Internet of Things in civil construction: With the advancement of technological innovations, a resource has emerged with great potential for improving processes, compiling, and analyzing data. This is the IoT (Internet of Things).
The Internet as we know it is an international computer network. The Internet connects computers, cell phones, and tablets with other servers. This stores the data that form the virtual world in which we navigate.
Similarly, IoT is a step forward. Then, it is the connection of things, from the miniature objects to the giant machines. From the IoT, barriers are broken down, and absolutely everything can be connected to everything. The possibilities range from personal items, such as our clothes, to construction equipment.
Generally speaking, the IoT works based on:
- Sensors for obtaining data on speed, location, temperature, etc.;
- Network connection for data transit, via WIFI or Bluetooth;
- Data processing, usually centrally in software;
- User interface through applications, enabling data reading and operation of connected devices.
IoT is yet another technology that can provide a massive leap in construction performance and productivity. Other technologies that can also help in this possible disruptive moment are Artificial Intelligence (AI, for Artificial Intelligence) and Machine Learning. These highly connected technologies allow greater precision, agility, and quantity to work with data. It’s Big Data touching the construction industry.
The Need For Industry Evolution
It is known that the market inevitably responds to businesses’ profitability and financial success. This is the best argument for IoT in all industries, including construction.
The construction industry, historically until then, is always a laggard when comparing other industries to the evolution of productivity levels. Currently, it is thought for the industry as a whole, with the development of Industry 4.0 and Industry 5.0 already on the horizon. However, civil construction is never the pioneer in technological innovation and is not mature (and not even close) to Industry 4.0.
However, this opens up just how much the sector has to gain. After all, the points that benefit are mainly: management, transport; energy; and security. The IoT can revolutionize business models established in today’s industry through big data. And besides, the time has never been more favorable for technological innovation in construction.
Market Transition And Adaptation
However, there is a necessary transition to implement this technology in the construction industry. It is necessary to adapt the infrastructure of the devices and the things themselves that will be part of a network. In addition, people are trained to work with the new processes. All this requires an adjustment period.
However, it is impossible to make an investment and use the Internet of things immediately; adaptation is necessary.
Applications In Civil Construction
When you think about applying more sophisticated technologies, it’s like imagining Stark Industries in civil construction. Well then. The slope of this scenario borders on science fiction.
Therefore, IoT in civil construction is basically inherent to using devices and equipment integrated into a network aiming to report, change and monitor the environment at the construction site.
The application on construction sites is extensive since new solutions are created every day, especially by encouraging innovation and the significant development of constructs.
Among the technologies related to the IoT, we can mention the use of Artificial Intelligence to make decisions and anticipate risks based on compiled data. We also use Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality to interact with the work, visualizing the future phases of the work, thus avoiding failures in the process. Not to mention drones monitoring the progress of works.
Within the possibilities of using IoT at the construction site, we can also mention monitoring machinery. It is thus possible to optimize machines’ use, reduce their idleness, check their wear, and monitor the temperature during use.
Another significant gain is the possibility of controlling the construction site remotely. You can, for example, control equipment at a construction site in another city or country. All this through a smartphone, computer, or another interface.
The IoT also makes it possible, through sensors, to integrate building materials. It will be possible to monitor the performance of a material in terms of its strength, for example. This is related to the Smart Grid concept, in which the load on a plant can be monitored in real and continuous time.
Imagine identifying the water leak in a pipe in a highly accurate way, avoiding reworks for not knowing the specific point of a leak. Or monitor in real-time and continuously the status of the wiring, thus facilitating the planning of preventive maintenance and anticipating risks.
Even at the construction site, IoT can even facilitate the monitoring of PPE. Imagine controlling the physical conditions of employees and optimizing their productivity. Or use fabrics that control body temperature, preventing employees from overheating. In addition, we also use augmented reality viewers to indicate what must be built or alert possible dangerous situations.
In addition to the applications in the construction process, it is necessary to consider the benefits of applying the IoT in intelligent buildings. Automation devices provide fully integrated environments, with control through a smartphone, for example. Controlling the temperature of the air conditioning, opening and closing windows, and tracking the consumption of supplies in your refrigerator, among many other possible benefits.