Connected construction enables the collection and analysis of data to inform sustainable decision-making. By incorporating sustainability into projects, construction companies can reduce environmental impact, improve building performance, and meet the growing demand for greener construction solutions.
The concept of sustainable construction has been with us for several decades. Still, it is become more important in recent years, along with growing concern about the environmental impact of human activities. Many companies and organisations are now actively working to adopt more sustainable construction practices, such as using renewable materials, reducing waste, and improving energy efficiency. Sustainable construction is no longer seen as a niche concept – it’s now an essential part of building for a better future.
Connected construction practices provide construction companies with a range of tools and techniques to improve the sustainability of their structures. By using interconnected and interdependent systems, materials and designs, connected construction can help companies create more resilient, sustainable and adaptable buildings. With the help of data analytics, companies can gain insights into building performance, identify areas for improvement, and implement strategies to reduce resource consumption and waste.
“The use of data to increase visibility into, and enhance the management of, company resources can have positive implications for construction firms’ ability to achieve their sustainability goals. On the one hand, increased efficiency and productivity can help construction companies reduce their fuel consumption and more effectively manage their energy usage, therefore helping to reduce carbon emissions. On the other hand, data collection technologies can make it easier to collect information about emissions and other environmental impact data, as well as help construction firms embrace sustainable building methods.” GlobalData Plc. Drake, C. , Williams, D., and Armengol, S. 2022. Connected Construction: A new technology mindset for a new era. (p 16).
Connected construction helps to reduce waste
There are various ways companies can use connected construction techniques. For example, design and analytics tools can be used at the very early stage of the process to help calculate a structure’s carbon emissions. These tools provide valuable data for building more resilient structures that can withstand various weather conditions and last for a long time.
Construction waste is a significant environmental problem that contributes to the depletion of natural resources and the generation of greenhouse gas emissions. Connected construction can help to reduce construction waste by enabling more efficient use of materials. The size of orders can be calculated accurately and processes can be optimised, reducing the risk of over-ordering and waste. Connected construction also enables real-time tracking of materials throughout the construction process, so that fewer materials are misplaced or lost entirely.
Connected construction for sustainable building design
Building Information Modelling (BIM) and detailed 3D models of buildings can also help with sustainability, by enabling construction companies to optimize space and resource use. BIM helps with reducing waste and improving building performance, too.
Prefabrication and modular construction – which involve manufacturing components off-site and assembling them on-site – can also help construction companies to reduce waste, improve quality control, and accelerate the construction process. Intelligent building technologies such as sensors, controls and automation systems can reduce energy consumption while also improving occupant comfort and safety.
Connected construction enables building for the next generations
By improving the quality of construction, reducing the risk of defects, and enabling ongoing maintenance and monitoring, connected construction can help in designing and erecting buildings that last for future generations.
The connected construction practice provides valuable information and tools at different stages of the construction process. This helps to ensure that structures are built to withstand harsh environmental conditions, such as extreme temperatures, moisture and wind. Building with the long-term in mind means reducing the risk of premature failures that may require costly repairs or replacements.
Thanks to tools for real-time monitoring of building conditions, automated inspections, and precision-building techniques, connected construction can also enable better quality control during construction. This leads to fewer defects and better overall construction quality – increasing the longevity of a building.
Rebuild and demolish more sustainably
Considering the entire life cycle of a building – from design to demolition is vital for connected construction. By enabling modular and flexible designs, connected construction can help in creating buildings capable of adapting to changing needs and requirements over time. This means the construction will be able to evolve and remain relevant for future generations without the need for costly renovations or rebuilding.
On the other hand, BIM can be used to create a detailed digital model of an existing building so that a construction company can assess its condition and identify areas needing repair or renovation. In some cases, valuable construction components can be reused.
Connected Construction: A new technology mindset for more sustainable construction
The GlobalData whitepaper explains how sustainability is becoming a top priority in the construction industry. It’s essential for the construction industry to shift its mindset toward adopting a more sustainable construction approach.
The paper describes how connected construction enables various stakeholders to make more sustainable decisions. This translates into building better structures that last for future generations, making the most of resources, minimising waste, and reducing the environmental impact of construction.