Smart infrastructure is the most dynamic change impacting construction and the built environment.
Advances in digital technology allows us to use our physical assets more efficiently as sensors are embedded in the infrastructure to monitor and optimize the equipment and the systems it supports. It allows facility managers and governments to get more from new and existing assets by increasing the understanding of how the assets are performing. This in turn creates better decision making in how we design, operate and maintain them.
Our NECA contractors and IBEW workforce are shaping the future of engineering and installing smart infrastructure that includes the following:
Smart Cities – Civic planning is in an era of enormous creativity as a growing number of metropolitan areas are investing in smart infrastructure to better manage safety, traffic, energy consumption, sustainability and other urban lifestyle needs. Atlanta, Phoenix, Washington, D.C. and others are all actively involved in developing smart city infrastructure. This includes adaptive traffic signals, high-definition video surveillance to monitor and improve vehicle and pedestrian traffic flow, electric vehicle charging stations, autonomous vehicle support, sensors for better water, wastewater and flood management, security cameras to aid law enforcement, controls for more energy efficient street lighting, improvements to connectivity between neighborhoods and more.
Smart Roads – States are investing in road improvements that entail the installation of high-capacity fiber optic cable and embedded, wireless sensors. The technology serves autonomous vehicles while also providing more frequent and accurate traffic counts, weather and surface condition monitoring, and incident management improvements, including more quickly detecting an auto accident and dispatching emergency crews. Smart road lighting embedded in the pavement is now being used to help drivers stay in the correct lane at intersections. Other applications include sensors to reduce animal and vehicle collisions on the road, especially deer, and using sensor technology and drones to reduce the amount of salt needed for roads, while alerting drivers of particularly slippery conditions.
Smart Buildings – Building managers have come to appreciate smart technology not only because it improves the tenant experience, but also improves the building’s value. As a result, more than 80 percent of new construction involves some smart technology-related component. IHS Markit reports the hotel industry is leading the transition to smart buildings to better compete for customers. More efficient energy management is one of the prime drivers of building automation, including lighting controls, automated shading, occupancy sensors and more. Low voltage installations are critical to integration of smart building systems that allows real time measurement of building efficiencies so adjustments can be made to improve the overall value of the asset. Fully integrated security systems are also part of smart technology.
Smart Manufacturing – In many ways, the manufacturing sector has been the most enduring example of IBEW/NECA skills in smart infrastructure and technology. We have a long track record of engineering and installing process controls, sensors, robotics and other technologies to improve the reliability of the manufacturing process. Strategic energy management for our industrial customers also relies on real time-data that measures operational efficiencies to reduce the cost of production.
Learn more about our proficiencies in smart infrastructure that builds greater value for municipalities, governments, facility managers, manufacturers and more by visiting our “Find a Contractor” page.
Video Clips2016 - IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection 2015 Robotics Competition April 2015 STEM