Precision demands in the construction industry

June 10, 2024  - By
Photo: richard johnson / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Photo: richard johnson / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

GNSS technology has become integral to construction work. In particular, firms rely on GNSS signals in four critical areas.

Site surveys
Surveying always has been a foundational aspect of construction planning. Mapping and staking the construction site is essential in preparing to break ground and build on site. Surveyors begin the task of bringing engineering plans from vision to reality.
This work may take place from the air and on the ground, and it now typically involves a vast array of tools to ensure accuracy, including drones, cameras, lasers, sensors, and GNSS signals. The data from GNSS are critical in helping surveyors and engineers create “digital twins” — virtual representations of the physical site they can update in real time to ensure the site matches the plan.

Robotics have further transformed the work of construction, both in terms of site surveying and the work of building. Rovers, drones and construction robots can execute various tasks to improve project efficiency and save money.
Once again, GNSS signals play a critical role in ensuring robots carry out their tasks effectively and accurately. Land surveying rovers, for instance, rely on real-time satellite data to navigate construction sites and mark spots for construction with pinpoint precision.

Damage prevention
Construction work is highly invasive, penetrating the ground where hidden power, gas and water lines lie. Misfires during this process can have substantial cost implications or even be life-threatening for construction crews.
Construction firms can use GNSS receivers and other complex instruments to prepare for excavation. These tools provide detailed location information for underground pipes and wires and ensure contractors don’t damage critical underground infrastructure and cause costly delays or dangerous work conditions.
Engineers also can use GNSS data to pinpoint where future utility lines will be, ensuring construction does not get in the way of laying pipelines to bring the constructed building online.

Site inspections
GNSS data continue to play a critical role while construction work unfolds. As builders lay foundations, frame buildings and add finishes, engineers and inspectors can collect site reports and use satellite data to update digital twins and verify the work is on track.
With updated and accurate digital twins, planners have a real-time view of the work in progress, which they can use to inform plans, budgets and timelines as the project unfolds.

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About the Author: Aaron Nathan

Aaron Nathan is the CEO and founder of Point one Navigation