International Construction Specialty Conference of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (ICSC) (5th : 2015)

Lessons learned from using bio- and environmental sensing in construction : a field implementation Lee, Wonil; Migliaccio, Giovanni C.; Lin, Ken-Yu; Russo, Francesca


Both physiological status and jobsite environmental stressors influence workforce behavior and performance. Understanding these relationships at the individual worker level is paramount for sustainably managing the construction industry workforce. Astonishing improvements in sensing technology can benefit field research by providing ways to validate occupational performance models based on data that measure workers’ physiological variables and environmental stressors. However, only a few studies have taken advantage of these technological improvements to conduct construction field studies. This paper describes a field monitoring study hosted at a mid-rise, mixed-use building construction site in Seattle, WA. This study was valuable in term of its breadth and period of the observations because it used some of the latest off-shelf wearable biosensors to collect 339 hours of workers’ biosignal data from five subjects, during summer and fall, for a total of up to three weeks per subject. This research empirically validated that the heart rate is a good predictor of a worker’s physical strain. Descriptive statistics and a time series plot were used to analyze the heart rate pattern as a predictor of worker’s physical strain level. Correlation analysis was used to analyze the association between the workers’ heart rate and jobsite environmental stressors. Also, analyzing video recordings and questionnaires helped interpreting the analytical results. This paper reports the lessons learned and the challenges of implementing a selected combination of wearable biosensor and environmental sensing technologies. These research findings are preparatory to validating a demand and capability model to be used for predicting construction workers’ performance.

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada