The adoption of IoT technology in construction is helping project managers address perennial problems while streamlining routine operations. When facing reduced levels of productivity, slim margins, and tight schedules, IoT solutions and digitalization can help. Not only can IoT speed up and simplify certain construction operations, it can also help protect those team members who are undertaking labour on the ground.
Let’s take a closer look at how IoT can create a safer and more efficient construction environment.
IoT allows for an unprecedented level of oversight as connected devices continue to evolve and provide sophisticated management systems, which overlook resources and workers in real-time from remote points of view. With increased insight into a project’s construction, managers can monitor the safety of their workers, automate machinery, and better manage their resources.
All of these factors can affect the budget of a project, and IoT can also provide practical strategies and advanced budgeting to reduce project costs. How? Real-time tracking of on- and off-site contingencies like equipment, building materials, and labour. This ensures that scheduled objectives are always met, thus maximizing value and reducing any cost-prohibitive idle time.
This type of overview is facilitated by real-time site map tools that can locate such variables across the work site while also being able to highlight any dangerous areas, ensuring worker safety. This is aided by GPS systems and/or through hardware monitoring devices fitted to cranes that can connect to IoT software, which can even track how long certain tasks take to meet completion. Project managers can then utilize that information to identify problem areas and further increase efficiency.
IoT devices can provide real-time monitoring of building supplies and materials as they travel along the supply chain. IoT solutions bring together mobile devices, cloud software, and radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags. RFID tags are physical devices attached to resources throughout their time in the supply chain that can deliver updates concerning location, levels of inventory, their usage status, and even the conditions of their quality.
The monitoring of resources doesn’t end when they arrive at the construction site, though. In fact, sensor devices can continue to upload data regarding environmental conditions and material quality so that managers and workers can make informed decisions. Materials which rely on a certain temperature to be effectively utilized, like concrete for example, can be continuously monitored via wireless temperature loggers. These loggers can then send alerts to managers regarding whether the concrete is ready to use. As a result, work can be completed as soon as possible while mitigating the risk of wasted materials and time (using resources in nonoptimal conditions could mean that a building process needs to be restarted).
However, there will always be some level of waste on a construction site and IoT can help with that too. Part of owning a construction business involves the responsible recycling and disposal of waste. Wireless monitoring of waste levels can be compared to historical data which can then be used to determine the most economical disposal techniques while also considering fuel and logistical costs.
The value of monitoring and tracking resources from purchasing to arrival and through until disposal lies in its economic soundness. The monitoring systems used in construction also add immeasurable value by protecting human labourers. IoT wearables allow managers to focus on the health of their employees by tracking variables like blood pressure and heart rate. GPS tracking of heavy machinery and the identification of dangerous areas on the work site through IoT solutions also limit work-related incidents and prevent safety hazards from occurring.
How IoT Can Assist Project Managers
IoT in construction gives managers unprecedented levels of transparency in project oversight, facilitates economically and environmentally superior resource management, and helps to project workers in one of the most dangerous industries. Each of these factors alone make an argument for the utilization of IoT in construction, but together the advantage is inarguable.
To learn more about how IoT is transforming construction efforts and all kinds of industries, contact us at Evolution Data.