Critical projects often come with an inhibited risk factor. Pile ramming, drilling, and other heavy construction initiatives take a toll on the environment, which often has a safety-critical task like supporting structures or infrastructure.
In urban areas, buildings nearby are at risk for cracking or settling as a consequence of construction activities like tearing down buildings, building parking lots, building new buildings – just to mention a few examples.
In flat countries like Denmark, the risk factor is not as high as in countries with hills and mountains. Nevertheless, the consequences are quite expensive when something goes wrong and entire buildings get affected or when railways slide, causing damage to sleepers, rails and of course the embankment.
Contractors can, of course, take precautions to avoid slides and settlements, but some movements are unpredictable. So we still experience critical consequences on buildings, infrastructure and even on people to this day. We talked a bit about this in our last blog post, so I won’t go too much into the topic here.
What’s more in this topic of settlement and risks is the question of quality assurance – how can contractors enhance the trust of builders using new technologies?
Build trust with transparency
The relationship between contractors and builders varies, and it’s not uncommon that a large gap exists between the two parts. Trust is, therefore, an important parameter in construction projects. Since trust is a concept with a different meaning for different people, it’s difficult to establish trust across relationships – especially in short-term relationships.
Trust can be built through a number of initiatives, and it’s non-questionable that trust is one of the most valuable aspects in collaborative environments.
Transparency is an important parameter, and this can be achieved by ie. reporting of status and keeping a generally good level of communication. These aspects can be a vital parameter in building relationships, and, of course, time and proof help too.
The question is though – how can new technologies be of help in the early trust-building process – aiding in building trust more efficiently through the creation of transparency?
Create transparency by exploiting existing data
IoT technologies aid in gaining knowledge about the condition of different aspects in the construction site – machines, geological aspects and it could even tell about the worker’s condition.
The purpose of sensor technology is to provide data on physical things – giving an insight into their state. This is commonly known in the construction industry, especially in terms of asset management. By connecting these data points to the internet, new opportunities arise. Data sets can be visualized, shared and actively used – both for optimizing efficiency, safety – and even for building trust through transparency.
Giving collaborative parties insight into settlement status
By giving the party, that’s most concerned with the quality of your work – i.e. the builder – insight into the condition of the geological working area, contractors can reduce areas of concern for the builder. This can simultaneously be a shortcut for building trust between contractors and builders – and potentially other stakeholders.