Connected construction sites to boost safety and efficiency

Telia Norway and technology company Effera have set off on a shared path to digitalize construction sites. The partnership is the first of its kind – a major step towards a digital construction industry.

The construction industry faces the same challenges as many other industries; it must achieve more in less time. Furthermore, the efficient running of construction sites demand not only total control of materials and resources, but also the highest level of security and personal safety.

The answer, according to Telia Norway and Effera, is digitalization.

As a result of the partnership, sensors will provide information about who and what equipment is being used on the site to make it possible to use all resources in the best possible way.
"Telia actively contributes to the digitalization of many types of industries, and strongly believes in an ecosystem where we and our partners can create efficiency and value," says Jon Christian Hillestad, head of Enterprise at Telia Norway. "This is the first partnership with the aim to digitalize the construction industry. Our IoT technology and Effera's digital platform can enable huge cost-savings, through the more efficient operation of construction sites and major projects. In addition, this cooperation will bring even better safety to the sites.”

Sensors detect and gather information
The gathering of information is done via sensors connected to Telia's IoT infrastructure and the Narrowband (NB-IoT) and LTE-M technologies, which Telia Norway was first to bring the Nordic countries. The sensors can be attached to any machine, and by using the connected RFID sensors personnel onsite can be detected, allowing access to real-time information about who handles what machine, the air quality and the status of any water systems.
Previous solutions have often been expensive, and their usefulness limited. But NB-IoT and LTE-M provide more cost-effective solutions, including lower unit cost and increased battery life. Furthermore, less complex devices will make it easier to reuse the solutions across multiple projects.

"Having information about both people and machines is the key to running an efficient project," says Frank Wehus, Managing Director of Effera. “Take, for example, the early stage in a major road project, where more than seven million cubic meters of concrete will be delivered and more than 100 machines used. A manual overview of that is not possible. With digital, close and real-time information about all machines in operation, you can follow all loads and act immediately if something does not go according plan.”

Safety is always paramount at any seriously operated construction site. Knowing where on the site the people are is necessary in case of any kind of incident. In addition, there are of course environmental requirements that the entrepreneur must follow.
"When connected sensors continuously measure this, costs are reduced and safety increased,” Wehus says.