The construction industry is transforming as new technologies make construction safer, faster, and more efficient.
Advancements in software, hardware, and other tools are changing how construction companies operate, from project planning and management to on-site construction and post-construction maintenance.
What are some of the latest trends and advancements driving cost and efficiency in construction technology?
Ten huge trends stand out right away and they are impacting how stakeholders work together, lowering costs and increasing productivity.
- The $5 billion Building Information Modeling (BIM) industry enjoys a nearly 75% adoption rate, making it one of the most significant advancements in construction technology in recent years. BIM allows architects, engineers, and contractors to collaborate on a single 3D building model with digital tools. This technology enables construction professionals to identify and resolve issues before construction begins, reducing costly delays and rework. BIM also allows stakeholders to visualize the building and simulate different scenarios, enabling better decision-making during the design process.
- Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have found a place in the construction industry providing immersive experiences for clients and stakeholders. VR allows users to experience a building in a virtual environment, giving them a sense of scale and space. AR overlays digital information onto the physical world, allowing contractors to see blueprints and other design information on a construction site in real-time. AR is useful for training workers before they take control of expensive machinery and tools.
- Robotic technology is also being introduced to construction sites, lowering labor costs and improving productivity and safety. Robots can perform repetitive tasks with greater speed and accuracy than human workers. For example, a human can paint 1000 square feet daily. A robotic painter can cover 30x that amount, or approximately 30,000 square feet, in 8 hours. Additionally, construction robots can perform dangerous tasks, such as working in confined spaces or at heights, reducing the risk of worker injury.
- Not new, but more prolific, construction drones are also making their way into the construction industry, providing a new level of data collection and analysis. Drones, also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), capture high-resolution images and video footage of construction sites, allowing contractors to monitor progress, identify potential safety hazards, and conduct site surveys. Drones make inspecting those challenging areas of a building, such as roofs and facades, easy — without the need for scaffolding or other expensive equipment.
- Smart materials provide new possibilities for construction materials that are lighter, stronger, and more environmentally friendly. For example, self-healing concrete can repair itself when cracks occur, while transparent aluminum can be used for windows and skylights.
- Just as smart are the tech wearables being developed for construction site use. Wearing smart caps, vests or other garments can eliminate potential mistakes and save lives. Smart caps can alert supervisors to worker fatigue, and Spot-R clips notify team leaders when a worker loses balance or falls. The wearables also collect data for analysis.
- Finally, cloud-based software is transforming project management and communication. Cloud-based software allows contractors, architects, and engineers to collaborate on projects in real-time, regardless of their location. Cloud-based software can also provide real-time updates on project progress, reducing the risk of miscommunication and delays.
- The push for smart buildings and homes has led construction firms to explore the many facets of Building Automation Systems (BAS). Smart devices control thermostats, turn on and off lights, maintain pilot lights, activate robotic pool cleaners and more. Growing at a forecasted CAGR of 11% for the next ten years, BAS construction will continue to influence building and home design.
- Prefabricated materials also accelerate construction rates and lower costs. They’re a valuable solution for mass-producing common materials such as trusses and walls. Prefabs significantly reduce material loss at the job site, and they make assembly a quick process, which reduces build time.
- Finally, construction firms are exploring big data for analysis and projection, thanks to their willingness to embrace technology in their design and construction.
These technologies enable construction companies to work faster, safer, and more efficiently while reducing costs and improving quality.
And it’s only the beginning.
As technology advances, we can expect to see further developments in construction technology that will change how we build and maintain buildings.
Want to hire someone with the know-how to handle emerging construction trends? Contact us today.