The Future of Construction Is Coming, and It's Driven by IoT [INFOGRAPHIC]

December 12, 2017 Sarah Lorek

It’s an exciting (and sometimes frightening) time to be alive. With the rise of Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, and the Internet of Things (IoT), many industries are on the verge of revolutionary changes. One industry that is perhaps facing the most drastic shift is the construction industry.


In their last annual report, Building a Technology Advantage - Global Construction Survey 2016,  KPMG reported that two-thirds of 200 or more AEC executives and owners surveyed claimed to not use advanced data analytics to monitor estimation and performance. In addition, even though project-related risk is increasing, no more than 20% of respondents said they planned on reevaluating their business models in response to rapidly changing technology.

What is IoT?

Internet of Things (IoT) is an ecosystem of connected objects and people that collect and transfer data over the internet.

It is, as its name represents, where the internet meets things; where reality and physical objects connect to the internet. The objects connected to the internet can vary – the things we encounter in our daily lives – goods, hard hats, tools, objects, appliances, machines, buildings, vehicles, etc.

As a concept, the Internet of Things means physical are able to utilize the internet to communicate information about their condition, position, or other attributes. Sensors placed on objects are a relatively common form of IoT technology and can track features such as air pressure, motion, light, temperature, water flow, and size, etc. Then, the items can transmit and send the data so that it can be analyzed and acted upon.

So why aren’t more industry professionals adopting new technology to position themselves above the competition? Some say it’s cost, scale, and lack of existing use-cases. Others suggest that a major shift in mindset has to happen before the industry can join everyone else in the future. Regardless of where you stand on the subject, take a look at the graphic below, and see if any of the innovations could impact your firm-- for better or for worse.


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How Does IoT Work?

The objects in IoT have an IP address and sensors. They're given instructions to talk to or act on something- usually without human intervention.

Benefits and Concerns of IoT In Construction

Some of the benefits include...

  • Worker safety

Wearables send signals to the office if equipment usage is exceeded, or alertness diminishes.

  • Finding tools fast

Bluetooth tags placed on assets allow the crew to find the location of tools and equipment, fast.

  • Remote repairs

Certain Equipment can be fixed remotely via the internet, reducing the need for travel.

Some concerns are...

  • Loss of privacy

Cameras monitoring workers and capturing data to ensure productivity and compliance.

  • No more jobs

Constant fear of robot builders and Artificial Intelligence (AI) taking over field crew jobs.

  • New processes

Adopting new technology often appears scary, expensive, and time-consuming.


The Reality of IoT

The reality is, technology surrounding IoT sounds scary. However, there could be global savings from full-on IoT adoption. It's up to each firm to decide whether or not to join in on the race to a fully connected construction site.


Interested in learning how adopting the latest technology can impact your firm? Download our free guide, Adapt or Die: Why Adopt Tech Trends In a Competitive Construction Market?



About the Author

Sarah Lorek

Sarah is the Lead Content Strategist for Trimble Buildings, CEC (Civil Engineering & Construction), and Geospatial. She has worked on many large scale marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 companies, helping them define their story and shape a compelling narrative. Now, she focuses on creating and sourcing valuable thought leadership content for our readers.

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