While the construction industry has seen a large influx of new technologies over the past decade, the influx is minimal compared to most industries. However, 2017 marks the year all this will change. The increased demand for new efficiencies, insights, and safety standards has our industry not only embracing technology, but actively seeking tech innovators. Here are some construction technology trends TBG is most excited about.
Real-Time And Predictive Analytics
The construction industry has embraced the benefits of real-time updates and communication via our mobile devices, but it’s time to integrate this data to deliver real-time and predictive analytics. What is most exciting about these advances is that it’s not just the average KPIs that can be measured. The AGC and AEC industries are behind the curve when it comes to seeking and leveraging the small data points, which are the top contributors to the big data we are accustomed to measuring.
Building Information Modeling
BIM isn’t new, but it is being embraced and accepted in entirely new ways, thanks to the success of the 2016 BIM mandate in the UK, which required even small construction firms to implement BIM workflows. The cost of technology and training was a concern for many, but after the initial investment and time to ramp, even small firms are experiencing multiple new time and cost-saving efficiencies. This success also has large construction firms tightening their focus on implementing workflows for project scheduling, design, estimating, and coordinating. Mobile BIM apps are also helping to navigate last-minute or on-site changes and innovations.
Pre-fabrication isn’t a new concept, but the 2017 construction technology boom is taking this trend to new heights. The first Multi Trade Prefabrication Conference will be hosted in Texas this year, with the goal of promoting collaboration and efficiency from the design to the job site. If you’re wondering how technology is breathing new life into an existing concept, consider the office building in Dubai that required only two days of on-site assembly. The rest of the office was 3D printed and partially constructed, with the start to finish taking 17 days off-site and 2 days on-site. While 3D printing may not be the way to go, you can explore new options provided to you by the evolving efficiencies of pre-fabrication.
While we may not all embrace tiny homes, the construction industry can’t ignore the growing demand for relocatable buildings. This could include anything from full-time residences, vacation homes, offices on small lots, mobile eateries, disaster shelter, pop-up shops, homeless veterans housing, temporary professional locations—and yes, even tiny homes. Relocatable buildings require an off-site, modular building process, where the repetitiveness of construction creates multiple efficiencies. While modular was once a revenue stream many construction firms ignored, there is no doubt it has become an attractive revenue stream.
AR And VR For Construction
There was once a time when the thought of augmented reality or virtual reality playing any role in construction was reserved only for BIM or marketing. However, both have many powerful applications within the construction industry. While construction undoubtedly requires hands-on training and experience, AR and VR can be leveraged as a safe, cost-effective, and more efficient method of training. For example, lifelike virtual training of how to operate a bull dozer and other heavy machinery. AR and VR are also excellent methods of reducing risk and injury by using technology to train for new skills or to bridge cultural and language barriers.
GPS And Location Tracking For The Worksite
Both GPS and location tracking can be leveraged to help project managers accurately track their employees, equipment, and materials. This can be used to measure everything from productivity, safety, and accountability to tracking employees’ time and hours more accurately. It is also helpful in tracking materials and supplies that are in-route from your warehouse and even misplaced tools and electronics.
These are just a handful of the technology game changers we have to look forward to in 2017. While they are all exciting, we must remember we are only at the tip of the iceberg when discussing how technology can be leveraged to optimize your worksite, improve safety, and help you capture new revenue streams.
Let Us Know How TBG Can Help
While you may find the advances in construction technology to be exciting, how to implement technology may not be in your wheelhouse. If you are searching for vetted and qualified candidates who can help you implement new tech trends, reach out to TBG today to discuss your recruiting needs.