Water spews out of ground while two workers inspect nearby
Tech reduces water-related risk on construction sites

Water waste and damage are enormous problems for the construction industry. Water damage resulting from inefficient or ineffective water management on jobsites causes significant losses for contractors resulting from delays, material costs, remediation and removal, reputational damage or skyrocketing insurance premiums.

Depending on the size of the building or system, those costs can reach millions of dollars on a single project. Ultimately, leaks, water loss and water damage are the sources of ongoing economic trauma for contractors and their partners and customers, with negative consequences on productivity, efficiency and profitability that reverberate throughout the industry. 

Insurance costs, in particular, are rising steeply. Water damage claims, one of the most common insurance claims for general contractors, represent 30% of the loss ratio for insurers in the construction industry. As insurers face rising payouts for water damage claims, deductibles have climbed sharply, resulting in a severe impact on profitability for contractors and developers.

In addition to water damage, as much as 25% of the water entering the built environment, including during the construction phase, is ultimately wasted. During construction, the cost of water wasted through inefficiency or small, unidentified leaks may be absorbed by the contractor. 

Until recently, however, water has remained a largely unmanaged resource. For decades, construction professionals have relied on visual inspections and outdated technology such as leak sensors to manage water supplies on jobsites. Those methods aren’t suited for the demands of the modern construction industry. 

Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and the Internet of Things (IoT) are transforming how construction professionals deal with water waste. Innovative, data-powered water management solutions empower companies to proactively optimize water use and mitigate waste and risk for construction companies. 

Advanced leak detection and analytics solutions support a building’s complete operational life cycle, from construction to operation. At all stages, these systems provide accurate real-time data on water consumption, identify the location of a leak, and even shut off the water supply automatically in case the leak has the potential to cause damage. 

Intelligent real-time monitoring helps teams identify leaks at the source, eliminating the risk of water loss, property damage and interrupted workflows, as well as carbon emissions. They offer a way for companies to reduce risk and waste while also meeting sustainability goals by optimizing water usage. 

Water damage can happen very quickly. In addition to recognizing consumption and potential leaks, an ideal water management solution must also be able to proactively communicate information through automated real-time alerts across text, email and phone notifications. An important feature of the best water management technology platforms is the capacity to shut off the valves automatically and remotely, regardless of on-site staffing.  

It’s crucial that an advanced water management system can integrate with a wide range of existing building management systems so users have total visibility and control all in the same place.

IoT and cloud-based technology have cut applications loose from the scale constraints of previous times. The implication of IoT devices is that any site can benefit from the cloud’s endless processing power without having to deal with complex and costly computing infrastructure, allowing dozens or hundreds of devices to wirelessly analyze water usage conditions. AI and continuous learning are updated at the jobsite. This means the data collected and the analysis performed increase in accuracy and are able to detect anomalies with excellent granularity.  

AI and other connected solutions provide insights that can dramatically improve efficiency and mitigate water damage on jobsites, while reducing the building’s environmental footprint. They offer real-time alerts, automation and connectivity across a variety of platforms, allowing contractors and developers to mitigate damage, avoid the financial impact of rising deductibles, and reduce overall water consumption and its related carbon footprint by an average of 20% to 25%.