NZ Strong creates ‘connected construction site’ with Azure

NZ Strong creates ‘connected construction site’ with Azure
Digital twin of the new site uses IoT sensors and cameras to ensure the safety of workers

Elly Yates-Roberts |

Kiwi construction company NZ Strong has created a ‘connected construction site’ by using technology from Microsoft, AsBUILT and Spark. A digital twin of the Wynyard 100 site is hosted on the Microsoft Azure-based AsBUILT Vault and uses internet of things (IoT) sensors, 3D camera imaging and geolocation to reduce costs, improve worker safety, and connects all partners to oversee project management.  

“3D cameras provide a live feed of the site mapped on top of the virtual building, incorporating facial and object recognition technology so site managers can see exactly who is working where,” said David Burton, managing director of AsBUILT. “On-screen tags immediately flag whether workers aren’t wearing the required safety equipment or are entering hazardous zones, and warn people about potential dangers on their own devices.” 

The on-site geolocation capabilities help the team ensure equipment is installed in exactly the right locations via a 3D map. IoT devices managed by Spark also monitor temperature, humidity and noise on-site which help NZ Strong make informed decisions regarding health and safety regulations. 

“I can now see all the workers on my site in real time and that helps me manage their safety to a level that I – and the industry – haven’t achieved before,” said Chris Hunter, a director at NZ Strong. “It also provides me with real-time insights around productivity on the site that I can feed back to my procurement team and my supply chain, avoiding waste, which is costing clients too much in our industry.”

The digital plans will also ensure future renovations can be carried out more quickly and easily. 

“We’ve worked on projects such as hospitals and airports where vital information about pipes or old building structures has been lost over the years, and there’s no one source of truth,” said Burton. “This means when major renovations are planned, they basically have to “dig and see. In the future, that whole scenario can be avoided with a virtual blueprint in the cloud which is completely accurate in terms of location on the site.”

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