Such a platform can potentially provide the basis for several expansion modules that leverage on its capability to gather and process data. One such module can be comprised of the integration of remote information technologies and dynamic optimization tools features the potential to tackle the elevated uncertainty inherent to constructon environments, not only by providing the necessary flexibility and adaptability to the system, but also by integrating teams, equipment, processes and design in a real-time decision support context.
Such system can be used to integrate and optimize the planning and execution of infrastructure construction projects, supporting decision making throughout both design and construction phases. While the former involves the planning and management of materials and equipment from a predictive viewpoint, attempting to estimate all the requirements of the project and generate the corresponding plans/schedules, the latter implies a strong reactive component, in which adjustments must constantly be carried out to the original plans/schedules in order to keep the optimal status of the allocation of resources (i.e. both material and equipment resources).
This way, the planning and scheduling capabilities of an optimization system can be enhanced by the monitoring and control data obtained during construction phase, potentiating automatic re-configuration and re-optimization of the system according the monitored status of the available resources. In practice, this is expected to have significant impact on economic (e.g. cost and time minimization), environmental (e.g. decrease in carbon emissions and optimization of resources), and social (e.g. higher quality of structures and services, improving life cycle and user safety) aspects, which correspond to the three pillars of sustainability in construction.
Ultimately, the combination of these technologies can comprise a foundation for development towards the automated, interconnected cyber-physical systems of Industry 4.0.