Scaffolding Modelling for Real-Time Monitoring using a Strain Sensing Approach

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

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Publication Title

ISARC 2018 - 35th International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction and International AEC/FM Hackathon: The Future of Building Things



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Scaffolding structures are important as a temporary structural element that are used to support workers, equipment, and materials during construction activities. Although 65% of construction workers work on scaffolding structures and often are exposed to safety hazards, the current method of monitoring scaffold structures still is premature. As an example of practices set by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a knowledgeable and experienced individual conducts a visual and labor-intensive inspection. However, one difficulty in conducting structural analysis of a scaffolding structure involves its boundary conditions and material design parameters, which vary depending upon loading conditions. This research explored a new method to accurately model the boundary conditions and design parameters of a scaffolding structure in real time by using wireless strain sensors. An Internet of Things (IoT) opensource Arduino module was used to develop wireless strain sensors to acquire strain data directly from a scaffolding structure. The strain data were transmitted to a finite element method (FEM) model, which was used to estimate the real-time structural behavior of a scaffold. A model-updating technique was used to improve the synchronizing accuracy between the FEM model (i.e., the cyber model) and the actual scaffold. The test results indicated that the proposed synchronizing method described the realtime structural behavior of the scaffold accurately, especially for modelling the boundary conditions and design parameters. The outcomes of this paper are expected to foster the use of wireless sensing technology for safety monitoring of temporary structures and to offer the potential of improving construction safety by preventing the collapse of temporary structures.


Temporary structures; Scaffold; Wireless sensor


Civil and Environmental Engineering



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