Case studies

A smart sensor and effective IoT data communication solution helps the construction industry to breathe easier

The need to have an effective air pollution monitor to safeguard construction workforces has become paramount. 

Compair leverages u-blox technology to deliver business-grade, affordable, easy to install air pollution sensor networks to conscientious constructors.

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The ability to monitor and respond to air pollution in near real-time provides the construction industry with an opportunity to proactively respond to the climate and health challenges created by this invisible threat. Until recently, the existing monitoring options in the market were either very expensive regulation-grade detection equipment or low-cost low-quality sensors insufficient for making business decisions. 

Compair is a social enterprise determined to expose air pollution and help communities and industry to work together to reduce it. CompAir has developed AirTrack, a real time air pollution monitoring system designed to fill the market gap. This smart sensor case study demonstrates how u-blox answers the device-to-enterprise data challenge, enabling our customer to deliver business-grade, affordable, easy-to-install air pollution sensor networks to conscientious constructors. 

Check out our white paper to find out how u-blox MQTT-based services can help you solve the complexity of communicating between IoT devices and the enterprise

Challenge #1: Our invisible air problem 

According to the World Health Organization, air pollution is among the top five risk factors for premature deaths globally. Many of the drivers of air pollution (e.g., combustion of fossil fuels) are also sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Policies to reduce air pollution offer a win-win strategy for both climate and health. The problem is made even more challenging because most air pollution is invisible even at dangerous levels.  

Challenge #2: A cost-effective way to monitor and respond to this invisible threat  

Today’s construction companies need a cost-effective way to measure and respond to this invisible threat in real time to protect their employees and the community at large.  

A market opportunity arises out of the current scenario: existing options are either very expensive regulation-grade detection equipment or” cheap and cheerful” sensors that are not sufficient to make business decisions. 

The solution: A real time air pollution monitoring system with device-to-cloud communication made simple 

CompAir answers the challenge with Airtracker: a small, portable air pollution monitor that uses precision laser-optical technology to examine the air. The Airtracker detects key airborne pollutants, including particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10), NO2, CO2 and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), emitted from plant machinery and construction activities.  

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Simple output, including an internationally recognized Air Quality Index score, is easily accessible via the CompAir app or dashboard.

CompAir leverages u-blox MQTT Anywhere IoT Communication-as-a-Service to deliver business-grade, affordable, easy to install air pollution sensor networks to conscientious constructors. The solution provides simple connectivity that works globally with no complex setups, and solves the challenges of getting sensor data from IoT devices to the cloud platform.  

“CompAir’s unique mesh approach allows you to deploy multiple monitors across your site giving location-specific insights at a fraction of the cost of existing static monitors. Our devices are handheld, wearable, and battery powered. You can place our devices around single workers or items of a plant to give you real time data on how much air pollution they're producing.” 

-Tom King, Director at CompAir 

 

The features that benefit the solution:  

Getting data from IoT devices anywhere in the world to the enterprise is simplified through MQTT Anywhere, the u-blox IoT communication service delivered via Thingstream IoT cloud platform. 

MQTT Anywhere offers: 

 

Outcomes:  

CompAir’s innovative sensor technology and continuous monitoring platform are helping construction industry partners to proactively respond to the climate and health challenges created by air pollution.  

By taking smart action to reduce pollutants in a cost-effective way, construction companies can: 

  • Avoid costly site shutdowns 
  • Protect employees from environmental exposures 
  • Protect surrounding communities 
  • Help win bids in sensitive areas 
  • Stay ahead of environmental legislation 
  • Strengthen relationships in the community