At last, the sharing economy comes to the construction industry / by Scott A.

The transformative rise of machine-to-machine communication

                       A robot welding an automotive part. Factory_Easy/Shutterstock

                       A robot welding an automotive part. Factory_Easy/Shutterstock

After cars and houses, it’s the construction industry’s turn to get the sharing economy treatment.
Powered by advances in telematics, Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud technology, equipment rentals stand to make construction an even more cost-effective endeavor for property developers everywhere.

“Data is the backhoe that helps constructors unearth operational insights that would otherwise have stayed buried,” said John Rampton, founder of mobile payment app Due, in a blog for The Huffington Post.

Rampton cites the increasing popularity of EquipmentShare, a sharing platform which enables equipment owners to monetise their assets and contractor-users to increase savings on maintenance.

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Construction equipment tends to remain unused 70 percent of the time, with maintenance expenses for projects topping anywhere between 5 and 25 percent of an equipment’s value, Rampton pointed out.

EquipmentShare’s utility banks on the meteoric rise in recent years of telematics. A system called ES Track allows equipment rented through EquipmentShare to constantly exchange information, such as fluid levels and pressures, through the cloud. This helps preempt costly repairs and reduces on-site maintenance.

“With data insights from the IoT, contractors can use data to realize, for example, they should be tapping into the shared economy to increase asset utilization and boost their ROI and bottom line,” Rampton said.

Equipment rentals are hardly the only paradigm shifts in the construction industry. In a hearing last month on augmented reality (AR), the US senate discussed the utility of smart helmets with contech firm Daqri.

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