Internet of Things challenges for the construction industry

Technology is driving some exciting new possibilities in the construction industry, such as mobile access to architectural drawings and bills of materials, remote workforce management, improved worker safety, and a new approach to every new technology deployed at the job site. And the IoT is the part of our 21st technology where we can access any device with an IP address remotely monitored and even managed as part of a business. This is both a blessing and a curse for the CIOs.

Blessings are the extra data and controls provided by the Internet of Things, and we now have the possibility to access real-time data from devices at the job site to increase efficiency and security. The curse is that through the Internet of Things, we also have independent sensors that generate more than 1 terabyte of data per day, as well as data that needs to be prioritized, protected, managed, and stored. Because the builder’s IT budget is very low, how to maximize the use of the Internet of Things with limited resources becomes a challenge.

Internet of Things brings more intelligence to the construction industry

As we work to address the impact of the Internet of Things on the construction industry, we are also considering some innovations:

Real-time security monitoring

The Internet of Things offers new possibilities for building security, especially with the development of wearable devices.

The Internet of Things can be used to monitor safety masks, helmets and vests, providing real-time heart rate and breathing readings. A simple wristband monitors pulse, body temperature and other vital signs, alerting users and managers to potential health hazards, such as toxic chemicals or gases, and even tracking them based on their unique health.

Building innovators are considering new equipment to improve safety, including the Internet of Things, for example, lightweight steel exoskeletons can handle heavy lifting or for specific applications. Like any device, these exoskeletons are equipped with sensors that not only monitor the performance of the device but also monitor the operator’s condition.

Drone at work

The Internet of Things also supports new technology tools. For example, drones are becoming an increasingly useful tool on the job site because they provide a bird’s eye view of the building. They are also used for specific applications, such as checking hard-to-reach locations, for example, drones can see the exterior of a high-rise building, which is too dangerous for human inspectors.

However, drones need to be monitored and managed. The Aviation Authority’s request for registration of drones has also spurred demand for skilled operators and safety measures. If the drone fails, falls from the air or an accident occurs, all parties involved, including the contractor, will be liable.

For these new tools, the Internet of Things is very valuable because they provide operational data for real-time functions, alert operators to impending failures, and capture operational details in the event of an accident. Think of the “black box” of the remote drone.

Internet of Things challenges for the construction industry

Although the Internet of Things has great potential in the construction industry, there are many factors that limit its application in this field.

The most obvious problem is data management. If each IoT device generates 1TB of data per day, what happens when this data is multiplied by 50 devices? The amount of IoT data generated exceeds the capacity of most networks. Even if you can process this data, you still need to prioritize the incoming data for the real-time response. For example, if the IoT is part of a larger security strategy, you must process the worker’s health readings in real time. So what about data management? How do you know when a worker removes a helmet or safety vest is a false positive, not a health issue?


We also encountered the problem of maintaining a live network to process data. For a new building, the builder must establish a wireless network to accommodate the data traffic, including enough bandwidth to handle the data traffic. We need to consider special circumstances, for example, steel bars in tall buildings can block wireless data communication. In addition, remote construction sites where telecommunications access is not possible, such as installing solar arrays in the desert? The Internet of Things will require on-site IT support, which means more equipment and people.

Finally, we must weigh the cost and return of the Internet of Things. Construction companies have never had a large IT budget. If there is no evidence of ROI, it is obviously difficult to get the approval of the staff and infrastructure costs needed to support the Internet of Things at the construction site. Efficiency and analysis from the Internet of Things may quickly recover costs, but some building pioneers are needed as early adopters to prove the value of the Internet of Things to the construction industry.

Source: IOT home network

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