Construction Workspace Management under Covid-19 and Forthcoming Pandemics

Nik Bakht, Mazdak | $50,000

Quebec Concordia University 2020 NSERC Alliance COVID-19 Grant

Construction industry is an instrumental component of Canadian economy, supporting urban / rural critical services, and currently hiring almost one in every 14 working Canadians. While many construction operations are considered essential services and must be maintained ongoing during (and following) pandemic, the health and safety for construction crews and site workers are of paramount importance. The restoration (and continuation) of construction operations under the crisis of COVID‑19 pandemic requires enforcement of specific Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) provisions in construction sites (including the use of additional personal protective equipment; applying physical distancing; and frequent disinfection of construction equipment). This will make essential changes to work processes and will affect the production rate of various construction activities (particularly the labor-intensive ones). The proposed project will advance and extend a software tool recently developed by the Co-PI’s at Concordia University, to help with updating construction schedules with requirements of social/physical distancing, and other HSE provisions. A cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) will be developed with two main modules: a Process Modeler; and a Schedule Optimizer, which can be used for a range of planning decisions; from simple construction activities, to complex project workflows, taking advantage of 2D drawings, and/or 3D and 4D BIM (Building Information Models). Furthermore, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology will be used to track the site personnel involved in each of the simulated activities, and control / alert the enforcement of HSE policies. The on-site tracking results fed back into the cloud database will continuously improve the accuracy of simulation models. The team at Concordia is partnering with two industry leaders: SNC-Lavalin, as one of the largest Canadian contractors with a wide presence in international construction market; and ReelyActive, a pioneer in BLE-based human tracking. The proposed project will recruit and train five HQP, who will receive training in the partner companies as well as construction sites.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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