Review of the potential for a cyber-physical system approach to temporary structures monitoring

Xiao Yuan, Chimay J. Anumba, M. Kevin Parfitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Around three quarters of construction workers work on or near temporary structures, whose failures lead to more than 100 deaths, 4500 injuries, and damage costing $90 million each year in the United States. However, few of the temporary structural problems have been well addressed, especially when compared with the increasing improvements in permanent structures.Meanwhile, the review of leading causes of temporary structural failures identifies the need for improved methods, such as Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS), to prevent potential structural hazards. This paper makes the first effort to examine CPS applicability in temporary structures, and potential benefits brought by CPS to temporary structural monitoring. Key definitions and features of CPS, CPS applications in both other industry sectors and the built environment, and applications of CPSenabling technologies in temporary structures are reviewed. It is concluded that CPS provides opportunity to address safetyand structural problems of temporary structures. For a clear understanding of how CPS works in structural monitoring, an application scenario of scaffolding system is presented. Finally, system requirements followed by a system architecture are identified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-44
Number of pages19
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Architecture
  • Urban Studies


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