There are a number of parties involved in a single construction project, with each of them performing certain specific functions. But one thing that they share in common is the desire to deliver quality work. Quality management system is an indispensable element and the key pillar of holistic construction project management. Quality management in construction can be simply defined as the set of processes that are put into action by the management, with the view to improve the ability of the organization to deliver quality of work to its customers (like clients/owners, General Contractors, Sub-contractors and the like).
Most of the time, quality management determines a company’s success and failure. This is because poor quality of projects is one of the root causes behind almost every problem – starting from safety issues to project budget overruns. Although it is difficult to quantify the consequences of poor quality in construction, yet statistics show that 54% of the construction defects owe to human factors, like unskilled workers or insufficient supervision of the construction work; while 12% owe to material or system failure. Therefore, proper quality management in construction is very crucial. This is where AI can come in to help the management have a better control on the quality management process.
This blog thus is an attempt to discuss the various ways how AI can ensure better quality management in construction.
1. AI for Tracking Construction KPIs
The construction KPIs help the stakeholders to analyze how each of the different sectors of the construction project(s) are performing and understand how successful a project has been. Hence, keeping a track on these KPIs is vital for quality management in construction. However, there are multiple construction KPIs such as safety audits, dispute resolution, workflow optimization, jobsite productivity to name a few. Managing them manually becomes very herculean for the management. But the digital advances in technology for construction management, such as AI/ML, Computer vision, and BIM360 for construction data management have been making it easier to measure performance.
2. AI for Facilitating Daily Construction Reporting
Construction documentation is very important for keeping a track of the project progress and performance, better planning, and for ensuring better transparency and co-ordination amongst the various levels of workflow. Manual documentation has several inherent loopholes that make it an inefficient method of record keeping. However, automated construction documentation facilitated by modern technologies such as AI, Vision Intelligence and cloud-based repositories can help the users to overcome the problems of manual documentation. The cloud-based software enables the users to centralize their documents in a single source, modify them on-air, update them in real-time and instantly synchronize modifications with all levels of the workflow. Further, with automated construction documentation, stakeholders can have trend-oriented reports, and visual documentation of the work progress in no time and with zero-errors.
3. AI for Construction Progress Tracking
Another important aspect to ensure quality management in the construction jobsite is through construction progress tracking. With proper progress tracking, stakeholders can ensure better transparency and reduce rework in the jobsites. Traditionally, the Project Engineers or Field Engineers relied on manual construction photography. However, this process has several lacunas that can be solved by automated progress tracking. By leveraging the power of AI and vision intelligence, automated progress tracking makes quick calculations with minimal or no human intervention. Further leveraging the power of 360° construction photo documentation, allows users to have a comprehensive record of the project as well as have a real-time video data analysis. It generates quick and accurate calculations of the entire jobsite progress, work rates, installed quantities, and the estimates of completion dates, thus facilitating stakeholders to make proper planning of time, money and material – the three crucial elements of project success.
4. AI for Construction Site Safety
Accidents in construction job sites are a common occurrence. Studies have revealed that workplace injuries account for 6-9% of the project delays. Therefore, ensuring safety in construction is a crucial way of ensuring quality management in construction. Advanced technologies such as AI/ML and IoT can provide construction safety solutions without vesting additional responsibilities on the safety teams. These advanced technologies can support jobsite safety by identifying various anomalies present in the jobsite that may threaten the safety in the jobsite . The algorithms when trained can offer unparalleled threat detection capacity, thus enabling stakeholders to detect and prevent accidents before it is too late.
5. AI for Construction Data & Analytics
Construction jobsite is a hub of data and these available data need to be analyzed well for gaining insights on various areas such as potential risks; time, money and materials involved/required in the project (s) and accordingly make future decisions. By unlocking the power of predictive analytics with AI, the construction companies can make use of the available data to make predictions about the future and can accordingly plan better and predict more profitable and prospective projects for implementation.
6. AI for Automatic Field Inspection in Construction
Field inspection is an important task in construction. Traditionally, the Field Inspectors used to manually visit the field by-and-again, look into every aspect of the project and manually record the observations. However, such a practice is time-consuming and always has a scope of error. But with automation, site inspection has become not only easier, but also safer and more effective. Autonomous inspection using robots and drones have enabled real-time remote monitoring of the construction sites. Off-site stakeholders are now able to have a clear picture of the real-time happenings in the construction sites, instead of relying on the site managers to inform them. This has also facilitated remote & on-site communication and collaboration.
7. AI for Construction Maintenance
Proper maintenance during the under-construction as well as post-construction phases of building/property is very crucial to ensure quality of the project. Responsibility of the builders does not cease with the construction of the building/property. Maintenance activity needs to be undertaken even after the building/property has been leased out to ensure smooth operations. However, construction maintenance activities are cumbersome and time-consuming. But with AI, facility and property maintenance is no more a headache. In this regard, AI can serve multi-purpose, like preventive maintenance and fault detection, safety and security monitoring, space planning, facility equipment fault prediction, energy demand management and the like.
8. AI for ESG in Construction
The Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) metrics have been at the top of the mind for businesses all over, the construction industry without being an exception. Being a traditionally non-eco-friendly industry, it becomes highly pertinent for the construction companies to create safer and ESG-compliant construction jobsites. With proper training, AI/ML and vision intelligence can help construction companies to classify and segregate various C&D wastes, ensure their proper disposal and also detect various environmental non-compliances. Further, they can also monitor and track their carbon footprints and manage carbon credits with AI.
9. AI for Construction Scheduling
Project scheduling is crucial to quality management as it ensures timely completion of construction projects. But manual scheduling is highly time-consuming. However, AI can optimize schedules by recommending changes based on the historical data collected through machine learning.
10. AI for Better Workflow Transparency
Better transparency in the workflow demands that all the data and insights are streamlined and each level of stakeholders have access to these data and insights. Instant site visibility also plays an important role in ensuring workflow transparency. All these functions can be facilitated by modern technology. With AI and automation, all the levels of stakeholders can view their jobsite happenings at any time and anywhere and compare and contrast the on-sight visuals with the planned designs. Moreover, the cloud-based platforms provide a common ground for all the stakeholders to discuss the project and resolve issues before they hit the schedule and budget. This in the long run helps ensure quality of the project.
How viAct’s Ensures Quality Management in Construction?
Understanding well the importance of quality management in Construction, viAct’s offers to its clients various AI solutions that can help them ensure quality in their construction project(s). viAct’s AI Monitoring Platform – viHUB – allows the stakeholders to track various construction KPIs; store, process and analyze voluminous construction data; facilitates daily reporting; helps construction scheduling and ensures better workflow transparency. Further, its 50+ ready to deploy AI modules enables stakeholders to adhere to various Safety, Productivity and Environmental compliances, in turn helping them enhance ESG in their jobsite(s). Further, it’s AI & computer vision powered autonomous robot for the construction jobsites – viBOT – eases remote inspection of the jobsites. The construction progress management system - 360° Progress Tracking solution - enables clients to track the progress of their projects as well as facilitates auto-documentation. Thus, viAct’s Construction Management Software provides to its clients the advantages of AI, vision intelligence, and cloud-based software to ensure quality management in construction works.
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