Use of Artificial Intelligence & Sensors in Construction industry | Application | Benefits

Sensors in Construction industry

As we are aware that construction is one of the most under-digitized industries in the world and is comparatively slow in adopting new technologies, it can be a little daunting. Use of Sensors in Construction industry and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is helping make job at construction sites more effective and efficient. AI and the Internet of Things (IoT) can reduce building costs by up to 20%.

Internet of Things (IoT) is a vast network with connected devices, which gather and exchange data. It’s all done using sensors. These Sensors in Construction consistently emit data about the working state of devices. IoT basically provides a common platform for all these devices to unload their data. The collected data is integrated from various sources, further analytics is performed and the valuable information is retrieved as per requirement.

IoT is significantly enhancing the construction industry by improving safety and efficiency with smart technology. On construction sites, sensors have the prominent task of monitoring avoidable problems, optimizing assets, and enhancing management. In addition, on-site workers can also benefit from wearable accessories for their safety. The various types of sensors used in construction industry are as follows:

Sensors used in construction industry (Source A1 Electronics)
Sensors in Construction industry (Source A1 Electronics)

What is meant by Artificial Intelligence (AI)

In comparison to other sectors, such as finance, healthcare, manufacturing etc., use of AI in construction field is rather limited. Using AI system in construction can be very effective and serviceable. A construction AI system may suggest a builder what materials, design languages, and costs are required to create a building based on existing data, within seconds. It can be used by owners and contractors to identify the optimum way to create a building or even a community by using the collected building and material data.

Building Information Modelling - BIM (Source Autodesk Building Solutions)
Building Information Modelling – BIM (Source Autodesk Building Solutions)

Building Information modelling (BIM) is one such great example. The role of BIM has almost become imperative in almost every aspect of Civil engineering, such as building design, structural design, project management, construction or even land surveying for beyond the ordinary results. It permits all interested parties to have access to the same information, at the same time through the inter-operability between diverse technological platforms.

Application of IoT and AI in Construction

Design Optimization

Design optimization is achieved through generative design. Generative design is nothing but specifying the objectives of your problem and have the computer create design iterations for you by using cloud computing. Autodesk is an example of how the AEC industry is utilizing AI to create designs with structural integrity. Revit 3D modelling is one such software that gave Architects and Engineers the ability to create 3D models of their building designs and simultaneously coordinate all the systems such as structural, mechanical, and electrical elements.

On site design optimization & Sensors in Construction (Source Wiprovideos)
On site design optimization & Sensors in Construction (Source Wiprovideos)

Equipment and material management

Sensors can be used to acquire valuable data on the status and productivity of construction equipment. It can also be used to track the materials and equipment to achieve more efficiency in following project timeline. Excavation and prep work is carried out by automatic or semi-automatic bulldozers. Self-driving construction machinery are built to perform repetitive tasks, such as pouring concrete, bricklaying, welding, and demolition.

Monitoring On site safety of workers with Sensors in Construction

Out of 4,674 worker fatalities in private industry in 2017, 971 workers were in construction – that is, one in five worker deaths last year were in construction. Hence ensuring worker’s safety is crucial. Sensors used in biometric wearable’s can monitor worker’s heart rate, temperature, and other conditions as well as alert safety managers in case of any mishap. Sensors in Construction industry also help to track workers in the field to keep them safe from job-site hazards and different injury risks. With the help of AI, a Boston-based company is developing an algorithm that assess photos from job sites, scans them for safety hazards such as workers not wearing safety gear and compares the images with its previous accident records.

Project Management in Construction industry

AI systems are now guiding engineers on how certain projects should be constructed. This is possible by considering previous projects, as well as verifying pre-existing blueprints for the design and implementation of the project. With the help of this information, engineers can make crucial decisions based on existing database.

Use of Autodesk software for project risk assessment (Source Databricks)
Use of Autodesk software for project risk assessment (Source Databricks)

Benefits of using IoT & AI in Construction

Effective Management

Abrupt malfunctioning of the equipment can extend timeline of project, increasing expenses in every department. By reducing the risk of repairs and breakdowns through equipment monitoring by sensors, 20% reduction in the total cost of a project can be achieved. By using facial recognition and onsite cameras, compliance to procedures can be provided along with monitoring worker productivity.

Safety in Construction with Sensors in Construction industry

If there’s an emergency on the site, the contractor can track workers on-site immediately and call for help to emergency responders by using IoT. The sensors can provide data on certain environmental conditions such as humidity spikes, water infiltration, and temperature changes to protect the inactive elements on the construction site.

Business enhancement

Apart from collecting real time data, Sensors in Construction industry can also direct the same data to cloud networks for further analysis. The construction company can make use of this data to extract relevant information and establish ways to put their machines to best use. Based on factors such as competence level of project managers, project size, and contract type, Artificial Neural Networks are used to estimate cost overruns and help increase efficiency of the project. AI provides access to real-life training material which helps the workers enhance their skills and knowledge.