How Technology Is Changing The Construction Industry
The impact technology is having on the construction industry is like we have never seen before. There has been, and continues to be, a multitude of developments that are helping to improve this sector.
Although the construction industry is sometimes seen to be ‘behind the times’ in terms of technological development, for the developments that have permeated this fragmented industry, they’ve seen a 20 percent reduction in whole project costs, along with considerable improvements in completion time, quality and safety (World Economic Forum). From wearable technology, to being more connected than ever, in our latest technology trends document, we take a look into the construction industry and how different types of technology are transforming the industry for the better.
Wearable technology has been around for some time, cropping up in various aspects of our lives. However, for the construction industry, there is huge potential for wearable devices of all kinds to improve the industry as a whole. Smart glasses, for example, can utilize AR and VR technologies in order to improve safety and efficiency on a construction site. Providing a fully-immersive experience for wearers, glasses can be used for various tasks from preventing workers from looking down at plans, to being able to see what a site would look like once it has finished. Smart clothing is also becoming an important part of the construction industry, helping to regulate workers temperature and improve safety across construction sites.
Wearable sensors are another type of wearable technology that has been used throughout the construction industry for some time. These small devices collect volumes of data from all aspects of a construction site. This data can then provide useful insight into the day-to-day running of any construction site.
Immersive reality has grown in popularity over recent years, throughout many industries and sectors, with the construction industry being no different. Augmented Reality gives workers the opportunity to visualize the real world through a camera lens, opening up countless opportunities. Along with AR, Virtual Reality has also continued to mature.
The range of immersive reality products and programmes can be highly beneficial across a variety of construction sites. With an increase in untethered approaches, this type of technology is becoming more accessible to a wide breadth of construction workers.
Construction software and data ecosystems
The digital backbone of projects, from start to finish, within the construction industry, is set to transition to real-time collaboration. The construction industry already works on a highly collaborative model, however, collaboration software is set to grow and transform the construction industry. These advancements within the industry and the impact they are going to have on the sector, are expected to increase at a considerable rate in the not-so-distant future.
With these advancements, comes the emergence of large data ecosystems, allowing industry professionals to work together and share data, project knowledge and experience. Integration of already existing systems into one fully-connected platform will change the way people in the industry work. As well as making the construction industry a more collaborative process, this type of technology and software can also reduce problems that may occur between a construction site and head office.
Over connected environment
People often forget that the construction industry shapes our world, enabling every person to live the way they do and allows businesses to operate and function. Data from digitally-enabled built assets is constantly being collected to make everything ‘smarter’, to examine how we can operate in a more efficient and environmentally friendly way. Future designs can also be informed from accessing the trends in this harnessed data.
The connected jobsite
Cloud-based technologies are being used at a growing rate, by a majority of mobile devices, at any time and from anywhere. With almost limitless storage, information can be viewed and shared at the click of a button. By using this type of technology, job sites are more connected than ever before.
Building Information Modelling is being used across the industry on a global scale. For change and progression within the industry, this type of technology has been a catalyst for not only project management, but also design and development. These trusted systems will bring with it accuracy throughout the whole process and assurance to the exchange of data and information between numerous stakeholders.
We have already seen progression within the drone technology across many sectors and industries. For the construction industry, drones offer a number of advantages, from the safety of workers to improving data collection. This type of technology normally comes at a high cost, resulting in smaller companies being hesitant to adopt. However, for those that have, the key benefits might start to outweigh the cost. These include, building surveys, building site inspections and mapping a site.