QR codes are appearing more readily in everywhere you look – you’ve probably seen those black and white boxes on advertisements, on tickets or at events. Many restaurants began placing them on tables for touch-free menus during the Covid-19 pandemic. If you’ve used a QR code, you know how fast it is to scan and retrieve information, all on your smartphone.
And it is precisely these reasons that ensure that industries such as construction are increasingly using this technology. QR codes on construction sites have the potential to ensure that information is reliably available on the ground and misunderstandings can be prevented in a cost-effective and efficient manner. In this article, you will learn exactly how QR codes work, how and why they are used on construction sites, and much more.
How do QR codes work?
The way the QR code works is surprisingly simple – but this is precisely what makes the technology so popular and widely applicable. A piece of information can be converted into a QR code within the blink of an eye. Each QR code consists of black and white squares, which represent numeric codes.
These numbers are placed several times in different directions in the square code and can be read with the camera of a mobile device or with a particular app. QR codes can be graphically displayed anywhere, on screens, on signs, on advertisements, on documents and plenty more.
Why do people on construction sites use QR codes?
QR codes in construction offer various advantages:
- They are easy to use and do not require expensive machinery or in-depth know-how.
- QR codes can be printed or sprayed on all surfaces.
- Through mobile devices, information can be accessed by everyone present.
- QR codes make it easy to keep information up to date without having to replace all the signboards on the entire construction site.
The application of QR codes in the construction industry is still relatively young. QR codes are used frequently on large construction sites such as infrastructure projects or similar large-scale works.
Today, most construction workers are equipped with a mobile device and the use of QR codes on information boards or as a replacement for information boards is increasing. On construction sites where many people are involved and information needs to be retrievable at various points, comprehensive communication with everyone involved is key.
The use of QR codes in construction enables managers and workers to share and access important information easily. Thus, the potential of QR codes, their popularity and their successive implementation in construction tools and apps is spreading rapidly in the industry.
How do people in construction use QR codes?
There are various possibilities to apply QR technology in the construction industry, of which not all have been fully exploited yet.
- Retrieving tickets and logbooks.
- Accessing general information boards.
- Accessing specific documents.
Let’s look at these points in more detail.
One area of application in which QR codes are becoming increasingly established in construction is for retrieving tickets and logbooks. If, for example, a technical device has to be assembled on site by different people or if construction defects have to be repaired, QR codes facilitate communication and overview. By scanning the QR code via a matching app, the ticket or logbook is opened. This way, the specialists on site will be able to see in real time what exactly the problem is, what they should pay attention to and what work has already been done. In addition, by scanning the QR code, you can save the work you have done in a central location, where it can be viewed by management and other technicians.
A further application of QR codes on construction sites is in general information boards, which contain important information that must always be up to date. Real-time data can thus be viewed via cell phone and specifications can be retrieved. This makes the construction process more flexible and reduces the risk of misunderstandings and ambiguities.
The same applies to QR codes attached to documents and information circulars. With a QR code on the document, the reader can open a link to the current status, pictures or a more detailed description of the issue on the mobile device easily and with minimal effort.
Are QR codes required in construction projects?
There is no obligation to use QR codes on construction sites. But from a business perspective, the technology offers clear advantages. For example, using construction software that supports the use of QR codes allows construction workers to work more efficiently, to avoid mistakes and to significantly reduce project costs.
We are confident that QR codes will become more and more important in the construction industry and will soon be a standard feature in most large projects. Those who take advantage of such opportunities can make the construction business more efficient and stand out from competitors who rely on outdated methods. Even if there is no legal or cultural compulsion to use QR codes in construction, it is indispensable in terms of forward-looking enterprise planning to use and implement QR codes or other comparable modern tools.
What are the benefits of using QR codes in construction projects?
As already mentioned, one of the greatest benefits on construction sites where QR technology is used is the increase in efficiency.
- Data is more widely and easily available.
- Work can be done more clearly and with greater operational reliability
- Misunderstandings or communication problems may be avoided more easily.
- QR codes can be embedded in construction software such as PlanRadar.
The transition to digital construction management with aspects such as QR codes is not a major undertaking. Even for construction companies that do not (yet) have in-depth IT knowledge, the transition to the digital construction site is a relatively simple one and is possible without major sacrifices in terms of finances and time. In fact, the benefits of QR code in the construction industry ultimately go back to the long-term advantages of digitalizing construction operations.
With rising labour costs, high competitive pressures, and decreasing purchasing power, companies must ensure that they operate more economically, efficiently, and sustainably. Modern application solutions such as construction software with an embedded QR function are an excellent way to implement such objectives in practice.
QR codes in construction: Conclusion
With the emergence of smartphones and tablets in the last 10 to 15 years, QR technology is becoming increasingly important in the construction industry. Since by now basically everyone working on a construction site is equipped with a mobile device, the implementation of QR codes on construction sites hardly requires any effort. The benefits are quickly realized. Especially when QR technology is implemented with modern and professional construction software, the construction process is rapidly elevated to a higher standard.
QR technology is simple and cost-effective. Compared to physical boards and logbooks, a building site QR code can always be used to retrieve up-to-date data such as open tickets from anywhere. The code is furthermore very error resistant and can still be read in case of damage, poor lighting conditions, etc. The QR code itself is attached to a physical surface and does not require any power, maintenance, or technical infrastructure. Nevertheless, the stored data to which the link leads can be kept up to date and stored for everyone to access.
So, if you want to sustain and streamline your business for the long term, QR technology is an easy and cost-effective starting point. The best way to make the switch to QR technology would be to implement it in the framework of a professional construction software such as PlanRadar. In this way you do not need to have an excellent technical know-how and your company will be able to increase its productivity with the use of the new solution.