Challenge 1:
Delays by Design.

“He studied gravity, then inverted it.”
Francesc Prats, fifth generation sculptor and stone cutter

La Sagrada Familia was originally intended to be a simple Roman Catholic church. The scale and grandeur of its design drastically evolved, seeing it become designated as a cathedral and then, in 2010, declared a minor basilica – defined as such due to its architectural beauty.

Much of La Sagrada Familia’s delays stem from the mind-bending complexity of Antoni Gaudi’s design, not helped by his untimely death in 1926 before the build was even a quarter complete.  

[Gaudi] turned gravity on its head. He wasn‘t the first to do so…but Gaudí did it in a way and on a scale that no one had done before,” says sculptor Francesc Prats. Inspired by nature, there’s not one 90-degree angle in all La Sagrada Familia.  

The use of advanced geometric forms such as hyperboloids, paraboloids and helicoids are a primary source of the basilica’s complexity. They require precise engineering and construction techniques that were groundbreaking at the time and remain challenging today. 

A planner’s 21st century perspective

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Navigating delays with generative AI

To realise intricate architecture, planners’ schedules must be agile enough to account for every delay and dependency if all the moving parts are to come together.

Generative AI makes this possible with...

Schedule optimisation

Generative AI can generate optimised construction schedules that account for various factors such as task dependencies, resource constraints and weather conditions. By simulating different scheduling scenarios and considering potential risks and uncertainties, generative AI helps planners develop robust schedules that are less susceptible to delays.

Additionally, AI-driven scheduling tools can continuously monitor project progress and automatically adjust schedules in real-time to prevent delays caused by deviations from the plan.

Hypothetical Use Case

With some 250 staff working on the build, schedule optimisation means the right people are on site and have everything they need to action activities as planned.

Critical path protection

Generative AI identifies paths with the biggest mitigation capacity to reduce the risk of delay and drive projects forwards.

With full transparency of dependencies, critical paths can be protected to ensure milestones are met whilst lesser activities can be reassessed against project parameters and severity of risk to maintain momentum.

Hypothetical Use Case

Joan Vila Grau was commissioned in 1999 to design and create all of La Sagrada Familia’s stained-glass windows. Critical path protection means his fragile two-storey windows are installed on time.

Delay recovery

Generative AI identifies blockers and gets to the root of the delay as the first step in recovery. Through inspection of a specified activity and tracking through predecessors, the start delay is revealed.

Not only is the impact of the delay made evident—such as possible timespan increase and more non-working days—but the perpetrators too. Generative AI is able to calculate delay contributions and the activities, suppliers or contractors who are the most significant culprits.

Hypothetical Use Case

The vaulted ceiling has a highly resistant design made up of thin masonry timbrel. Delay recovery ensures that if the layers of overlapping tiles aren’t ready for the fast-setting mortar, the impact is calculated and the culprit revealed.

Find out more about the other struggles La Sagrada Familia has had.

Choose which Challenge to learn more about.

Learn how to use Al to avoid delays, prevent cost overrun and accelerate capital projects.