Modern construction leans heavily on existing and new technology to make projects safer, quicker, and more efficient. With more major construction firms investing in tech, the future will be filled with even more technological solutions at micro and macro levels.
Software has made it possible to take blueprints, schematics, and specifications and deliver an almost-real life model of a project before you set foot on the job site. It’s easier than ever to obtain sign-offs or make changes in construction. Commercial construction companies use technology to arrive at a finished design and adapt it into various forms. Construction technology can simplify a project’s design and planning stages significantly.
Here are some of the technologies used in the construction industry today:
1. AI Programs
AI is already being used on the job site to increase safety, identify inefficient workflow, and ultimately complete projects faster and better. Many construction companies are still learning how to use AI in construction and apply it to their workload. It’s not uncommon to hire AI advisors to audit current AI practices and identify possible opportunities to incorporate machine learning into their day-to-day.
2. Fleet Management Technology
Using new software and tech, it’s easier than ever for a construction company to manage equipment and assets, equipping them with front and rear-facing video cameras and using sensors monitoring driver safety and productivity. Combined with RFID technology, heavy equipment can be located and tracked for maintenance. This allows construction firms to manage their equipment better, using software to automate this work.
3. VR for Complex Projects
Imagine taking a building design, crafting it in a software program, and then putting on VR glasses and walking around in it. For a client, that’s a really impressive way to use technology and allows them to fully grasp what it will look like when complete. This sort of VR walk-through is known to avoid expensive change orders mid-way through construction and other client-initiated problems that can come up.
4. Drone Technology
Using drones for site surveying is an easy and affordable way to incorporate technology on the job site. Drones are faster than any on-the-ground crew and more accurate. They can offer high-resolution images and get into hard-to-reach areas that would be dangerous for a human to get to. Drones can also monitor progress on the job site and see how a project moves along.
5. Wearables for Safety & Productivity
Wearables, such as the XOEye Smart Glasses, Spot-r Wearable Sensor, and the RedPoint Positioning Safety Vest Sensors, are examples of add-ons that impact safety and productivity. A recent study demonstrated how wearable tech in construction could increase productivity by 8.5% and workplace satisfaction by 3.5%. The more that we integrate wearables combined with drones and other oversight technology, construction companies will have unparalleled access to what’s going on on-site at all times.
6. Automation Software
Software is used today on most construction projects to input data, update progress, and communicate with relevant stakeholders. A lot of this can be automated, including billing and invoicing. By entering key information into the software, it’s also possible to conduct various automated analyses and offer real-time recommendations on resolving potential problems on-site or off.
7. Smart Security Systems
Construction sites are vulnerable to security breaches. Through automated access control, embedded tech, and CCTV, several steps can be taken to secure assets and prevent unauthorized access to job sites. Although the construction industry has been slower to adopt many of these security technologies, several continue to be used regularly and successfully.
8. 3D Printing Construction Materials
3D printers are changing the way construction materials are sourced. Prefabricated materials can be printed and then transported to the job site, and they’re ready to use. This can be done incredibly fast compared to the alternative. You may also be able to print materials directly on the job site one day soon, which could save on transportation costs and storage. The only thing limiting the future development of this tech will be the challenges of mass production.
9. Self-Guiding Vehicles and Robotics
Although rarely used in day-to-day construction, there’s a keen interest in self-guiding vehicles and robotics in the industry. Self-guiding vehicles can aid with certain tasks, minimizing general labour needs, while autonomous technologies can accelerate work and speed up repetitive building tasks when deployed alongside real-world people.
For situations such as working at extreme heights, robots have been shown to work safer and dramatically reduce the likelihood of an injury.