Worksite Monitoring with Dempsey Wood
Adroit has been working with the construction sector to develop solutions to mitigate the negative impact from noise, dust and vibration – common issues for the sector and up until recently, requiring manual testing with delayed results.
Dempsey Wood worked with Adroit to develop an Environmental IoT solution for their worksites and has implemented three installations, all of which are now successfully reporting data and giving the company confidence in its mitigation systems.
Their projects are often significant in size and require the use of heavy machinery on worksites within busy residential areas. Usually, these projects are governed by strict consent limits around the emission of dust, noise, and vibration from the site.
Also important is maintaining a positive relationship with nearby residents, with local complaints having the potential to cause construction to be halted for a time, while the problem is being investigated.
Innovation Engineer Wil Killip says that their partnership with Adroit began in 2021, while working on a large West Auckland subdivision, where the client was keen to ensure that everything possible was done to minimise environmental impact and project delay.
Killip says complaints need to be taken seriously. If a complaint is received, it needs to be acknowledged and then – in the past – a contractor would be called out to measure the cause of the complaint and report the result.
This process would usually take days, but wouldn’t necessarily satisfy any of the parties, as rain may have already settled the dust, the wind died away, or the action causing the vibration has been completed. So, moving to a real-time reporting system was an attractive option for the Dempsey Wood team.
Soon after, we ended up having some issues with consents on a couple of other sites, so, we’ve since set up Adroit monitors for dust, noise and vibration on those two sites as well.
This customisable site-specific Adroit worksite monitoring solution is modular, cost-effective and scalable.
Industry-proven sensors monitor environmental site parameters of noise, vibration and dust and the solution can be run on AC or solar. It is also modular, so Adroit can easily add more sensors to monitor different parameters such as sediment in water run-off and weather conditions.
Data from the sensors is transferred to the Adroit Platform via the Spark Cat-M1 network. The Adroit Platform enables the visualisation of data – including charts and the ability to download .csv files. Clients can receive alerts and notifications via email, and iOS and Android apps, and APIs are available so data can be used on other platforms or databases.
To aid the management of site compliance, noise data collected by sensors can also derive values such as LAeq and Lmax to represent average and peak sound levels experienced on the site.
Dust sensors measure three sizes of particles, and thresholds can be set for all three, with alerts pushed to management teams if a breach occurs.
Also, the vibration and dust sensors can be used separately, or from the same location on site, so the dust sensor can be placed to get the most accurate reading according to wind direction and strength.
Dempsey Wood now has three sites in operation with the Adroit Environmental IoT solution. “Earthworks are a large part of what we do,” says Wil Killip.
“So, it’s inevitable you’re going to have days where you’ve got dry ground, winds, and machinery is moving across it, so, we have methods in place to control that, water sprinklers et cetera.
“We’ve had some complaints in the past from neighbours, so just having that heads up if our dust levels are getting a bit close to what’s appropriate and acting quickly – deploying more water carts to mitigate that – that’s how we see the benefit of this technology.”
Killip says that soon after the first installation they got a dust complaint and the Adroit system reported it accurately and provided verification that Dempsey Wood site was at acceptable levels.
Initially the Adroit package included the noise and dust meter combined in one unit, but this was found to be restrictive in the initial Dempsey Wood project. So, Adroit worked with them to find a solution.
“After working with us, they realised that because the sites are so large, you need to be able to move the sensor around,” says Killip.
“If you’re going to be working somewhere and the wind is blowing from one direction, you want to move the sensor downwind.
Killip says that the Adroit platform dashboard is “nice and easy” to use, with all data on one screen, with widgets showing particle matter, temperature, noise and other factors. “The dashboard is customisable, and Adroit provided training on how to use it, how to customise it, and how to not break it. I’ve selected some of the site management team as well as our environmental manager and myself to be able to access and get at the dashboards. So, everyone’s trained up on that,” he says.
The Dempsey Wood installations are still fairly recent, but the data being reported is already giving the Dempsey Wood team more confidence in their operations and systems.
“I can look at it right now and see that our dustier site is showing a PM 10 reading of 9.16 micrograms per cubic meter, which is very low – well below the maximum acceptable limit,” Killip says.
“It’s pretty comprehensive data. It runs 24/7, so I feel confident that our control methods are in place to mitigate dust, and we can respond to any issues with real data. That’s a hell of a lot better than going in blind and just saying; “Oh, we actually didn’t emit stuff,” when you have no proof,” Killip says.
Adroit Environmental Monitoring Solutions
Adroit has proven solutions, not just for construction, but for all environmental monitoring applications, including waterway and water catchment monitoring, agriculture and aquaculture water quality monitoring, workplace environmental monitoring, and solutions for urban and regional environmental monitoring.