In recent years, the construction industry has been on the lead in terms of technological advancements. We’ve witnessed new construction technology transforming processes in the sector in many ways, such as increasing productivity.
In 2020, we expect many construction firms to adopt new construction technologies to streamline their workflow. Some of the latest technological developments in the industry include wearable technology, super building materials, and artificial intelligence.
In this guide, we’ll explore several pieces of new construction technology that can boost productivity in any construction firm. Keep reading to learn more.
Emerging Trends of New Construction Technology
It’s no doubt that there are many technological advancements in the construction sector. However, we’ll only look at the most innovative ones, like construction software, drones, virtual reality, robotics, exoskeletons, 3D printing, wearables, and many more.
Construction software, such as Bridgit, has become the digital backbone of construction processes from start to finish. Since managing construction projects can be overwhelming, construction managers are using the software to streamline workflow.
With the help of the construction software, construction firms can easily assign tasks, monitor projects' progress, schedule tasks, and track project changes. The software also promotes real-time collaboration and efficient data management.
Also known as unmanned aerial vehicles, drones are becoming increasingly popular in the construction sector. According to Software Connect, 26 percent of construction businesses are yet to incorporate drone technology into their operations by 2020.
The good news is, many construction firms are already using the technology to conduct site inspections and perform mapping surveys. By using drones to perform risky tasks, the technology has improved safety in construction sites by 55 percent.
Virtual Reality (VR)
Virtual reality is a digital experience that lets a glimpse of how a construction project will look upon completion. As a construction manager, you can preview a structure before construction begins, helping you avoid expensive changes amidst building.
You can also use Virtual Reality to train workers in a construction site. For instance, workers can learn how to operate potentially dangerous machinery using VR before doing it in real life. That helps to promote safety by reducing on-site accidents.
Other benefits of Virtual Reality in Construction include:
Promotes collaboration during project implementation
Helps to assess risks that can potentially harm on-site workers
Provides real-time feedback and simulations on project designs
With the advent of autonomous vehicles in construction, robotics is rapidly becoming an indispensable technology in the sector. Contractors are now using the technology to perform site inspections and implement tasks that are too technical for humans.
Robots can perform several man-operated tasks such as tying rebar and laying bricks. It is no doubt that robotics will become the industry's commanding force as technology advances. However, investing in robotics can be very costly for startups.
Exoskeletons are wearable machines outfitted with motorized joints to offer lift support. Incredibly, the devices support the users’ entire bodies, right from their backs, legs, to the hands. That helps to minimize strain during work and protect workers from injuries.
When worn outside the body, exoskeletons will act as amplifiers to reinforce, augment, and restore the user's performance. For instance, it will be easier to carry a heavy metallic beam when putting on an 'exosuit' than when doing it without the machine.
Did you know that you can print an entire house faster without spending a lot of money? 3D Printing has significantly revolutionized the construction industry. With the help of this technology, you can construct a home within a day, making it more reliable.
An excellent example is a house printed in Austin, Texas, within a day at the cost of less than $10,000. Also, there's another community of fifty 3D printed homes built in Mexico. As 3D printing advances, many construction firms are yet to adopt it.
Smart Safety Boots
As the newest construction technology, Smart Boots can significantly improve workers' safety in a construction site. The shoes have sensors that can alert workers of potentially hazardous conditions and send alerts during emergencies.
If a worker gets injured on-site, they can send alerts to emergency teams by activating the sensors. Incredibly, the boots get powered by the workers’ steps. Some designs have RFID devices that identify workers when they enter a construction site.
Another latest construction technology that has helped improve the safety of workers on site is the safety hardhat. Invented by a Japanese company, Shimabun, safety hardhats can monitor a worker’s location, motion, and body temperature.
What makes the hardhats unique is that the manufacturer has incorporated several IoT elements in the devices. Such features include temperature and motion sensors, along with advanced communication capabilities. The hardhats can send alerts during injuries.
Building Information Modelling (BIM)
BIM combines the applications of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Augmented Reality (AR) to generate advanced building plans. Using the BIM software, a construction manager can design a visually captivating 3D model of a building under construction.
To streamline workflow, BIM captures all details that builders will experience in every stage of construction. BIM has grown in popularity, as many construction companies have embraced the technology.
BIM promotes collaboration between stakeholders in a construction project. Besides, it can also solve problems encountered during the designing and planning phases.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Simply put, AI is the intelligence portrayed by a machine to imitate human behavior. By incorporating Artificial Intelligence in construction, home builders can quickly accomplish tasks without human interaction. An excellent application of AI is robotics.
Artificial Intelligence can benefit the construction industry by promoting safety among workers, improving workflow, and enhancing productivity. It can also predict cost overruns and set realistic timelines for a specific construction project.
With many pieces of new construction technology available, there’s no doubt that 2020 is a breakthrough year in the industry. Technologies like BIM, drones, and construction software have been attributed to efficient data handling and real-time collaboration.
On the other hand, safety hardhats, smart boots, exoskeletons, and robotics are some of the devices that have improved the safety of workers. Construction firms should strive to embrace these pieces of new construction technology to increase their productivity.