QR codes and NFC tags for construction – advantages over traditional methods

Jan 16, 2023

The construction industry has long relied on manual processes to optimize project management and keep projects running smoothly. Yet, the introduction of Near Field Communication (NFC) tags and Quick Response (QR) codes are revolutionizing how today’s industry professionals work.

scanning QR codes with mobile device to access the assets, and tickets detail on PlanRadar appNFC tags and QR codes provide an unparalleled level of convenience, ease of use, accuracy, security, safety and cost efficiency that traditional processes cannot match. Beyond these core advantages, the use of technology within this sector shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon – which is why it’s important for construction professionals to stay informed about potential technological developments in the industry.

What are QR codes and NFC tags, and what do they do?

QR codes and NFC tags are communication technologies used in a range of digital contexts. These technologies allow users to instantly connect with whatever content or information has been embedded within the code or tag without needing to manually enter any information.  By making it easier and quicker for users to access the relevant data they need when they require it, QR technologies and NFC tags open up a range of opportunities to expand user engagement and enhance customer experiences.

QR codes

QR codes, which stand for Quick Response codes, are two-dimensional barcodes that are readable by smartphones. They can be used to quickly access stored information. With this technology available to so many people now, the possibilities of what they can be used for have opened up significantly. For example, businesses can now set up QR codes so customers can quickly access their websites without having to remember URLs, and one-time passwords can now be sent by using a QR code which is much faster than traditional methods. Additionally, QR codes can be used on construction sites to view and record construction documents, drawings, contracts and more.

NFC tags

Near field communication or NFC, tags are small chips that can be placed on almost any object. When an NFC-enabled device, such as a smartphone, comes in proximity to an NFC tag, the tag can communicate with the device. This allows for a variety of potential applications, such as making payments, downloading information, or interacting with digital displays.

using NFC tags to access information on construction management software

How can QR codes and NFC tags be used in construction projects?

As the construction industry continues to make strides in the digital age, the use of QR codes and NFC tags are becoming increasingly popular. With their combination of convenience and security, they can make many aspects of construction projects more efficient.

Streamline operational

Companies and crews can streamline complex projects. Defining work operational procedures, worker roles and responsibilities, inventory tracking and site logistics management are some of the ways that this technology is making a vital contribution to construction projects. With reliable data collection capabilities, periodic updates from remote workers with streamlined communication tools, safety protocols adhered to easier, work-sites can reap productivity benefits more readily than ever before.

Instruction manuals 

QR codes and NFC tags can be a helpful tool for construction projects. By scanning the code or tag, workers can quickly access digital instruction manuals that provide step-by-step instructions on how to complete the project task at hand. This eliminates the need to carry around hard copies of materials, saving both time and space when it comes to completing complex construction tasks. Employing QR codes and NFC tags with an up-to-date digital manual encourages a better connected workforce and improved efficiency. All in all, using QR codes and NFC tags is a great way for companies to streamline their construction projects and achieve maximum results faster than ever before.


QR codes and NFC tags can be useful in construction projects due to the potential they offer in terms of tracking materials, deliveries, construction site activities, and more. For example, QR codes can easily be printed on labels affixed to construction supplies or equipment that have been purchased for a construction project.

Information about these items can then be stored digitally and tracked throughout the construction process; each time personnel interact with these items, it can be documented by scanning or tapping an NFC tag associated with them.

Real-time updates

Additionally, these technologies can provide real-time updates on construction progress to stakeholders such as remote partners or financial investors who might not otherwise have access to timely information. With the help of QR codes and NFC tags, construction projects of all sizes can become much more organized, cost-effective, and efficient.

Construction safety

QR codes and NFC tags have the potential to improve construction safety and streamline construction projects. By affixing QR codes or NFC tags to construction supplies and equipment, project managers can quickly access key information such as product specifications, safety procedures, assembly guidelines and more. This can reduce construction errors that can lead to costly delays or even accidents.

By storing safety information within the QR/NFC code, workers no longer have to constantly refer to paper safety manuals to determine safety guidelines for specific tools and materials. Instead, workers simply have to scan a code or wave an NFC tag over a reader terminal, which immediately presents safety procedures tailored for their situation.

Furthermore, this technology can be used to track safety compliance and monitor safety performance metrics of a construction project directly from remote devices. These advantages enable faster track times while improving safety standards in construction projects of all sizes.

Construction sites have myriad opportunities to leverage the power of technology and streamline processes. From tagging key points around the site with pertinent information, to tracing tools and equipment for maintenance purposes – these strategies can empower teams to increase efficiency while prioritizing safety.adding QR code on equipiments

What are the benefits of using QR codes and NFC tags in construction projects?

