4 Reasons To Implement Structural Monitoring

Structural monitoring is an innovative method of evaluating the status and performance of structures without otherwise affecting them. It involves installing sensors in the structure to detect mechanical damage and inform maintenance decisions.

Preventive Maintenance

The structural monitoring system can detect deterioration before a major failure. It can also help to reduce maintenance costs and downtime. It can provide a cost-effective alternative to schedule-driven maintenance for structures like coastal jetties. SHM can take many forms, from a short-term investigation of a structure’s dynamics to a long-term system that tracks a structure’s health for years. Regardless of complexity or duration, an SHM system can detect changes in the expected behavior of the structure by analyzing its response data.

The most important benefit of a building health monitoring system is preventing disasters and maintaining a structure’s functional value. This is especially relevant for structures that rely on commercial activity, such as offshore platforms. When a structure is damaged, it can cause a loss of revenue, which can be significant for companies that rely on these facilities for production. Preventive maintenance allows these structures to be repaired before they reach critical age and lose their strength, avoiding a catastrophe.

Increased Safety

Just as a human body requires a physical examination by a doctor, structures require regular structural inspections. However, more than visual inspection is required to detect problems in their earliest stages.

Structural health monitoring provides data about the structural condition of civil engineering structures and infrastructures quickly. This helps to optimize maintenance and reduce operating costs.

SHM systems measure vibrations, displacements, and accelerations in buildings or bridges, using sensors to evaluate their condition. For the system to be effective, it must have the right sensitivity and a high level of reliability, as well as good signal processing capabilities that allow damage information to be extracted from the sensor signals.


The structural monitoring system consists of sensors installed in strategic locations, data transmission equipment, and server analysis software. It allows inspections of specific structures to be prioritized according to the accumulated damage or critical stress level of those components over time. This helps in reducing both short and long-term maintenance costs. In addition, the use of SHM enables the replacement of schedule-driven maintenance activities by condition-based maintenance. The use of SHM results in lower operating costs and higher structural reliability. A properly implemented SHM can provide transportation agencies with insightful and predictive data that increases public safety, reduces life cycle costs, and creates efficiencies during construction.

Reduced Risk

SHM is a crucial tool for infrastructures and civil structures as it helps detect structural problems and damage early. It also allows for a more efficient maintenance regime and can replace schedule-driven maintenance with condition-based maintenance. This can reduce operating costs and ensure the safety of occupants and visitors. Structural monitoring can be a long-term investigation of a structure’s dynamics or be used for shorter periods. The goal is to identify any changes in the expected behavior of a structure, such as a change in the acceleration magnitude, velocity, or displacement. This information is processed and analyzed to determine the system’s structural health. SHM systems require complex diagnostic processes to turn sensor data into meaningful information on the structure’s structural integrity. The final results from this process should be physical and detailed to enable rational engineering decisions. Correct sensor installation, measuring amplifiers, and software is vital for efficient monitoring.