Mislocation of subsurface infrastructure is the main cause of utility damage in construction projects. Damage dealt to necessary utility lines, such as electricity lines, gas lines and water lines results in a plethora of complications. When you have a utility strike, the affected parties include citizens who may not be able to access important services they need, property that is damaged, and the potential for injury, and even death.
The specter of utility strikes results in increased liability, scheduling delays, and severe consequences for the construction firm leading the project. In a 2021 report by the Common Ground Alliance, North American location professionals agreed that more accurate subsurface utility information is a top priority for improving their construction strategy. The same report also noted that underground utilities were damaged in 230,000 separate incidents across the United States and Canada during 2021.
The main cause of these failures is a lack of objective location data for subsurface infrastructure, and no centralized repository to store this information. The status-quo of using as-built drawings as the sole indicator of mapping job sites is outdated. As-built drawings that are used for assessing subsurface infrastructure are typically confusing for future readers to understand, lack consistency in how they’re produced, and often contain inaccurate measurements and information. As such, shifting toward a paradigm of sustainable building and maintenance in municipal infrastructure management will require leveraging new forms of technology. Some of these technologies include sensing and monitoring for determining subsurface infrastructure and utility location, while others involve management and collaboration to ensure that safety is being prioritized throughout the process. SiteMap®, powered by GPRS, not only offers the tools to streamline subsurface infrastructure projects, it also makes the process more centralized, safe and efficient.
SiteMap’s role in identifying subsurface infrastructure is a prominent value add for all stakeholders in the construction industry, as it helps identify risks, streamlines and secures communication, and enhances collaboration. With SiteMap®, stakeholders on a project can leverage the state-of-the-art infrastructure assessment and scanning services offered by GPRS, as well as create a centralized database of as-built drawings, and other information pertaining to their respective construction project. Thus, making the planning more streamlined and the building process less risky. Among the features and services SiteMap® offers, those most aligned with subsurface infrastructure mapping are Concrete scanning and mapping and modeling via Digital Plan Room.
GPRS is equipped with the ability to non-invasively inspect concrete using ground penetrating radar (GPR), a technology that leverages electromagnetic waves to visualize what is beneath the surface of the concrete. With this scanning modality, concrete slabs and floors can be evaluated for their thickness, if they are within close proximity of sensitive utility lines, or if they contain any substantial surface defects. This saves time and money from the conventional methods of invasive testing that involve destroying the concrete to assess the condition of the structure. From a maintenance standpoint, the longevity of subsurface infrastructure presumes that the parties maintaining them over the years are bound to change. Despite this, concrete scanning keeps newer operators informed of impediments, such as rebar and beams within certain parts of the infrastructure and allows them to quantitatively evaluate the necessary repairs that need to be made.
SiteMap’s Digital Plan Room is a cloud-based secure space within SiteMap that allows stakeholders in the construction industry to have a centralized repository of documents, images, and information related to a jobsite project. The building and maintenance of subsurface infrastructure is a laborious process. It requires collaboration among design firms and engineers, as well as general contractors and subcontractors for equipment operation. Given the involvement of all these different parties and the lack of uniformity in their management processes, there are opportunities for miscommunication safety critical objectives when building
The mistakes these miscommunications cause can result in future infrastructure being built atop sensitive subsurface utilities and can propagate destruction, service outages, and even loss of life. The Digital Plan Room mitigates this risk by enabling all parties to have transparent access to all information involving a project. Within the platform, they can view historical threads of concrete slab info, underground inspection data, and 3D spatial info to contextualize their decisions in relation to what is being built. This is especially important when mitigating the risk of what beneath a potential construction site, and how compared to the conventional, manual processes of gathering information from multiple sources, SiteMap’s Digital Plan Room speeds up the process of gathering information. By enabling collaboration in real-time, stakeholders can move with informed insight when driving their infrastructural projects forward..
Overall, new technologies must be leveraged to make the process of identifying subsurface infrastructure less invasive and destructive while making it safer and more efficient.The Concrete Scanning and Digital Plan Room services offered within SiteMap® are uniquely positioned to fill this gap. The use of facility management software, like SiteMap®, enables the stakeholders within the construction industry to make safe, informed, and efficient decisions. SiteMap®, powered by GPRS turns stakeholder silos into collaborative networks, and empowers its users by giving them a centralized repository of all needed project information.
SiteMap® products and services empower users to put their best foot forward when starting construction projects, resulting in saving you time and money.To learn more about what SiteMap® offers, download our brochures and contact us for a quote today!