3 technologies that would revolutionise the

construction industry

Construction is a tricky industry to wrap your head around when considering the possibilities for integrating technology. It has been consistently criticised for being slow-moving, unwilling to innovate and inefficient. The application of technology, however, is not straight forward, hence why the fundamental construction practices have not changed a huge amount over the years.

No two projects are the same and each site will have different locations, requirements, and shifting external factors it cannot control (such as the weather or a global pandemic). The construction industry massively relies on every step of manufacturing, surveying, design, and management running smoothly. Incorporating technology can alleviate safety concerns, increase levels of quality, sustainability, and efficiency. 

What makes the construction industry stand apart from other sectors, is not whether it will keep up with technological advancements, but when it will take the much-needed leap of faith to change the status quo. As offices look to change their layouts to support social distancing and a road map has been released for the recovery of the construction industry, how can technology support these steps?

Artificial Intelligence

The words, artificial intelligence, seem to unnerve people when it is discussed in real-world situations. However, it may be more useful than people have realised. AI has the capability of automatically calculating and designing an entire building project with precision and efficiency. It is already being used today and has multiple benefits for the industry:

  • The use of AI can prevent unnecessary safety hazards as it continuously assesses the human element. It can monitor sites using recognition technology to see if a worker is wearing PPE and can monitor the ground itself for any concerns.
  • The main point of AI is its ability to process tonnes of historical and current information in a fraction of the time it would take a human. AI can predict when a project is going to overrun on costs, present realistic deadlines, and provide better project management guidelines simultaneously across an entire site.

BIM (Building Information Modelling) Technology

BIM technology supports architectural, construction, and engineering companies by using a 3D modeling tool to plan, modify, and manage a building and its infrastructure. It mirrors the entire lifecycle of a project from creating the models to operation and maintenance once the site is complete.

The incredible part of BIM technology is that it acts as a vault for all elements of the project. Each expert onsite can add their information, allowing everyone to see real-time progress and working results.

Virtual Reality

The construction industry is well and truly diverting virtual reality/augmented reality from its original home of the gaming world and using it to make drastic improvements across the sector. For those who are not familiar with VR, it completely shuts out the world around you so you can fully immerse in an alternated digital version.

The possibilities are endless and it makes perfect sense for the construction industry to adopt this technology, so no matter what the location or stage of a site, those in charge can see what it will look like and what the next steps need to be in order to get there.

  • Given the current Covid-19 restrictions, VR will allow virtual tours and walkthroughs of sites, so those buildings or those looking to buy can see what the layout and final version will be. (Potentially speeding up the buying process and allowing more viewings in a day, especially in the housing sector).
  • Teams can work together no matter what their location may be, to allow for better collaboration and giving the ability to increase the number of check-ins that can occur (regular communication could prevent fewer hurdles along the way). “From a contractors’ perspective, virtual reality can provide a convenient way to discuss important or pressing questions regardless of where the team members are.”

If there are one thing construction needs, it is a reliable and efficient selection of technologies that can make the transition we are currently experiencing not only easier but provide a long-term much-needed investment.

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