02:00 PM - 03:00 PM
19 October 2023

Construction Monitoring: Improved Reliability through Redundancy

Systems Failures

In dense urban environments, construction can have dramatic effects on adjacent properties. As a result, engineers frequently employ structural monitoring as a critical tool in safeguarding existing buildings against the impacts of adjacent construction. The term “monitoring,” however, does not represent a single tool, but instead serves as a catch-all for a wide array of data collection, each method providing different insight into a structure’s behavior. To effectively rely on such data requires an understanding of exactly what data is being recorded and what variations in the collected data indicate for the building’s health. Most importantly, engineers must realize that no single method of construction monitoring provides a complete picture of a structure’s behavior over time.

Over several years, multiple monitoring methods were employed to assess the condition of a seven-story masonry structure in New York City as construction activities took place in the adjacent lot. Through the lens of this case study, this paper will review the multiple methods and technologies used, including crack monitoring, vibration monitoring, optical monitoring, tiltmeter monitoring, and LiDAR scanning. The authors will review the principal use for each type of monitoring, highlight strengths and weaknesses of each method, and analyze how various forms of construction monitoring should be used in tandem to develop a more holistic picture of the impact from adjacent construction activity.