Big Data and Big Construction
Big data is boosting construction in a multitude of ways. Today’s machinery and computers spit mass amounts of data from sensors which make for big data backlogs. This often begs the question: how do construction companies make sense of data overload and how can it be used to their advantage?
Construction companies are now able to analyze weather data, social media, machine-generated information, third-party communications and various forms of intelligences. This data can analyzed to helps companies with considering their alternate resources or material sourcing options in cases of crisis as well as keeping scheduling and delivery on track. Additionally, analysis allows construction firms to revise their budgets easily and prepare for delays, new regulations, and unexpected changes.
One way companies analyze their data is through sensors that can send out alerts of counterfeit or illegitimate products. Sensors can also detect whether a piece of equipment has been tampered with. Companies are also seeking strong API (application programming interface) architecture to recognize new revenue opportunities. It is critical that companies pay close attention to data privacy and governance issues (data controls) that come along with API developments.
Walt Disney’s Concert Hall is one example of smart construction. Laser devices scanned the physical model are able to transmit coordinates to a CATIA (computer-aid-ed three dimensional interactive application). CATIA shows 3D section of the model, which allows movies to be seen with structural coordinates and time schedule for project completion. CATIA can also print out detailed lists of material needed with exact dimensions, which helps eliminate costs. Another example of smart construction is a central wastewater treatment plant in Tacoma, Washington. Construction project-management software enables off-site precision fabrication of building components. This allows for quick and less expensive piping and pre-assembled mechanical elements in the field. This helps with savings of downtime, overtime, and delays.
According to the Trump Administration’s National Security Strategy report, released in December of 2017, one of the infrastructure priorities calls for deploying secure 5G wireless internet capability throughout the nation. If deployed, the 5G set of technologies would improve support that devices rely. This will stimulate the use of big data in the construction industry in the years ahead and help keep projects within budget and on time.
Today, more companies are relying on big data and smart construction to make their businesses run with more efficiency. Big data and smart construction allows for intelligence analysis, budget revision, better organization, easy tracking, data privacy, and an overall more effective manufacturing process. As smarter construction continues to rise, so will the demand for big data, making now the time to start preparing for better infrastructure.