Construction has been an engine for economic development and can benefit from the variety of new technologies available today, yet the industry has been slow to adopt them.
Logistics make it difficult to deploy technology when electricity and internet coverage are at a premium on jobsites. At the same time, the focus in construction often is on the final product, not the process, according to the World Economic Forum.
But the sector also is grappling with multiple challenges that these new technologies can solve. Contractors face a growing need to better supervise jobsites and the workers on them to increase compliance and reduce risk. Improved efficiencies are another concern, especially as the industry experiences serious labor shortages.
To solve those problems, the construction technology market has come a long way in two years, regularly rolling out new solutions. But, as general contractors and business owners consider all their options, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. One technology, however, holds a lot of promise for construction, and that’s the Internet of Things. We cover the solutions in our new e-book, “Demystifying the Internet of Things for Construction.”
While some technologies have been slower to catch on with builders and contractors, interest in IoT-enabled devices has grown in recent years. On jobsites, these devices are used for everything from monitoring the use of diggers to alerting workers about evacuation drills to providing a new level of access control and site security.
With the Spot-r system, for example, IoT is especially easy to incorporate into daily use. To ensure complete site coverage, strategically placed pods across the jobsite communicate with the IoT sensors that workers wear or place on equipment.
Once activated, our wearable devices can monitor worker activity to
- improve efficiency
- detect free falls and monitor safety events that could lead to accidents
- offer opportunities for real-time collaboration
- provide extensive reporting capabilities for users to learn better ways to streamline processes
IoT challenges on the jobsite
But, as we cover in the e-book, not any IoT solution will work on jobsites, which can come with a myriad of obstacles. Electricity may not be available. The landscape is always changing. And big machinery, heavy materials, vibrations and temperature extremes all threaten equipment.
To truly work, IoT devices must be able to stand up to the conditions of a jobsite, feature a battery-powered infrastructure with easily replaceable batteries and run on a network frequency that can work even through steel, concrete and other materials.
Not every solution on the market provides those features, but, when contractors and builders land on the right solution that works on their sites, they can reap big rewards. Wearables, for example, are improving site safety, according to Dodge Data & Analytics’ Safety Management in Construction report. It found that 13% of contractors use wearable devices. Of those, 82% say it has a positive impact.
With our own Spot-r system, users say the wearable IoT-enabled sensors help them quickly identify the location of injured workers and find new ways to improve productivity and efficiency with an easy-to-use system that doesn’t drain jobsite resources.
With it, industry-leading contractors are building a connected jobsite that provides full visibility into how their current projects are running—and plenty of insights into how to plan the next ones. If you’re considering IoT for your jobsites, read our e-book.