Why the Internet of Things is the future for construction sites

Providing super-fast reliable broadband on a construction site from day one is more vital than ever. It’s not just about making it possible to communicate with head office, order supplies and get the sales & marketing suite up and running. Rapidly advancing technology is opening up endless opportunities for the housebuilding industry, together with every other business, to work more effectively, efficiently and safely.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming the way broadband internet and Wi-Fi is used. Explained simply, IoT is made up of devices that connect to the internet and share data with each other. ‘Devices’ can mean anything – not just computers, laptops and smartphones, but any object that has been fitted with a chip to gather and transfer data over the internet, from household devices such as washing machines and hair dryers to machinery.

The growing availability of broadband internet and devices with built-in sensors is setting the scene for the IoT to explode. IoT analytics suggest there were 4.7 billion devices connected to the internet in 2016 and that by 2025 there will be more than 21 billion!

What does this mean for the housebuilding industry?

In a nutshell, it means increased safety, greater efficiency and the ability to use learning to work smarter. There are endless applications and the few examples below are just a small taste of the benefits IoT can bring:

  • In Building Information Modelling, sensors can be integrated into the 3D model of the building to create data that models energy usage, the impact of temperature and much more. When the model is changed, all other plans affected are instantly updated too
  • Construction machinery with a wireless connection can be managed remotely and operate alone in areas that are dangerous for workers
  • Safety can be increased by alerting workers walking through construction site that a piece of equipment is about to drive by
  • Equipment loss on site is a major cost; equipment fitted with sensors can be tracked to prevent it being lost or stolen
  • Sensors in machinery can detect and communicate when maintenance is needed and therefore prolong working life 
  • IoT can be incorporated into the design of homes, for example by shutting down non-essential systems automatically when a house is unoccupied or automatically opening windows to natural light
  • Sensors in a building can relay information on how the materials perform in different temperatures and over time, allowing this knowledge to be built into the next project.

IoT is disrupting the construction industry

As well as enhancing efficiency and safety, information gathered via sensors sets the scene for the ability to use big data – machine learning and artificial intelligence. This assists the planning of future projects, and enables housebuilders to make more accurate predictions of every aspect of the project, from finances to the resources required.

The potential is mind-blowing and a game changer for the building industry. As we move towards the next dramatic shift in technology, it’s clear that the foundation for all this is a reliable broadband connection.

UK Connect will stay at the forefront of providing fast construction site broadband that you can depend on, allowing you to take advantage of new technologies and transform your business.   

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