Toronto architect firm WZMH are set to join Microsoft’s IoT Insider Labs Program
Award winning Canadian architect firm, WZMH Architects has been accepted into Microsoft’s global Internet of Things (IoT) Insider Labs, a program designed to accelerate businesses that are reshaping their industries by transforming the way people, devices, and data interact.
Based in Toronto, WZMH Architects along with Quasar Consulting Group, Stephenson Engineering and C3PoE will join the program thanks to their development of a new building technology, an Intelligent Structural Panel (ISP), with which they are engaging in a number of ongoing technical workshops at the Microsoft Internet of Things (IoT) lab headquarters.
The Intelligent Structural Panel (ISP) is a smart building solution that provides plug and play infrastructure to allow a wide variety of devices to be connected and wirelessly controlled from any location. By collecting real-time data from localized surroundings, the ISP enables a range of devices – from lighting, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), elevators, motorized shades, smoke alarms, and security systems, etc. – to react and respond to an environment according to changes in movement, touch, sound, sunlight, room temperature, or even personnel flow.
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The ISP was created with the goal of providing true value add to all stakeholders of a building project by providing them with a prefabricated and modular solution that is: cost effective, reduces a construction schedule and long-term operating costs, sustainable, and allows the implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the integration of all IoT connected devices.
“The Intelligent Structural Panel technology reimagines the traditional approach to the design and build process, taking a critical look at how buildings are built from the inside out. Bringing smart technology directly into the fabric of the structure instead of applying it as an afterthought will improve the quality of the building’s performance,” Zenon Radewych, Principal at WZMH Architects and ISP project lead stated in a recent press release. “The ISP is a solution geared towards leveraging the connectivity of technology to help make buildings more user friendly, barrier free, accessible, and safe.”
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.