Internet of things (IoT) is the use of internet-connected devices to track and manage workforces in labor-intensive sectors. The construction industry has invested over $8 billion globally in this technology due to its immense benefits. The IoT devices are attached to different laborers and machines and collect crucial data analyzed by the Artificial Intelligence-enabled central system, which makes appropriate conclusions. The technology comes with the following benefits.
1. Reduces projects costs
In terms of costs, IoT keeps track of resource distribution throughout the construction site by monitoring expenses, supplies and assessing resource efficiency at different stages of construction. Additionally, the system tracks orders and deliveries by facilitating timely communications between departments. With such efficiency, the contractor will not have to extend employee contracts as the project will be completed under the stipulated timeline.
2. Enhances employee safety
Safety requirements in construction sites are vital, especially with thousands of accident-related fatalities being reported annually in the sector. What if there was a way to keep track of employees’ performance and machine functionality and use the data to prevent accidents at construction sites?
That is what IoT brings into the industry. Remote sensors fitted on wearable devices such as wristwatches and ground devices such as thermocouples record vital data, including heart rate, stress levels, body temperature, and the surrounding conditions. The devices can then report when a worker is fatigued and burnt out. Additionally, these devices monitor the functionality of machines at the site and provide reliable feedback on glitches and malfunctions. The manager can act on this information before it leads to an accident.
3. Waste management efficiency
Construction projects are associated with tonnes of wastes in the form of earth and building materials. IoT systems automatically weigh the waste material using sensors and create flexible disposal strategies for managers. For instance, the technology alerts the construction manager whenever the dumpster is filled up, ensuring that waste disposal professionals are only hired at the right time. The entire process reduces costs of hiring waste disposal human resources and saves fuel in internal waste disposal mechanisms.
4. Simplifies project management
Large construction projects waste immense resources in under-utilized laborers, idle engines that consume power, and slow communication systems that link different departments. IoT significantly improves construction systems by coalescing communication and monitoring all resources employed on the site.
For instance, machines and laborers are fitted with geolocation chips hence can be easily supervised. Additionally, you can track the amount of fuel or electricity consumed by machines or how much time a worker idles around. The technology is not limited to human resources and can also be employed on computers and digital devices.
5. Effective reporting and maintenance
IoT remote sensors go beyond monitoring human and machinery movements by checking on the construction site and its environment at large. Managers can receive updates on humidity which may affect concrete drying processes or vibrations that can damage foundations. Many applications can monitor these aspects of a construction site and offer real-time maintenance reports.
The Internet of Things has been a game-changer in the construction industry. The technology has played a crucial role in enhancing workers’ safety, accountability, and communications on construction sites worldwide.