The Internet of Things is slowly but surely revolutionizing how people live. Its application is vast and traverses almost every industry. When you think of connecting any machine, site or system to the internet so that.
You can at any given time know what is happening, then the only limitation to what IoT can do or not do is in our imagination. For the construction industry, here is a look at some of the practical applications of IoT in the sector in 2019.
IoT for Building Information Modeling
Building Information Modelling is the process used to obtain intelligent 3D models of buildings. It is a method used during the design and construction phase of buildings to model the structures and the systems so that any changes made can be updated all at the same time in the affected plans.
When the scope of its application is increased, Building Information Modeling can be used as a catalyst in the design and construction of smart buildings.
Upon the completion of a building, the data obtained from the sensors in the building can be easily integrated into the BIM and such can be used to gain insights into things such as the movement of people within the building, the temperature trends and the energy usage patterns.
This data can then be analyzed and used to improve similar smart structures in the future. This is a concept that construction firms have been using in the past few years, and its adoption is expected to increase in 2019 and beyond.
IoT for Remote Construction Operations
With IoT technology, it is possible to hook up a machine to the internet using a wireless or a physical connection and then issue instructions to the device remotely.
This has made it possible for construction workers to send machines to sites that would ordinarily be accessible to men or would be too dangerous to work in. In the same manner, wearable technologies like Google Glass can be used by construction workers to access on-site manuals in a hands-free way.
IoT for the Design and Construction of Green Buildings
The construction industry is responsible for up to 40% of all the landfill wastes generated in the United States. This is very unfortunate, and it has made stakeholders start thinking critically about sustainable architecture and construction.
However, the green building movement is now more than just ensuring that a lot of construction wastes doesn’t find their way to the landfills. It is now at the core of design and engineering of construction systems that will reduce their environmental impacts through efficient energy management.
The green buildings coming up recently are being designed with capabilities such as shutting down resources in rooms or building sections that are not occupied, automatically opening and closing louvers to let in just the required amount of natural light.
These are just a few examples of how IoT is being used in green buildings, and with more awareness about the need to use energy efficiently and save the environment, this is a trend that is likely to keep on in 2019 and beyond.
IoT for Supplying Construction Replenishment
It is possible to have a system at a construction site that can count units of supply with specific labels on the site. When the count drops below a given number, the system can make an automatic request for the amounts to be replenished.
This will, in turn, reduce the idle time for the project, thus increasing the chances of the project being completed in good time. The costs will also be contained since the contractor will not need to make unnecessary purchases unless they know exactly what needs to be replenished.
Intelligent prefab constructions
Prefabricated constructions is not a new concept, but with the Internet of Things technology, there is room to make tremendous improvements in such buildings.
The use of prefab construction components have always been faster and more cost-effective compared the traditional building approaches, and it also comes with the benefit of generating minimal construction waste.
But the use of prefabs has always been only for small construction works and not for large commercial buildings. However, the use of IoT technologies is making this possible, and it is something you will see more and more of in 2019 and beyond.
A simple way through which this is being done is to use RFID sensors. With this, it is possible for prefab parts to be tracked in the supply chain so that all the necessary components are availed where they are needed and at the time they are required.
This will not just help to ensure that all the prefab components are in place, but also ensure that delays downstream are minimized. Additionally, the data can always be fed into the BIM system after component installation to allow for real-time rendering as the construction goes on.
Tracking construction tools and equipment
With IoT technology, it will be possible for contractors and construction site workers to tell with certainty where the excavators are and which equipment may not be in use.
Management companies will use a complex system of traditional construction equipment like traffic barriers outfitted with sensors to keep workers safer and equipment use more efficient.
The technology will help the industry to reduce the time typically wasted in locating misplaced items, not to mention the cost of replacing lost items. With the use of GPS data, all the fleet can be monitored in real time.
This will not just increase a lot of efficiency in tracking and managing the construction equipment, but also will reduce the manpower and the costs associated with caring and maintaining the equipment.
Power and Fuel Saving
Saving power and fuel is a significant concern for construction workers because if not checked, it can inflate project costs to unimaginable levels. With the use of IoT technologies, construction sites can collect and send information regarding the amount of power used and at what times.
This can then be used to identify power saving opportunities and to optimize operations for better efficiency. IoT can also be used in the construction machines to send information on idle time so that the on and off periods can be optimized for better fuel consumption and without jeopardizing the project deadlines.