6 IoT Advantages For The Construction IndustryOctober 5, 2017
If you haven’t realized that the Internet of Things (IoT) in the construction industry is the next industrial revolution, you haven’t been paying attention! IoT is transforming just about every aspect of the building industry. IoT is involved in how we design structures, estimate and bid construction projects, build them, manage them and even enjoy them. Here are 6 major areas of impact and advantage that IoT has in the construction industry:
Building information modeling (BIM) is phase one. IoT is impacting construction from the initial step of creating a design. Intelligent design with 3D modeling does much more than improve efficiency and accuracy with design. Updating of plans occurs in real-time. This solves the problem of lag-time between an update and delivery of new information to a job site. This saves valuable time and resources, implementing new design elements immediately.
But BIM is even more sophisticated and useful well beyond the design and building phase. Even after a structure is in use, BIM can provide beneficial modeling for building managers such as patterns in energy usage. Many new buildings have IoT sensors installed that monitor an array of building systems. Data is collected and analyzed regularly. This empowers building managers to strategically handle operations, improve energy efficiency, anticipate a particular pattern or trend, and optimize the capabilities of a building’s heating and cooling system, water supply, security, access, etc.
2. Greener Building:
Even though 87% of consumers are inspired to make green choices, market research data reveals that only 33% actively make green purchases. There are two main reasons purchasing behavior is not matching consumer desire: cost and convenience. When it comes to a big ticket construction project, green building practices are great selling points. And IoT is making it possible to deliver what the public wants.
The environmental movement has resulted in a firestorm of interest in greener building practices. Engineering with IoT advantages means designing a smart building that recognizes when it is unoccupied. Unnecessary systems shut down automatically, conserving energy and natural resources. Intelligent window designs feature smarter operation than a simple remote control or timer-activated blinds. When IoT meets window treatments the result is a system that can detect natural lighting or temperature parameters, closing louvers automatically to conserve energy when things start heating up or getting a bit too chilly.
3. Smart PreFab:
Including pre-fabricated components in a building project is a cost-effective strategy that also contributes to a quicker completion time. Traditionally, large, complex structures were difficult to coordinate as pre-fab projects, making these advantages out of reach for many commercial projects. IoT has provided solutions.
RFID sensors make it possible to track pre-fab components through every step of the supply chain. This makes it logistically possible to coordinate an entire pre-fab structure regardless of size and scope of a project. Intelligent pre-fab mitigates job site delays and empowers greater project control with real-time possibility for design adjustment at any phase of a building project.
4. Management & Administration:
The old adage, time is money, rings true for every business. Where the construction industry is concerned, wasted time can be disastrous. With new technologies, IoT saves time which saves money. And when that can mean saving downtime of costly heavy equipment critical to a project, that can mean saving an incredible amount of money.
Sensors on heavy equipment allow for remote monitoring which is a plus for security, maintenance, and deployment. A company can know when a sensor detects a vibration or temperature fluctuation that could be a pre-cursor to mechanical problems. An abnormal movement pattern can alert a company to the possibility of theft. Knowing exactly where an asset is in real-time, and whether it is sitting idle or in-use, enhances deployment efficiency of assets.
Then there are the many and varied tools of the trade. Heavy equipment may get most of the glory but no construction job gets done without basic equipment like drills. Every single tool and piece of machinery can become a smarter tool. Embedded sensors alert operators when a repair is needed. In fact, a tool can actually be smart enough to schedule its own appointment for service. Delays caused by equipment or tool failure is a thing of the past thanks to the IoT.
5. Smarter Exteriors:
Exterior spaces of a building project have IoT capabilities as well. Commercial buildings have parking lots, garages, and public spaces. All of these areas need lighting. Why install a traditional street light or exterior light when smart lighting does more than just enhance security with illumination?
Smarter exterior lighting systems are available that are packed with sensors connected to IoT. Lights self-adjust according to the data gathered. Whatever the time of day, season or weather, lighting is automatically operating at optimum energy-efficiency. Some cities that have adopted smart exterior lighting systems have reported as much as 40% savings on energy cost.
6. Cloud Connection:
Many new buildings today are connected to the Cloud. The ever-elusive cyber-cloud is, perhaps, the most widely used IoT that is often misunderstood and taken for granted. Consider just two benefits of a smart building connected to the Cloud:
- HVAC systems save time and money, operating automatically. Building management can analyze data to tweak an HVAC system’s programming that, over time, can create great savings where energy costs are concerned.
- Foundations equipped with sensors are regularly reporting to building managers about the quality of a building’s structural integrity. The load a foundation is bearing can be constantly monitored, assisting building managers and construction project managers in preventing costly and dangerous structural failures.
Is your construction company enjoying all the benefits and advantages of IoT with your building projects? If not, contact us so we can usher you into the new IoT industrial revolution.