Technology tips for construction companies returning to work

Updated: Mar 22

The construction industry is facing unprecedented challenges in recent circumstances, with staff having to work from home, and numerous project being delayed or cancelled. Despite significant ongoing challenges, the industry will gradually return to work, but face a new norm. How can companies in the industry leverage technologies to tackle the challenges and stay ahead of the curve? Here we explore the digital technologies that can be utilized to create a resilience construction environment and to increase productivity both in the short and long term.

1. IoT & sensors technologies to monitor workforce on site and ensure social distancing

As projects that have been slowed down or shut down will return to a more regular schedule, more and more field crews will be returning to the job-site. Protecting the well-being of their employees becomes the first priority of AEC companies.

To help with this, RIB Software has developed iTWO safe app, which is connected with light-weighted Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) device to monitor workforce on site and ensure social distancing. With iTWO safe, onsite staff can focus on their business as usual while getting alerted on close proximity with others. A centralized database will store records of each employee for time in and time out, count of alerts, count of violations and list of people the employee can in contact with. The records can be used to trace contact history for infection emergency and create comprehensive reports to showcase precautions. The data will be protected from being used for other purposes.

2. All-in-one cloud solution connects all people, processes and data

Since the pandemic began, people have to adopt remote working and it is set to continue for a long time. For the construction industry, where lots of stakeholders and roles are involved along complicated construction processes to have projects completed and delivered, an all-in-one solution that connects all people, processes and data to create a digital collaborative working environment is becoming crucial.

MTWO Complete Construction Cloud, developed by RIB Software and Microsoft is the all-in-one solution that enables all project stakeholders to collaborate seamlessly along the project lifecycle on one cloud platform.

With MTWO Cloud platform covering all processes of the project lifecycle, every stakeholder can collaborate anytime, anywhere. The project management teams, including VDC managers, quantity surveyors, estimators, bidding teams, schedulers, procurement managers, project managers can log in the system through multiple internet-connected devices to process their daily work. Job site head engineers can update real-time project progress, report incidences and upload quality and safety checklists through mobile apps. Project owner can be connected to the platform to check project progress and quality reports etc., to arrange payment. In this way, all teams are working on one single source of truth and sharing real-time data. This helps to increase productivity while keeping planners off-site and reduce worker density. In its recent development in response to the social distancing requirements, MTWO is integrated with Microsoft Teams to make communication and information sharing more freely and instantly.

3. 5D BIM technology for project lifecycle digitization

The changing environment gives the construction companies a chance to rethink the organization of their work and adapt new ways of working to increase productivity.

MTWO Complete Construction Cloud as a BIM-enabled platform, offers a new way for integral management of projects through planning, biding, construction and operation & maintenance. Its 5D BIM technology and digital twin help to develop time and cost optimized project plans, mitigate risk in the construction phase and transfer BIM data smoothly into the operation phase. When many construction firms are already implementing BIM design software in the planning phase, integrating BIM models with time planning and cost management information with 5D BIM technology can go further to simulate the construction processes before physical construction takes place, streamlining workflows and optimizing cost and time planning. In the construction phase, actual project progress, procurement schedule and quality information are real-time updated from the field and connected to BIM models for visualized and efficient project monitoring. All data complemented to the BIM models from planning and building phase can be easily transferred to the operation phase, forming the basis for permanently and securely properties, buildings and facilities management.

4. Control Tower to manage projects with less presence in workplace

While all teams are working in different locations, and business trip and face-to-face meeting are constrained to enforce social distancing. Real-time key metrics displayed in intuitive dashboards is critical for the management to review project performance, make data-driven decisions and take quick actions to resolve timely issues.

With centralized and structured project data empowered by business intelligence, MTWO Control Tower serves executives to managers with visualized and interactive project dashboards and reports. Viewing the BI dashboard, decision makers can easily understand overall project performance in scope, cost, time, safety, quality and etc., and can interact with the data to gain deeper insight and discover root courses to take next steps.

5. Artificial Intelligence and Mixed Reality to automate processes and boost productivity

As the on-site work has been stopped or severely reduced due to the pandemic, construction companies are under high pressure to maximize field team productivity. Artificial intelligence and Mixed Reality will be the powerful tools to automate processes and boost onsite productivity.

iTWO lens is the Mixed Reality solution that enables project content visualization on the jobsite, supporting field crews with enhanced BIM models view and project management processes. With iTWO lens, onsite managers can align visualized BIM models with the physical construction environment, quickly understanding the actual project progress and updating the real-time schedule information.

iTWO lens can work together with McTWO , the artificial intelligent assistant, designed specifically to support construction professionals. It runs on machine learning algorithms and communicates through Voice Assistance and Chatbot. Directly speaking to McTWO through iTWO lens, onsite professionals are enabled to do hands-free quality and safety inspection, instant progress checking and reporting, and effortless communication with the project teams.

In summary, RIB offers these solutions that supports AEC companies return to work:

  • iTWO safe

  • MTWO Complete Construction Cloud

  • MTWO Control Tower

  • Mixed Reality solution - iTWO lens

  • Artificial Intelligence Assistant - McTWO

All these solutions are built on one centralized structured database and all connect to the MTWO Cloud.

Digital technologies has been proven its effectiveness in helping construction companies maintain connected and keep running during COVID 19. In the post pandemic world of construction, it will be the key drivers that support the industry to recover as quickly as possible. Contact us today to learn how RIB’s solutions can help you.


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