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Sonntag, 23.06.2024
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Dr Hassan Albalawi, CEO and co-founder, WakeCap, discusses technology's transformative impact on the construction industry, smart cities, and future innovations

The swift evolution of technology in the construction industry has been transforming processes over recent years, resulting in a safer, more efficient and cost-effective outcome. The traditional image of the construction industry has evolved rapidly to meet the demands of superior, smart mega projects that are designed to enhance efficiency, sustainability, and quality of life for residents. Embracing technology has now become a prerequisite for the sector to meet the standards set by these new urban developments.

Smart cities have emerged as a solution to address the challenges of modern living. By 2030, it is expected that 28% of people worldwide will live in a city with at least one million inhabitants, according to a report on urbanisation by the Government Office for Science (UK). With these levels of urbanisation, planners and developers are looking to new technology and cutting edge networks to support smart solutions. Where cities evolve, so must the construction industry, playing a pivotal role in bringing these smart cities to life.

The construction industry has already seen developments in effective and efficient solutions in areas such as design and development. It has been quick to embrace technology, digitalisation, supply chain control, and safety technology. With specialised technologies, including artificial intelligence, BIM software, 3D printing houses and LiDAR, companies have already seen the benefits that these technologies can bring. But there are new technologies, such as the IoT (Internet of Things), that are enabling the creation of smart construction sites; with optimised efficiency, improved working conditions, and enhanced health and safety outcomes.

Data and the ability to process it rapidly and seamlessly are crucial to intelligent networks. The use of IoT has increased over the past few years, and figures from Statista suggest that there will be more than 29 billion IoT devices worldwide by 2030.

Megaprojects and smart cities rely on information and communication technology (ICT) to not only improve operational efficiency but their entire frameworks are composed of ICT. The intelligent network of connected objects and machines, making up a digital city, transmits data using wireless technology and the cloud.

Innovative technologies are providing solutions for major construction projects

Next-generation cloud-based IoT solutions such as WakeCap receive, analyse, and manage data in real-time. WakeCap is engineered to provide time, location, and motion analytics for all site activity. This level of technology is beneficial in a number of ways for large-scale construction projects and the development of smart cities.

With the emergence of smart city planning over recent years, it is clear that data is key in the age of IoT. But to thrive, these ecosystems must establish sustainable commerce models and must integrate solutions that ensure actionable, real-time and reliable data access. Innovative, new technologies are providing these solutions for major construction projects worldwide and will be at the forefront of new and developing infrastructure projects.

WakeCap’s unique smart hardhat technology connects with purpose-built networks to enable accurate and consistent reporting for project management on-site and worker safety on industrial and construction sites. By streamlining business processes, measuring labor performance, and revealing insights that hinder continuous operational improvement, WakeCap’s technology improves site productivity through digitization. But it’s not just about productivity. A crucial element to any construction project is safety, and that is where technology is showing the most significant benefits.

Smart site safety systems provide a host of features to improve site safety for everyone. This technology enables each person to be monitored and alert managers when and if necessary.

We have developed the technology that enables worker fall detection, head impact detection, panic SOS emergency alerts, site emergency evacuation, active worker management and temperature and humidity monitoring. Prior to the implementation of these new technologies, it was impossible to provide such thorough safety features. Some of the sites we manage have 4,000+ active workers, and only by using smart site safety are we able to provide the location of each person, in real-time, at any time on site.

It’s evident that secure, cloud-based IoT solutions are the future for both the construction industry and the wider development of new projects and infrastructure. The increase in positive health and safety results, streamlining of administrative duties such as attendance, timekeeping and payroll processes, as well as site workflow and congestion management, prove that smart technologies have changed on-site construction processes forever.

These monumental shifts are evident in the rollout of mega projects and smart cities, too, as project managers need to deliver seamless infrastructure in new communities where traffic jams become a thing of the past, courtesy of AI-driven traffic management systems, and health checkups involve a biometric scan at an outpatient health kiosk, negating the doctor’s waitlist times.

Looking to the future, both the construction industry and smart cities will need to continually adapt and innovate. As more smart projects are announced, the role of construction will evolve further and the industry will prove its role as a key player in the creation of these new smart communities.


Autor(en)/Author(s): Angitha Pradeep

Quelle/Source: Construction Week Online, 24.05.2024

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