What does prevalence of IoT mean for the construction and property industry? Will it actually provide businesses with real benefits and efficiencies, or is its value yet to become apparent?
Iot in building construction- With the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) in full swing, technology advances mean that new, smarter, safer and better ways have come to market to plan, build and operate assets. The Internet of Things (IoT) is pitched as one of those technology advances, but it’s something that has actually been around for almost two decades.
In that time, the definition has been subject to change. However, fundamentally it refers to a network of objects that generate data for the purpose of making that data available and connected to obtain insights for increased functionality, knowledge and connectivity.
Although threats of cyberattacks and concerns about privacy make IoT a potentially scary proposition, society is already filled with IoT objects: mobile phones, smart watches, remote security systems, lighting in our homes, and even baby monitors can all connect to the internet, demonstrating how IoT is here to stay.
But for the most part, these are all for consumer use. What does IoT mean for the construction, facilities and asset management industries?
The promise of IoT
There is an inherent conundrum associated with IoT devices in the construction and property industry. Manufacturers forge ahead with providing connected devices, to the point where in some cases there is no longer an unconnected alternative available.
Connected devices are touted as having great benefits for businesses in the construction and property industries, but can stated benefits like early warning, remote monitoring and continuous data collection be quantified within an organisation to the extent that they warrant change or investment?
Smart buildings and assets
A facility with connected devices can make buildings and assets ‘smart’. A device’s connectivity could provide immediate notification to managers if assets, systems or elements of the building are not fit for purpose. Critical systems and assets could be connected to the internet, and if they are underperforming or even off-line, notifications could be sent to the relevant stakeholders and contractors, leading to more immediate work order requests to minimise disruption and optimise operational expenditure.