How IoT Is Transforming Civil Engineering

June 29

The smarter technology gets, the more interactive and interconnected larger systems become. That’s certainly the case with IoT in civil engineering, as sensors that monitor and transmit data are showing up everywhere in society. Utilities, manufacturers, and supply chains were early pioneers of this empowering digital technology, and now many other industries are following suit. Here’s a look at how IoT is advancing civil engineering.

Related: How IoT Technology is Revolutionizing the Construction Industry

IoT Integration with Civil Engineering

Not only has IoT expanded to the retail and healthcare sectors, IoT is gaining increasing momentum in civil engineering as well. Economic analysts expect the global market for IoT will reach $1.5 trillion by 2030, which will reflect exponentially more usage than today. About 20 billion interactive devices are currently connected to the internet. Civil engineering, which involves design, construction, and maintenance for public and private projects, already plays a huge role in this evolution. Renovation of infrastructure elements such as roads, bridges, and airports will be the norm in this ongoing digital transformation.

Prior to the industrial revolution, the terms “civil engineer” and “architect” were generally synonyms that referred to the same profession, as usage was based on geography. During the technological age, a civil engineer is someone who resolves problems in society with scientific or technological solutions through project management. Many of today’s civil engineers work for construction companies, helping with project planning.

The construction industry has many reasons to integrate with IoT technology. It may involve construction of smart buildings that are embedded with countless sensors or it can even be used for construction companies to monitor their own projects in real time. Going more digital empowers any type of organization, as it can collect data on its operations to determine how to achieve greater production efficiency.

Keep reading: Business Applications of IoT and Digital Twin Technology

Civil Engineering Applications for IoT Technology

Adopting proactive steps toward preventative maintenance – The civil engineering industry is working toward reducing waste and enhancing efficiency. IoT devices give civil engineers the data they need for evaluating system strengths and vulnerabilities. Detecting and fixing technical problems early is the best path for achieving preventative maintenance.

Construction management streamlining – Project management is all about monitoring supplies, labor, and other factors that affect meeting deadlines on time. Decision-makers can analyze real-time data on supply chain inventory and prices to determine building strategies as the project unfolds. IoT technology can also be used to track specific workers, supplies, vehicles, or equipment.

Agility, accuracy, and transparency of automation – Despite the steady transition to a paperless society, construction projects still involve plenty of handwritten forms and paperwork. Automation technology resolves the problem of when paperwork piles up too high, as cloud tools add data automatically to continuous reports on expenses, scheduling and progress. By making project data immediately available to stakeholders, construction firms are becoming more reliable and accountable to project funders.

Read more: How IoT Contributes to Sustainable Agriculture

Project safety improvements – Since construction sites have many dangerous elements, it’s crucial for project managers to be informed immediately when an injury or property damage occurs. IoT sensors and smart cameras can collect instant data on site conditions, including security breaches. Individual workers can be monitored at all times through a shared connection to ensure safety as well as productivity.

More intelligent IT support – IT support only gets better the more relevant data it collects. Ultimately, the IoT revolution is all about putting value and trust in analytics, which can then help you refine your operation by weeding out wasteful inefficiencies. The more you’re able to identify problems in your production process, the faster you’ll be able to resolve them using your own analytical skills or with the help of AI technology.


Adoption of IoT in civil engineering has helped accelerate society’s digital transformation. Integrating data sensors in construction projects help avoid costly mistakes and improve the final product. Essentially, construction companies that invest in IoT today will have significant operational advantages over competitors of the future.

Johannes Beekman

About the author

After 25 years in engineering, Johannes Beekman founded IoT Marketing with the goal of helping companies bring wide-scale awareness to their inventions. He received a Master of Science in Physics degree from the Eindhoven University of Technology, and a Master in Business Administration degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and started his career in the semiconductor field. Johannes pioneered two successful wafer fab startups for Philips Electronics; one in Europe and the second one in Asia. And served as Senior Program Manager for Sematech, where he provided solutions for semiconductor industry-wide product improvement and cost reduction challenges. Johannes has also published articles on several trade-focused websites.


construction automation, construction management, Industry 4.0, IoT Technology, smart construction

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}