Construction monitoring constraints and challenges: A feasibility study

Paul Fidler, Paul J Vardanega, Peter Long, Graham Webb, John Stehle, Campbell Middleton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

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This paper presents a study of the constraints and challenges faced by the authors when invited to study the feasibility of developing a monitoring system to provide specific information sought by the designer and contractor during the construction of the new 225m high, 48 storey steel-framed Leadenhall Building, located at 122 Leadenhall Street in London. The original goal of the study was to develop a system to assist with the active alignment of the building during construction, a key aim being to determine if the diagonal bracing members were in tension or compression. Installing strain gauges directly onto the steel bracing members was not permitted due to concerns regarding the integrity of the intumescent paint coating. A laboratory study to investigate the ability to measure strain directly from the paint surface was undertaken. Aesthetic concerns also imposed further restrictions on what could be attached to the structure. This feasibility study did result in the development of a new wireless sensor to measure temperature and optionally strain. In order to allow the sensors to be unobtrusive they were designed to fit within holes already present in the steel sections, originally used for attaching lifting equipment during erection of the steel frame. This exploratory study demonstrates that such collaborations can yield outcomes which, while not originally envisaged, nevertheless have the potential to benefit the research organisation, the designer and the contractor. This paper demonstrates how a bespoke wireless sensor platform can be rapidly developed using existing technologies to fit the needs of an individual project. The potential for use on future construction projects of a similar nature is also highlighted and future research directions discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStructural Health Monitoring for Infrastructure Sustainability
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 6th International Conference on Structural Health Monitoring of Intelligent Infrastructure, 9-11 December 2013, Hong Kong, China
EditorsY. L. Xu, S. Zhu, Y. Xia, Y. Q. Ni, S. S. Law, J. H. Yin, Z. Q. Su
Place of PublicationHong Kong, China
PublisherDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering - The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)978-962-367-768-4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

Bibliographical note



  • Steel-framed building
  • wireless sensor networks
  • construction engineering
  • intumescent paint
  • strain measurement
  • temperature measurement

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