From construction robots that can drill holes in the ceiling to hyperloop technology that could enable people to travel between cities at speeds up to 600 miles per hour, here are some of emerging trends in the commercial construction industry.
Job Sites Undergoing Digital Transformations
As more contractors struggle with profit margins, skilled labor shortages and productivity shortfalls, they continue to look for innovative ways to make job sites safer and more efficient. BIM-enabled robots, and other tech propelled tools, are showing promising results when it comes to helping tradespeople complete strenuous and exhausting tasks. Robotic systems are also being used to report daily progress and detect scheduling conflicts. From exoskeletons that reduce the strain on construction workers to smart boots that measure their fatigue, wearable tech continues to grow in popularity across the industry.
Hyperloop technology is trending as one company completed its first test with human passengers. The company plans to revolutionize the travel industry using magnetic levitation that enables people to move in pods through vacuum tubes at speeds up to 600 mph. In case you were wondering, commercial jet aircrafts only cruise at about 575 mph. It’s also driving the demand for new construction projects like the Hyperloop Certification Center expected to break ground in 2021, and future hyperloop systems that could be built either above or below ground.
Construction Firms Shifting Toward Renewable Energy Technologies
A growing number of engineering and construction firms are moving away from coal-based projects and focusing more on renewable energy work. One such company is engineering and construction firm Black & Veatch Construction who has recently announced that they are ending all work on coal-based design and construction activities to focus on sustainable energy projects. Their increase in focus on renewable energy has been building over the past ten years and is driven by the broader global trend as well as their desire to fully meet the needs of their clients. They will continue to work with their clients to achieve low- or no-carbon energy using a variety of different approaches including advanced class natural gas power generation, energy storage technologies, and new combustion fuels like hydrogen.
Contractors across the industry are experiencing increased demand to not only convert coal plants to cleaner energy sources, but also decommission existing plants. President Elect Biden has indicated that he would reinstate environmental and public health regulations blocked by the current administration, and then invest in renewable energy and other sustainable infrastructure initiatives that would create many more good paying construction jobs.
The construction industry will likely see changes in the near future with updated environmental regulations and infrastructure investments. This may boost the already present trend of more construction firms moving toward green construction and renewable energy technologies. Some of the technology tools discussed here are helping job sites become safer and more efficient. Although it could take several years for hyperloop technology to become certified, it’s already impacting the construction industry.
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