Digitalization and interconnectivity have improved processes in the construction and glass industries. These technological advances include various smart technology concepts, such as management software and interconnected systems.

One such concept is called Internet of Facades (IoF), a technology developed by Schüco’s German operations. Outgoing Schüco USA president Attila Arian says it integrates an interconnected system into building facades.

The idea IoF is to design buildings that can monitor and respond to their environment in real-time, improve energy efficiency, occupant comfort and overall building performance.

The idea behind the technology is to design buildings that can monitor and respond to their environment in real-time, improve energy efficiency, occupant comfort and overall building performance.

Interconnectivity allows subcontractors to easily see the bill of material, shop drawings and user and maintenance manuals for components. A product like IoF can be designed as small as a chip and placed in a window. It allows the end-user, the installer and service company to access relevant information about the window to support its entire lifecycle from fabrication, installation, operation, service and recycling.

“The installation crews must be able to identify the location of the glazed system in the building upon delivery of the units,” says Arian. “Labels and paper documentation often get lost or damaged on the jobsite. It takes a lot of time for the crews to collect the relevant information manually.”

Without an interconnected system, a component cannot provide needed information to subcontractors, such as location and defections. Digitalization can assign a component an item number, which provides immediate data to repair or replace when needed.

“I can save all the information about a unit to the IoF identification,” says Hendrik Koster, Schüco’s head of New Business Area IoF. “I can access it directly at the unit or the office. That means if an engineer is standing in front of a unit and doesn’t know which handle has been installed, they don’t have to go back to the office and look it up and make phone calls. Instead, they can look it up and find the information right there and then.”

Gone are the days when information is jotted down on paper. Everything can now be saved digitally, says Koster.

According to a 2022 report by Dodge Construction Network and Trimble Construction, Perspectives Across the Project Team on Connected Construction, the construction and design industry has readily embraced digital workflows. In a survey included in the report, the majority of the 900-plus respondents claim that digitalization has increased the efficiency of internal processes, reduced changes during construction, increased labor productivity, and improved the ability to predict and mitigate risks, among other benefits.

“Digitalization is the key to advancing the construction industry,” explains Arian. “As it is, the efficiency in construction has declined year over year since the late 1960s, while other industries have dramatically advanced. It is time for us to get on board the digitalization train and modernize our archaic way of working. ‘We have always done it this way’ has been a very costly attitude in our industry.”

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  1. […] and streamline billing, while glass companies are designing tools that can turn buildings into digital organisms that monitor and respond to the environment in real time.Glass and glazing companies need to move […]

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