Weather is an important factor in the planning, design, and execution of a construction project. It has varied and extensive impacts on the result of a project. From the initial phase to post-project documentation, weather influences construction site, the safety of labors, planning and scheduling time, equipment performance, and activities operation.
Moreover, the extreme weather conditions in certain regions can make it difficult for construction activities to progress. One severe weather event could cost an organization up to $400,000 in one day of lost work on a project of $400 million.
But, by the use of artificial intelligence, big data, deep learning, machine learning, and predictive models, construction staff and project activities can be protected from the impact of weather. The stakeholders can't control the weather conditions, however they can assume responsibility for its effects, including opportunities and threats.
Adam Omansky, CEO of WeatherBuild, believes that project managers are choosing the WeatherBuild software to make a decision regarding the impact of weather change on their project and it is becoming a powerful tool for risk management strategies in today's environment.
WeatherBuild is one of the solutions to weather-related problems. The software provides end-to-end solutions for weather forecasting and how the weather may affect the project. This software can tackle all the weather-related challenges that may haunt a construction project.
1. Use of WeatherBuild to Prepare for Extreme Weather Events
To plan the construction work, the past practice of project managers was to rely on generic weather forecasts and recorded level points for a large geographic area. However, these types of data are no longer reliable, particularly in huge, complex projects in remote areas where the weather prediction application is not very reliable.
All the basic weather information can be accessed quickly with the use of big data. An AI-powered software like WeatherBuild can consolidate the weather information from authorized quality-controlled sources and business-level sources with project plans and scheduling information.
After obtaining all the information, a site-specific simulation can be created to provide the required solution for a specific activity of the project. With the use of a proprietary rule engine, WeatherBuild takes the complex data from different sources and processes it in a practical and comprehensible manner for project managers.
Basically, WeatherBuild software provides an accurate conclusion regarding project-explicit weather events, safety hazards, and schedule effects in a format that makes it simpler for groups and crews to make quick decisions for staying cost-effective despite the unpredictable weather.
Impact on each activity of the project is paired with the weather events and the outcome is described in terms of impact on the schedule of activity and impact on the safety of workers. WeatherBuild also provides resource suggestions specific to heavy machines, building materials, work results, and ecological controls.
Let us understand the working of WeatherBuild by taking an example of construction work performed by a crane lift. WeatherBuild links the lifting exercises with both forecast events and continuous ground reality of wind speed, wind direction, wind gust, and wind at different heights over the ground level.
After linking the data, WeatherBuild analyses the scheduled data provided by the customer, such as the type of crane, and safety hazards for crane lifting exercises. Also, alternative options are provided in the output report, for instance, whether the lifting exercise should be carried out with reduced lifting capacity or the maximum height of the lift should be reduced.
All these features come over in scheduled reports generated automatically for each shift. For example, for work that begins at 7 A.M., reports will be automatically generated by 6 A.M. Also, all cautions to weather events that affect timetables and safety are sent via an instant message, with a mobile-friendly short link. There is no online interface to sign into, no application to launch.
2. Report and Alerts Generated by WeatherBuild
Adam Omansky explained through an example how a client for a high-rise building construction project required more than 100 custom weather rules that were explicit to heavy machines and building materials.
For instance, if wind speed or wind at different height surpasses predefined limits, the customer will know which safety measures to take ahead of that wind event, how temporary scaffolding and staging may get impacted, and what test they need to perform after the event to guarantee that the scaffolding platform is safe to work on.
WeatherBuild sends notifications related to rainstorms, lightning strikes, and changes in weather. It can also detect real-time lightning strike locations. The administrator, equipment operator, and security supervisor get the warning notifications on their cellphones within a minute just after the lighting strikes.
For each task, site, and resource, a client can set up three scopes of warnings, watches, and advisories. After that, WeatherBuild sends only one alert notification within one hour for every three scopes when the first lightning strikes. The main reason for one notification is that the lightning strike can happen consistently in milliseconds or seconds and the WeatherBuild team would prefer not to spam the safety manager with many instant messages.
When lightning is not identified inside the peripheral reach of a particular area, WeatherBuild sends a countdown timer notification that helps the crews and workers to know when they can resume work with proper safety. After the lightning strike passes, the clients have a set of logs that shows each lightning strike with a date, time, and geolocation stamp. The stamp represents every 10th-mile location and time in seconds for all lightning strikes.
A project manager can take that log to the project owner as confirmation that they couldn't work and request an extension in the scheduled time or ask for relief funds in case of damage. Recently, a national contractor from Florida came to the WeatherBuild team explicitly for this function, as one of their concrete pumps was affected directly due to a lightning strike.