Construction

Defining Workspace Efficiency with Heatmaps for Construction Sites

August 16, 2022
5 min
Defining Workspace Efficiency with Heatmaps for Construction Sites

Construction jobsites can be chaotic, complex, and dangerous for workers and management, depending on the scope of the project. A workspace within a construction site is a valuable resource that can speed up or slow down a project. Many construction companies struggle to efficiently streamline task performances and obtain real-time objective data inside and outside of buildings. 

Understanding heatmaps

A workspace within a construction site generates activities and scattered data, but Project Managers and other key decision-makers involved generally have a difficult time capturing this data due to a lack of tools for collecting and managing it. Many industry leaders note that the construction industry has been suffering in billions of dollars because there is a general lack of skill around collecting and managing data. To capture valuable workforce data on a construction site, many innovative companies are utilizing heatmaps (aka heat maps).  

In short, heatmaps provide graphical representations of data using a range of colors to represent the density of various parameters (density plots). Heatmaps can display metrics collected from IoT devices like temperature, humidity, energy consumption, and human activity. Many professionals outside of construction use heatmaps for their purpose in work environments, such as marketers for website page insights.

Heatmaps have an x-axis and are often a measure of time but can be any variable with groupings. The y-axis on heatmaps is a variable that defines the categories in the data. Heatmaps are developed through four main components and are a pretty straightforward process. The process is through sensor deployment, data acquisition, pre-processing, and data analytics. 

Utilizing heatmaps for construction sites

Due to the chaotic nature of construction sites, heatmaps are a new and fresh way to progress projects in real-time. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits construction companies are receiving from using heatmaps.   

Knowing worker location, activity, and density

Within a construction site lies a worksite perimeter. Within the worksite perimeter, so many day-to-day activities occur that make it hard to monitor. With Heatmaps, Project Managers can analyze the most active locations without knowing the exact location of a worker through automated workspace detection.

Heatmaps also help identify where workers should be at points in the day through their movement density at the jobsite. It is reasonable to understand that a deeper color of the heatmap represents value-adding activities because a higher frequency of the position points is detected within a deeper-colored area.

heatmap spectrum
Sample heatmap color key:

Identifying time-space conflicts and work congestion

With heatmaps, Project Managers can identify time-space conflicts and work congestion/bottlenecks on the work site. When an emergency occurs, Project Managers can understand evacuation methods and strategies based on worker density on the jobsite.

Access points can be scattered across construction sites and heatmaps are a tool many companies are using to reduce the headaches that come with onsite safety. There can be a lot of bottlenecks on a jobsite and Management is always looking for new ways to streamline processes and safety.

Task planning & schedule optimization

Understanding how to utilize takt planning and where each trade has to finish their tasks in each assigned area is a huge benefit of heatmaps many construction companies are utilizing today. For a project that implements takt planning, heatmaps can help detect workspace over time and compare them with the assigned Takt area.

Some heatmaps like the Kwant heatmap allow companies to filter based on trade and company for faster knowledge and insights. Companies also interpret what type of activity has or is happening on a jobsite based on worker cost codes and location density information.

Anonymized data for privacy & security

Data privacy and security are huge aspects of any industry. From the Kwant perspective, privacy is a human right. Your crews are working in challenging environments, and safety is necessary both physically and digitally.

When companies utilize heatmaps, they can analyze the most active location without knowing the exact location of a worker to keep privacy active for both parties. Having specific anonymization of information on the field allows for a safer workspace. When it comes to heatmaps, the information is never pulled off the jobsite, only when on a work site. 

With automated workspace detection through heatmaps, companies can utilize the work site safely and proactively that doesn't expose sensitive information.

Data-driven analytics & insights 

Visualization tools are a must for construction professionals in this day and age. We need better tools to make better decisions when dollar value is thrown in the mix. To improve project outcomes and productivity rates, many professionals are utilizing dashboards and visualization tools to digest the data into actionable outcomes. When using heatmaps on construction sites, one can capture temporal and dimensional data through automated and illustrative processes. 

Onsite dimensional data connects to resource management like workforce, equipment, and materials. Spatiotemporal data can generate a space-loaded production model where value-adding activities can be detected based on movements, density, workers, or resources handled. Color changes on heatmaps also allow for management to quickly identify intensive working activities or production at a certain time and place.

How to get heatmaps for your project

heatmap gif
heatmap timelapse gif

The use of heatmaps for project jobsites are increasing by the year, especially within construction. Visualization tools can greatly depend on the application you are using. It is important to pay attention to the little and big details the heatmap provides so that data is interpreted properly and results are proven fruitful.

Kwant is a software and hardware-based company that specializes in productivity and safety for construction sites. Our powerful platform provides high-resolution heatmaps to construction professionals specifically for jobsites. 

With the workforce management and safety platform by Kwant, construction professionals can unlock construction site data for actionable data-driven results. 

Try the heatmap feature by Kwant today and learn more about data visualization tools.

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