April 20, 2018 by David Kennedy
Edmonton—PCL Construction has joined forces with tech giant Microsoft to develop a series next-generation smart building methods.
The contractor announced the partnership April 18, saying the collaborative effort will marry PCL’s engineering and work site expertise with technical and research and development know-how at Microsoft.
The Canadian construction company’s chief information officer, Mark Bryant, said the smart building segment is becoming increasingly important to PCL’s clients, allowing them access to valuable insights that can offer solutions to a number of common issues.
As part of the partnership deal, PCL will work on leveraging Azure—Microsoft’s cloud computing platform—to increase site safety and efficiency, as well as to track and improve how completed buildings perform.
During construction, PCL plans to utilize Azure to keep track of workers, inventory and environmental conditions. After construction wraps up, the company will take advantage of Microsoft’s artificial intelligence capabilities, using collected data to automate building systems such as lighting and heating, and to make general maintenance more efficient.
Ultimately, PCL says the series of built-in automated systems could be unified in one central view capable of optimizing everything from a building’s energy consumption to its management and maintenance costs.