Data-powered decisions: why structural data holds the key to future building asset maintenance & investment

Historically, there has been a very broad range of approaches to structural data and asset maintenance. But now, several factors are compelling building owners and operators to embrace a more data-driven approach for significantly increased operational efficiency.

digital structural data

Infrastructure & Asset Inspection of Concrete Structures



Get the best NDT and InspectionTech content delivered straight to your inbox

Digitised structural data collection solutions are allowing building and structural asset owners to make more informed decisions about where – and when – to invest in repairs or upgrades, writes Screening Eagle’s CEO.

In an earlier article, we addressed the current global crisis in the built environment and the need for an industry-wide transition from a reactive to a proactive stance. It’s a shift that cannot take place without comprehensive structural data that informs the decision-making process. The good news is, solutions providing precisely this capability are becoming more accessible.

Web pioneer Tim Berners-Lee once remarked that “data is a precious thing and will last longer than the systems themselves.” That’s undeniably true in the built environment, where technology used to assess and monitor buildings is evolving faster than ever thanks to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML.) We think that placing methodical data collection at the heart of asset management strategy, it’s possible to have an ever-growing resource that can optimise decision-making for the entire lifespan of a building.

Several factors are compelling building owners and operators to embrace a more data-driven approach. In many countries, an ageing building stock and a spate of high-profile construction failures have underlined the need for a more systematic approach to preventative maintenance. Meanwhile, with a trend towards increasingly large estates in the commercial property sector, the task of scheduling business works appropriately has become more protracted.

Collecting extensive structural data on an ongoing basis provides the solution to all of these challenges – and that’s why it’s integral to our work at Screening Eagle. Speaking in a recent global keynote, our CEO and co-founder Marcel Poser highlighted a mission revolving around “software, sensors and data that provides the ability to capture what is hidden inside systems; determine weak spots before anything is broken; and track health conditions over time.”

Standard software saves time

Historically, there has been a very broad range of approaches to structural data in the built environment. Some of you reading this will be surprised to discover how many companies still use paper documents, which can of course be easily lost or damaged. It’s also not uncommon for vital data to be stored on USB sticks, then not necessarily make the journey to a centralised data system. All of which means that rigorous collection of data is undermined and sharing information with other parties becomes more problematic.

Contrast this with a company that is using solutions with structured data collection capabilities, such as Screening Eagle INSPECT, the intelligent inspection software. Utilising dedicated apps, it’s possible for an operations / inspection manager to have full access to data straight from the field, and across multiple sites. Bringing all information into one digitised platform, our software enables powerful 3D visualisation and allows a convenient URL to be shared with anyone who needs to receive it. In one swift move, then, the random element of data management can be wholly eliminated.

Being able to move forward with no risk of repeated work, lost or incomplete data is an obvious boost to the operational efficiency of any business. Indeed, our research indicates that easier sharing of data within a project can save millions of dollars for asset owners and inspection firms every year – not to mention countless working hours.

As our CEO Marcel Poser remarked, our technology makes it possible to “scan deep into a structure and find hidden deficiencies so you know where to start to pay attention.” Collected methodically over time via a unified platform, this kind of data can provide a complete history of an asset, and help owners to make decisions that safeguard its long-term value.

If you’re the owner or operator of a structural asset or a building and want to learn more about the ways in which INSPECT can add long-term value to your operations, we’d love to give you a no-obligation demo. Click here to register.

Related content