Smart, Safe Scaffolding

Period of Performance: 09/30/1995 - 09/29/1996


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

VT Sensing, Inc.
Underhill, VT 05489
Principal Investigator


Over the past 25 years there have been more than 85 collapses of structures under construction that have been directly attributable to formwork failure. We propose to develop sensing systems and techniques applicable to the monitoring of construction site shoring and scaffolding. This work will be demonstrated at our in-house lab facilities as well as at "real-world" major construction sites. It is anticipated that this sensor network will provide significant information about the load distribution on shoring systems - information that is currently not available. This information will allow dangerous situations to be quickly identified so that the corrective action can then be taken. Thus the risk of injury or loss of life at a construction site will be reduced, possibly leading to lower liability insurance costs. Furthermore, this information may also be used to formulate new construction codes that will further enhance construction work safety. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: The extension of this safety-related scaffolding work into the civil structures arena shows great promise and extensive opportunity. The potential commercial applications extend from prociding data informing crews when shoring members are under too much load to interactive continuous monitoring of major structures under construction (a "black box" data recorder for shoring system monitoring).