliance an opportunity to mitigate the risks before they materialise. It all started with the implementation of a new enhanced QSRA process for the Alliance's ongoing road upgrade projects. EHAB's QSRA features see granular weather data being compiled into a climate adjusted dataset. Planned activities are analysed and the probability of downtime calculated.

SMP Alliance is able to simply download risk calendars, upload them into Acumen Risk platform and run their QSRA process with the most accurate dataset for weather exposure available to them. This is critical as it provides all parties with the required assurance of the end date. It also ensures the parties to the contract have an appropriate level of risk in the pot. Given the constantly shifting nature of projects this is essential to protect margins and ensure the project is delivered on time.

Greg Lord, the Alliance’s Construction Planning Lead, said: “I see the EHAB tool as a platform for modern projects and organisations who wish to leverage data and science when assessing weather risk, instead of relying on broad assumptions, with the flexibility to utilise project experience. By utilising EHAB we have been able to quantify the risk more accurately and it has led to much better conversations and decisions around how we can manage and mitigate this important risk”. This illustrates the power of high quality data and simple integrations that can provide actionable insights to key decision makers.


Implementation and Results: 

The data incorporated into the QSRA process has been used monthly on every project operating in SMP Alliance’s scope of works. This has led to clear identification of weather risk, where it has consistently featured in the top five risks. The enhanced process has ensured the team have greater confidence in their delivery dates and an understanding ahead of time of what to expect in various sections and areas of the national project delivery of works. 

“We have been using EHAB in our QSRA sessions, which we undertake regularly on each of our schemes. Using agreed weather trigger parameters specific to each operation we are able to better understand the weather-related risk based on the timing of operations and location. These outputs are used to provide a more calculated provision of time risk allowances providing assurance to our key milestones. Outputs also make you consider about whether the timings of operations can be optimised to de-risk the programme.” Greg Lord, Construction Planning Lead, SMP Alliance.


The Future: 

EHAB and SMP Alliance have clear targets for reduction in exposure.
The partnership is focused on: 

  • QSRA: to gain certainty on risk pots and end dates
  • Coming next is to examine:
    • Short Term Planning: To reduce cancellations and improve wellbeing
    • Mitigations & Risk Drivers: To identify challenges ahead of issues and do robust cost benefit analysis of the potential implementation 

We’ll publish the results of this to share the learnings across the highways sector. The objective of this first large project partnership is to establish the value in risk reduction and cost savings. With this information it is clear that EHAB can become a business-as-usual tool for major highways works to build more resilience into ways of working. With the accelerating climate crisis here to stay, every part of the supply chain must take weather risk seriously, and the EHAB platform provides automated processes to enable proactive, data driven decision making.

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