The Internet of Things has expanded into many Greenfield areas, and the construction industry is one of those.
IoT can be observed in construction monitoring where everything within the construction site is being checked to ensure the quality, and accuracy while being able to determine the progress of the construction project as well.
Areas that are often monitored includes the construction environment, quality control, negotiations, suppliers, and supplier performance, timeliness and meeting targets, costs, health and safety, materials, conformance with plans and specifications, and much more.
With the help of construction monitoring, project managers can get a clear view of the progress, and this gives them the ability to tackle the problems before they get worse. Likewise, with the help of IoT technology, it becomes possible to manage everything real-time, resulting in an overall improvement.
Better Connectivity within the Construction Site
Although technology, such as GPS is often utilized for location tracking, this doesn’t mean that it’s applicable in all industries. For one, it doesn’t perform well in highly populated areas or indoors. Thus, it’s not ideal for construction.
However, IoT technology makes effective communication and monitoring possible. Since construction sites aren’t typically Wi-Fi connected, and the use of cellular could be impractical once the costs add up, the types of connectivity that IoT can offer has been proven to be quite useful.
There are construction and field management software that helps even the disconnected industries to be connected again. This software allows users to take photos of the room, area, or location while they’re being constructed. Then, there’s also a proximity-based location system that runs on low-power, extensive area network and works quite well on construction sites.
Accurate Monitoring of Labor Hours
When a high-rise building is being constructed, hundreds of subcontractors are hired, and they are tasked to do everything, ranging from plumbing to glass work, to an HVAC system. Typically, a general contractor is billed for 6,000 man hours of labor, and it would be impossible to verify if that number is accurate or not.
Likewise, because a lot of contracts with subs are often cost plus, it can be pointless to dig into the deal just to determine its accuracy. Once labor tracking is implemented, and everyone on-site is required to wear sensors, then verifying labor hours becomes more accurate and efficient.
Locating Capital Materials
In most construction sites, they receive a lot of shipments on a regular basis, and these usually come with capital materials. When the one in-charge received a purchase of expensive light fixtures, and it was accidentally shipped to the wrong floor, then this would be a waste of time and money– the construction crews would end up spending time looking for these. With IoT tags, it will be easier to categorize and search for the equipment.
Safety on the Job
During an emergency situation, or the job site needs to be evacuated as soon as possible, it can be challenging for the contractor or general foreman to know how many people are currently on site, as there’s no way they can track that. However, with construction monitoring and IoT tracking, individuals on-site can be monitored right away, making the job for emergency responders a little more comfortable.
This can also be applied during road construction. Aside from using traffic safety cones, constant construction monitoring can dramatically reduce the number of deaths and injuries of road crews because of traffic accidents.
Security and Insurance Protection
Theft and vandalism happen a lot in construction sites, and simple IoT systems are capable of detecting suspicious movement and those who are in-charge can also consider activated their monitoring equipment to adequately secure the area. Likewise, there are a lot of instances where insurance loss takes place, because the construction material may rust, mold, or burn because of mishandling or exposure. An IoT enabled system would alert the construction company in case of damage occurs.
The Future of the Construction Industry
To improve the construction industry, even more, experts are in search of ways on how to utilize IoT in construction monitoring. By doing so, it would have a remarkable impact in a way where the construction industry will be more secure, protected, and efficient.
Chris is a Digital Media Strategy Consultant in Orlando, FL who provides national brands with freelance copywriting, PPC Management Services, and SEO strategies. Chris is also passionate emerging technologies and traffic safety issues.