How IoT Can Modernize Your Construction Projects

Written by Amir Azhari, Chief Commercial Officer at Brickeye

The sound of water often paints a peaceful image – unless it’s pouring onto fresh curing concrete and pooling in hallways at a construction site and creating a less than serene atmosphere. From developers and general contractors to insurance carriers, water damage prevention is a top priority, especially when it comes to high-rise projects. The last thing project managers want is a costly leak compromising infrastructures and damaging assets! 

Rapidly emerging construction IoT (Internet of Things) technology, such as smart and connected sensors and devices, enable visibility throughout a project’s lifecycle, providing real-time data and insights into job site assets. This means that a leaky ceiling can be detected and addressed immediately, rather than go unnoticed and become a major problem. Although there is generally an upfront investment to equip your project with construction IoT solutions, the long-term benefits of monitoring project assets enable stakeholders to prevent costly damages.

Easily installable, depending on the type of infrastructure, construction IoT sensors can be mounted on surfaces or embedded inside concrete prior to the curing process. Coupled with a transmitter node for wireless communication, sensors convey data directly to any smart device with 100 per cent remote connectivity and situational awareness.

By utilizing construction IoT technology and prioritizing early detection, project stakeholders can ensure the protection of their infrastructure during and post-construction. 

Water risks to consider

From leaks and burst pipes to infiltration, water jeopardizes construction sites in more ways than one. With construction IoT sensors distributed throughout the job site, stakeholders can be immediately alerted to the presence of water with temperature monitoring, leak and infiltration detection, and flow monitoring – plus there are auto shut-off controls to prevent water from traveling where it is not wanted.

Construction IoT sensors ensure early detection, meaning workers are made aware of a potential hazard the moment it happens – if not before it even occurs! If a water leak happens late Friday night at a job site without IoT technology, workers likely won’t be aware of the problem until they step foot on the premises Monday morning. In this case, by the time workers assess the damage, the construction site may have already incurred costly damages.

With construction IoT sensors in place – through wireless-connected devices installed at the job site that transmit data directly to any smart device – project stakeholders can receive water detection alerts and access automatic shutoff controls digitally, resolving the problem with the click of a button on their smart device before the issue worsens and delays the project. IoT sensors take guesswork out of the equation, allowing workers to leave job sites on Friday without any ‘what if’ concerns. 

Concrete and job site risks

Water isn’t the only threat. Job sites also face a range of risks, such as environmental hazards, vibrations, and hazardous gases or fumes. With construction IoT technology, project managers gain a multidimensional look into site conditions to improve quality, safety, and productivity – ultimately saving on warranty costs and insurance deductibles by preventing issues and avoiding costly delays. This technology allows project stakeholders to take advantage of preventative maintenance, rather than reactive maintenance.

Building materials also need to be monitored. From cracking concrete to moist lumber, these seemingly small risks can compromise the project as a whole if not properly addressed at the time they occur. Concrete brings a unique set of challenges, especially in western Canada, needing specific temperatures in order to be cured properly. Construction IoT sensors can provide real-time insights into concrete temperature, maturity, and strength, along with full visibility into temperature differentials and relative humidity. With these material insights, workers are able to move faster through the construction process with certainty that assets are in good shape.

Conclusion

With water threats top of mind for many project managers, now is the time to take precautions. Though there is an upfront cost in equipping your project with construction IoT technology, stakeholders gain long-term cost savings and peace of mind knowing their assets are being diligently monitored. By integrating construction IoT technology into the construction process, project stakeholders have the power to safeguard the lifecycle of their infrastructures for years to come.

How IoT Can Modernize Your Construction Projects

About the Author

Amir Azhari is the co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer of Brickeye. He received his BSc and MSc in Materials Engineering, holds an MBA degree, and completed his PhD at the University of Waterloo in Mechanical Engineering. Amir has a broad range of expertise in industrial IoT, fiber optic sensing technologies, additive manufacturing, advanced materials, and nano technology. He has a strong passion for developing advanced technologies and solutions that assist with enhancing productivity and reducing risk in the construction industry. Amir has co-authored more than 20 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals and international conferences, book chapters, and patents. 

How IoT Can Modernize Your Construction Projects

About Brickeye

Brickeye empowers industrial users with advanced decision-making tools and actionable insights anywhere and anytime to build a safer, more resilient, and more sustainable future. The company is leading the global digital transformation by developing the world’s best interconnected solutions for generating actionable data from assets and processes, to enhance efficiency and productivity, reduce operational costs and risks, increase safety, and improve environmental performance. Brickeye solutions are deployed globally in construction sites, power generation infrastructure, refineries, renewable energy projects, manufacturing plants, and environmental remediation sites. To learn more about how Brickeye is advancing the construction industry through superior sensor technology and data analytics, visit www.brickeye.com or follow the company at @brickeye.official.