Artificial Intelligence Brings New Possibilities for Construction & Demolition Waste Management



With the advancement in the human civilization, the importance of construction industry has been increasing simultaneously. Construction is considered as an unavoidable activity, as it fulfills one of the basic human needs, that is, 'shelter'. In spite of its tremendous importance, the construction industry has also been known and criticized for its non-eco friendly nature. There are several activities related to the construction industry, such as demolition which contributes towards generation of huge quantity of waste. Moreover, waste in the construction industry is generated at every stage, starting from the extraction of the raw materials to the utilization of the final product.


Statistics shows that 35% of the world's industrial waste is generated solely in the construction sector.

Thus, at present times, the management of the construction and demolition (C&D) waste has become a very worrisome problem. Many researchers have suggested onsite segregation of C&D waste as the most feasible solution for its management. However the quality and quantity of these waste makes manual segregation out of question! But the ever-increasing environmental issues caused by C&D waste there is a requirement of immediate redressal.


In this regards, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as the much-needed solution to both improve the environment as well as to promote ESG criteria in the construction industry. A good practical illustration to this is viAct’s AI powered environmental modules which utilize AI based computer vision to monitor multiple aspects of C&D waste for construction projects.


Let’s know how viAct’s environmental modules are tailor crafted to mitigate the increasing issue of C&D wastes.


Dump Truck Management


The dump trucks are common sight in any construction project. Their utility cannot be denied! However, managing a dump truck is not an easy task. The hassle-free transport of construction and related materials from one place to another through these dump trucks without any non-compliance has always been a headache to the mangers. It is due to the fact that the management of dump trucks has been associated with multiple issues.

Being majorly utilized for carrying waste and loose materials, such as sand, gravel and stone in and out of the construction site, they are expected to be closed while operational. However in case of an open dump truck, falling of these materials out of the dump trucks may cause serious accidents on roads. A tiny piece of gravel is enough to crack windshield of the vehicle running behind or surprise/distract the driver in turn causing him/her lose control of the vehicle causing fatal accidents. In addition to this, the dump trucks many a times carry hazardous materials such as tar and asphalt, which if fallen off from the trucks while moving, can contaminate the environment and damage the road surfaces as well.


Another prominent issue related to dump truck management is 'truck overload'. Overweighed dump trucks may have several safety issues as well as mechanical concerns. Overweighed dump trucks can cause cracking of roads and bridges, increasing the number of pot holes and other such dangerous situations for other drivers on the road. Further, overload also increases the possibility of crashes, since it becomes difficult for an overloaded truck to stop or accelerate quickly. Finally, overload can also bring about fatal mechanical problems, due to the strain on the breaks and other mechanical parts.


Acknowledging all these issues related to dump truck management, viAct have introduced exclusive AI modules, namely, 'Dump Truck Cover Detection', 'Dump Truck Overweight Alert', and 'Dump Truck Management'. These modules act as effective solution to detect uncovered and overloaded trucks. The IP cameras powered by the AI processor, detect if any dump truck is uncovered or overweight before it leaves the site. In case of such non-compliance, instant alert generated by the system helps managers to instantly take suitable actions. Moreover a complete surveillance of dump tracks is further achieved by digitization of dump truck license number and CHIT number. As compared to the manual paper work method, the AI monitoring through viAct’s smart dashboard ensures an easier management of the dump trucks that come in and go out of the construction site. This not only eases efforts of mangers to monitor these trucks but also ensures an overall operational safety.


Construction Materials On-Site Segregation


The first step for management of C&D waste is onsite segregation of waste according to its nature and disposability. However due to the volume of waste generated and its hazardous nature, an effective segregation becomes almost impossible through manual efforts. Out of all the construction and demolition wastes, earthen waste is the most common type. Various types of earthen wastes such as rocks, soil and slurry are produced in construction sites in a humungous volume. However, each of these types of wastes has different landfill disposal procedures. Therefore, identification and segregation of these wastes is very essential to ensure its proper disposal. Apart from this other common construction wastes include concrete, bricks, tiles, cement, ceramics, wood, glass, tar, coal, soil, stones, paints etc. These wastes can broadly be classified as inert waste and non-inert waste. Inert wastes are such waste materials that are neither biologically or chemically reactive, and either slowly decomposes or does not decompose at all. Examples of inert wastes are: concrete, stones, debris, bricks, rubble, etc. Other construction wastes are non-inert and include timber, packaging waste, bamboo, and other such organic materials which are decomposable and allowed for landfill dumping. Segregation of these construction wastes is of utmost importance because, firstly, all of these have different disposal procedure; and secondly, because many of these can be recycled or salvaged or reused.


With regards to these issues related to construction materials segregation, one of viAct's hardware, namely the viMAC offers an effective solution. viMAC is a smart AI Monitoring for Machineries. The already installed IP cameras in the site are powered by AI through viMAC’s AI processor making it capable enough to detect the minutest difference in the materials. These IP cameras detect and classify the different types of soils, like soil, slurry and rocks. In case any construction waste is dumped into a wrong container, its seamless AI enabled vision technology generates instant and automatic audio-visual alerts. Thus, this smart AI monitoring technique ensures on-site construction materials segregation, in turn ensuring proper disposal of each of the categories of construction wastes.


Remote Control for C&D Waste Management


In case of the aforementioned modules, viAct’s smart cloud platform further establishes a remote control of the C&D waste management. Apart from on-site alerts; connecting to the cloud platform, a real time alert is also sent to the senior management, via SMS, email or any other instant messaging apps. Further, viAct's online dashboard keeps a record of all the non-compliances in terms of disposal of waste or dump trucks taking place in the construction site. The dashboard also displays a trend report of all these non-compliances. These records could be viewed instantly by the remote managers or later viewed within any date range, for a more effective planning of C&D waste disposal.


Thus, the well trained AI enabled smart modules along with viAct’s powerful hardware collection, viMAC; ensures a better tracking and monitoring of C&D wastes making the construction projects environment friendly and bringing new possibilities to the age long problem of construction and demolition (C&D) wastes management ultimately adding up to enhancement of ESG scores in the construction industry.


 




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