Tag: Technology

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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 a 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.   

While you’re here, why not find out more about our latest solutions or call us to find out how we can help you on 0333 900 0245.

Technology, Broadband, Construction site broadband
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5 Construction Technology trends to watch in 2019

The rate at which technology is advancing is growing faster than ever before. As companies seek to improve efficiency and create more dynamic, flexible ways of working, technology seemingly holds all the answers.

Construction technology, which traditionally has always been behind the curve has now been realised as a market with the biggest opportunity for technology growth and innovation.

As smart technology develops, alongside connectivity advancements such as 5G and WiFi6, the vision for improving efficiency, creating smarter and safer work environments and increased productivity look to be in reach for the construction industry.

We take a look at five of the biggest construction technology trends to watch.

The Internet of Things (IoT)

Made up of a collection of sensors and central control systems, IoT is taking many different industries by storm to create smarter working environments.

Creating a connected worksite allows for improved safety, better site regulation and a massive boost in efficiency.

Using centralised software, wearable construction technology and mobile data, construction site managers will be have a lot more control over a site without comprising on time.

Some key benefits include:

  • the ability to track footfall on a worksite,
  • check workers in and out of site efficiently
  • send broadcast messages to personnel on site in case of emergencies
  • warn workers by SMS if they are entering a danger zone.

Not only this – placing sensors on equipment can be used to track usage, place orders when running low on a product – not to mention switch things off at a touch of button – massively reducing the environmental impact construction sites have.

With reports showing that the number of IoT active devices is set to be 10 billion by 2020 and 22 billion by 2025, this really is one to watch.

Machine Learning and AI

Using technology to work smarter means that there is a higher quantity of data to process.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence can help us to automate our workflows, further improving efficiency and not only this – making suggestions based on historical data trends to help improve quality of work.

Using these forms of technology can help prevent cost overruns, assist in the design offering generative design, help to educate workers creating safer working environments, help reduce costs by maximising efficiencies and much more.

Virtual Reality

Augmented reality and virtual reality are already revolutionising many sectors, but the impact on the world of construction is set to be huge. 

Thanks to this advanced technology, construction managers will be able to oversee every element of a project on as granular a level as necessary – aiding with health & safety, co-design, digital job guidance, progress monitoring and more. 

Virtual Reality takes 3D modelling to the next level, allowing people to immerse themselves in a project, as if they were actually there and engage with the environment to examine the details. VR also allows colleagues in different physical locations the ability to do a site walk through together, allowing better collaboration on projects that isn’t restricted by location or facilities.

Not only this, it gives clients the ability to really see what a development will look like before it’s complete allowing expectations for a project to be set from the get go.

Drones

Drone technology (also knows as unmanned aerial vehicles – UAV’s) allow for site managers and teams to not only receive real-time progress updates but also to check for and monitor health and safety hazards they may not have otherwise been able to spot.

Furthermore, from a marketing perspective, being able to use drones to capture time-lapse footage of schemes being constructed is a brilliant calling card for surveyors and agents.

Connectivity – 5G, WiFi6

Lastly, but by no means least we take a look at connectivity.

Connecting construction sites is a critical step in any project and with all this evolving technology a backbone to support greater speeds and amounts of data is required.

With enhanced technologies such as 5G and WiFi6 becoming available, providing enterprise grade solutions as a mobile service with greater speeds and reliability is becoming less challenging.

Using mobile broadband comes with many benefits – it is quick and easy to install, can be moved with a project and generally providers offer short term contracts.

With greater speeds, better traffic handling and less congestion, 5G offers an alternative to traditional fixed line broadband that just makes sense.

We are seeing huge benefits to the industry being driven by construction technology and it is only a matter of time before these solutions become more accessible.

UK Connect is committed to driving innovation in the construction industry.

If you would like to find out how we can help you then please do give us a call on 0333 900 0245 or take a look at our solutions.