The use of NFC tags and QR codes on construction sites greatly simplifies the sharing of essential information, making the construction process much more efficient and cost-effective. This modern technology can help save time, money and resources while ensuring that everyone working on a project has access to accurate, up-to-date information.

Benefits of QR Codes

QR codes are becoming an increasingly popular tool for tracking parts and equipment in construction sites. By placing these codes on any item that needs tracking, workers can quickly scan them with their device to check-in/check-out items from the job site or warehouse with ease. This makes it easy to keep track of inventory levels without having to manually enter data into a system every time something is taken out or returned. It also eliminates potential human error when it comes to record-keeping because all data is automatically recorded once scanned by the device.

Additionally, using QR codes helps improve safety protocols at job sites by allowing workers access only to areas where they have permission based on their user profile settings within the system. For example, if a worker does not have permission for an area due to safety protocols set in place by supervisors, then they will not be able to gain access until their profile is updated within the system allowing them access rights for that particular area or task at hand.

Benefits of NFC technology

NFC tags allow for secure wireless communications between two devices within close range. This type of technology is becoming increasingly popular in the construction industry because it allows project managers to easily record progress on specific tasks or stages of a project with minimal effort. By using NFC tags, workers can quickly scan them with their device to document progress without having to manually enter data into a system. This helps reduce human error and speeds up the documentation process significantly.

In addition to improved document tracking, NFC tags can also be used to store critical information such as safety guidelines, Plans or blueprints that workers need access to while on-site. This ensures everyone has access to important information whenever they need it, making sure that nothing gets overlooked during a job site visit or audit.

NFC tags vs. QR codes: Which is best for construction?

QR codes and NFC tags are different technologies, but there is some overlap in terms of their uses – as the examples above show. So, which is best for construction sites?

 Pros and cons of QR codes in construction

Here, you will find the strengths and weaknesses of the use of QR codes on construction sites in comparison:



Easy and cheap/free to print

PlanRadar offers you the convenience of generating QR codes for free. These can then be easily printed with a regular printer, allowing placement wherever necessary – no extra cost or hassle required!

Not very resistant

To ensure the longevity and reliability of your QR codes, it is wise to protect them from damage or loss. A great way to do this is by foiling the code directly onto paper or applying it on sticker material for long-term use.

Widely recognized

Not least because of the booming use during the coronavirus pandemic, people are now familiar with the use of QR codes in many areas of life, so adoption is easy.

Device with camera is required

To ensure that construction workers have access to all the tasks they need, it is essential for them to be equipped with a device that has camera capabilities. Without this ability, theywill not be able to successfully scan QR codes in order complete jobs and projects efficiently.

Easy to install

QR codes offer a surprisingly uncomplicated installation process. Simply affix them to any desired surface with scotch tape and you’re good to go! No complicated setup processes or specialized tools required – just an easy way of bringing helpful digital information into your environment.

Internet connection is recommended

You need an internet connection to use a regular QR code. However, there are certain apps that can retrieve lower-level information without an internet connection.

Pros and cons of NFC tags in construction

Firstly, here are the strengths and weaknesses of using NFC tags on construction sites:




NFC tags are a cost-effective and resilient solution for the construction industry, providing lasting protection against harsh environments.


Even though NFC labels are relatively cheap (as little as 10 pence per label), the costs can accumulate.

NFC tags do not require an Internet connection

You don’t need an Internet connection to open the information contained in an NFC tag. The data is simply transferred between the tag and the user’s device.

Creation and installation

While you can easily buy simple NFC tags online, if you want customized versions, you will need to have the tags printed by a specialist. You may also need assistance adding data to the chips.

Suitable for various construction work

Users can access information quickly with nothing more than a regular smartphone.

Not readable by old devices

Almost all Android smartphones and newer iPhones (since 2016) can read NFC tags. However, users with older devices may have issues.

QR codes vs. NFC tags: why PlanRadar uses both technologies

Both NFC tags and QR codes have revolutionized the exchange of information on construction sites by making processes more efficient. PlanRadarrecognized each technology’s unique strengths, which is why we are proud to offer both in our software! Our integration of these two technologies ensures that users can make use of whichever best fits their needs.


The use of NFC technology and QR codes is revolutionizing how today’s construction professionals manage projects on-site as well as off-site in warehouses and other locations throughout their supply chain network. With these tools, project managers can quickly track progress throughout each stage of a build while ensuring accuracy in real time without manual data entry errors occurring along the way.

Furthermore, using these technologies leads to improved safety measures throughout job sites thanks to user profiles that limit access based on predetermined criteria set forth by supervisors.

NFC technology and QR codes are transforming how we think about traditional processes when it comes specifically to managing construction projects efficiently over time so that everyone involved remains safe and informed at all times.

Learn more about how NFC tags and QR codes work with PlanRadar here.


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