Have you heard the term Internet of Things (IoT)? How about in the construction industry? IoT is used to describe devices connected to the Internet for remote data collection and management. Doing so creates better efficiencies that would otherwise not be humanly possible because not one person can be everywhere at once. At home, IoT examples include remote access to thermostats, doorbells with cameras, Fitbits, refrigerators that let you know when food is low. Apply this technology to the construction industry, however, and managers can collect real-time information to help manage assets, expenses, maintenance, setbacks, deliveries, safety, and more. As companies look toward becoming more energy-efficient and as job sites want a better handle on all their moving parts, IoT will continue to play an integral role in things like site monitoring, machine control, construction safety, and green (LEED) building. If you’re looking for a job in commercial construction, get ready to hear the IoT term being used more and more. Continue reading for further details.
Where and How Smart technology is being used in commercial construction
When it comes to construction staffing, we know if an employee is wearing a sensor and have worked beyond their scheduled hours – they become tired and at risk for an accident. If they are wearing a sensor, however, a manager can be alerted to the problem and act. The employee’s location is accessible, and early intervention is achievable. If there is a fall, a sensor can even alert management to a “drop.” Fleet management, GPS, and drones are also examples of IoT. They can be used to inspect hard to reach places in construction management. Also known as machinery or machine to machine (M2M) technology, sensors on these instruments can detect unusual vibrations, temperature changes, and air quality conditions. Being alerted to an undesired change in machinery, as you probably know, is critical to a company’s bottom line. Smart technology is even being used to build bridges and roads too. Tags can be used to send measurements to engineers, which helps measure aging and wear.
How does the IoT Differ from artificial intelligence (A1)?
Different from artificial intelligence (A1), in which systems collect data, recognize a pattern, and make informed decisions without programming IoT allows managers to act on data. A1, on the other hand, is when the machine itself acts on a pattern of data. These days students can even get a degree in construction technology. At the University of Southern California, for instance, they’re offering a master’s degree in the field. Accordingly, “Students will graduate with an understanding not just of the building process itself, but also how people behave in buildings.”
As a staffing company, we are seeing more commercial construction projects with a focus on sustainability that includes optimizing energy and ventilation. During the time of COVID-19, when ventilation standards are especially critical, the IoT can be used to help monitor air quality. We found this article, which does a great job of explaining the technology behind the IoE. For more information, you can also check out last week’s blog to learn about how A1 is being used in construction.
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