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How Mobile Inspection Apps Can Prevent Building Collapses

Mobile Inspection Apps to Prevent Building Collapses The collapsed condo in Surfside, Florida is a horrible tragedy, with more than 100 people already dead as I write this, and many others still missing. The cause of the collapse isn’t yet known. But experts point to potential problems with the construction, and maintenance woes that might have gone unaddressed for years.

Following the collapse in late June, Miami-Dade county mayor Daniella Levine Cava, ordered audits on all residential buildings least 40 years old and five stories or more high. Problems have already been found in a number of audited buildings.

According to a recent Fast Company article, "Researchers have known for years that reinforced concrete structures face increased vulnerabilities due to climate change." The article explains that chloride from salt water can also cause damage as it gets into tiny cracks in concerete and destablizes structures. 

And buildings aren't he only concern.  According to a report from the American Society of Civil Engineers, 42% of U.S. bridges are older than their designed lifetimes of 50 years, and 7.5% are considered structurally deficient.Better inspections to prevent building collapses

Speeding Inspections to Prevent Collapses

In order to keep citizens safe, federal, state and local governments, as well as commercial property owners, need to assess their infrastructure quickly and make critical repairs before a crisis occurs. Traditionally, inspections have been done on paper and clipboards, processed manually and file in drawers, but the time has come to update this process and move it to the digital world. By using mobile devices and making the data available to immediately share and analyze, inspectors, engineers, property managers and government officials can more rapidly inspect and certify areas as safe.

But just because the precise cause of the Surfside collapse isn’t known, experts say that safety requires that buildings and other infrastructure should be regularly inspected to make sure no other similar tragedies occur. And it’s clear that one of the best ways to perform inspections are via government mobile apps. Not only is digital information faster to share and access that paper information, but smartphones and tablets can capture richer data than paper-based forms. Inspectors can share images of cracks, water damage, safety equipment and more. They can scan fire equipment barcodes and automatically capture time, date and location information. Digital forms tend to be less prone to errors, and lead to faster, more accurate inspections. Red flags can also be processed faster or even kickoff a workflow to get a repair or engineering assessment started. This, in turn, leada to safer buildings, and ultimately fewer tragedies.

With increased attention on inspecting older infrastructure, and the President Biden supporting his Infrastructure Bill, inspectors will be in high demand and short supply. By speeding these inspections with better technology, government agencies and engineering companies can enable their inspectors to conduct more inspections each day, and train new inspectors in their process faster.

Read how one inspection company used mobile apps to save 40 man hours per week.

Enabling Faster Infrastructure Inspections

Here at Alpha Software, we take construction safety and maintenance seriously. Using our technology, companies have built inspection and maintenance apps that help keep buildings more secure, and people safer.

Morgan Lambert 4Just one example is U.K.-based Morgan Lambert. The company specializes in gas and electrical safety management for social housing projects. (In the U.S. it’s called public housing.) It performs audits and inspections on recently completed gas and electrical work to make sure that engineers are performing to the appropriate quality standards and equipment and infrastructure is safe and adheres to numerous important rules and regulations. 

Using the Alpha Anywhere mobile app development platform, the company built mobile apps and a web portal for their work. The core of Morgan Lambert’s system, a web portal, was written using Alpha Anywhere. When the company’s auditors and inspectors complete their reports, including photographic evidence, they are stored on a server. The portal, written with Alpha Anywhere, connects to the server and lets people with the right access, including housing officials and contractors who do gas and electrical work, search through and display the audits and data in multiple ways. (Read a recent case study on Morgan Lambert's use of Alpha Software mobile apps for vital gas and electrical safety inspections.)

Mobile inspection app for building safety

Build Mobile Inspection Apps for Free

If you want to build mobile inspection apps, you can do it for free with Alpha Anywhere Community Edition. You’ll be able to build apps that speed inspections, scheduling, dispatching, and more. Take the time you need to build all the apps you need, then publish and host the apps for as little as $99/month. We even offer free app templates you can use. Start building apps for free with a free copy of Alpha Anywhere Community Edition.

View some of our inspection app templates:

In add addition to Alpha Anywhere - Alpha Software also  offers Alpha TransForm for building mobile data capture apps extremely quickly (typically a few hours,) which now included powerful dashboards for analytics to gain insights into the data being collected.

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About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

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The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.