Using What3Words for Site Navigation

Clear directions to very specific locations across large construction sites can be challenging, particularly in emergency situations. The GBHP 17,000 square metre Royal Victoria Hospital Maternity construction project, located within a large hospital complex, is the first site in Northern Ireland to introduce the What3Words app as a means to improving communications and emergency responses to and across the whole construction project.

Used by the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and Mountain Rescue Teams and currently being progressed with the PSNI and NI Fire & Rescue Teams, What3Words is increasingly seen as the key resource to enable the emergency services respond more efficiently to incidents.

What3Words is a smartphone app which gives every 3×3 square metres of the globe a unique three-word code, enabling direct navigation to pinpoint specific building entrances, exact meeting points or precise locations. This has proven to be an extremely useful resource for our site. With benefits such as quicker, simpler and more accurate directions for visitors, deliveries and emergency services to the site, and also internal communications within the project.

In addition, members of the GBHP site team have also identified wider personal benefits of having the app which offers reassurance that their location can be pinpointed in more unfamiliar places or where directions might be confusing. These include, for example, better preparation for emergency directions to those with homes in rural areas, the advantages of the app for vehicle breakdowns when commuting or travelling, and greater confidence in sharing exact locations when pursuing outdoor leisure activities.

Footer Reference

Monitor report. Graham Bam Healthcare Partnership. County Antrim. December 2019.


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