A few months ago, we shared our thoughts about the future of the construction and real estate development industry. Many of the trends discussed, including rising material costs and increased safety protocols, while always relevant, were certainly fast-tracked as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The third topic of the post, the adoption of innovative technology, isn’t as much of a trend because insurance brokers and carriers have been adapting to and incorporating innovative technology into decision-making for years. The real-time insights available from advanced technology, like Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices and artificial intelligence (AI), can contribute to reduced losses and improved safety measures on the construction site.
Moving into 2022, we expect even more widespread adoption than we already see today. Here are a few examples of solutions that provide game-changing insights to developers, contractors and insurers alike.
Improve Worker Safety with Wearable Technology
Wearable technology is internet-enabled clothing and accessories that are transforming how work is done on the construction site. Examples like smart watches, wi-fi enabled headsets, belts and vests, are designed to capture, track and share data to improve safety measures and reduce the risk of accidents.
Some items, like belts or vests, can track worker movements to detect actions that may cause injury. Others, like wi-fi enabled boots, can send alerts if the wearer has fallen or is in danger. Wearable technology contributes to a safer work environment by increasing awareness of risk and hazards in real-time, resulting in fewer losses.
Reduce the Risk of Water Damage with IoT Sensors
Water damage is a leading cause of loss in the real estate development and construction industry. And of that damage, up to 75% is the result of just three things:
- Subpar plumbing installation in new construction
- Leaks related to plumbing, HVAC systems and appliances
- Building maintenance issues related to erosion of old pipes, frozen pipes and leaking sprinklers
All of these risks can be managed with IoT devices like water sensing technology, saving thousands of dollars of losses. Examples include:
- Water sensors that detect the presence of water and send alerts via text or email
- Automatic shut-off valves are triggered by water sensors to shut off the water supply, preventing a small leak from becoming a big one
- Flow monitoring sensors placed near water meters to send alerts when unusual or unexpected water flow is detected
- Temperature and humidity monitoring sensors identify and send alerts in the event of potential freeze or mold conditions
Reduce Manual, Repetitive Processes with Artificial Intelligence
No longer science-fiction, artificial intelligence (AI) is now a part of our world, from robotic fulfillment centers to self-driving cars. AI applies information much like a human being by evaluating data and predicting outcomes to make an informed decision.
In the real estate development and construction industry, a lot of work is manual, but it doesn’t all have to be. AI is being applied on the job site by automating labor-intensive tasks that can improve efficiency and reduce human error. Capturing worksites, storing images, and providing simple tools that allow users to view and interact with these 360-degree images from anywhere at any time. Advanced AI technologies can even process complex situations related to quality and risk to reduce potential hazards and ultimately improve job-site safety.
There are so many benefits to advancing the technology used in the real estate development and construction industry. Wearable technology, water sensors and artificial intelligence each bring their own unique improvements to the job site, but when employed together, the possibilities for improved safety and efficiency feels endless.