As with most industries, construction firms have been heavily impacted by the pandemic. Yet, as the US government slowly finds ways to manage the coronavirus, construction businesses are finally getting back on track and ready to proceed with pending projects. Some of these companies have been smart enough to use the lull times during the pandemic to update their knowledge on the latest construction technology.
Technology is defined as the use of skills, methods, or processes to achieve a certain goal. On the other hand, construction technology is the use of tools, machinery, and software in building construction projects. Hence, as simple as a nail gun or a portable circular saw is considered part of construction technology.
However, the industry has seen several advances in technology over the years. Though most construction industries do not invest as they should for these latest technologies, it is predicted that the future of construction technology will only get better in the coming years.
At the moment, here are some fantastic innovations in the field:
This technology has existed long ago but only gaining attention in the construction industry now. Laser scanning means using laser technology to accurately map out and survey an area. Companies producing 3-D laser-scanning devices promote a safer and easier way of surveying. Surveying a face of a cliff, for example, is dangerous for a worker, but using laser technology gets the job easily and safely done by simply putting the device on the cliff’s base.
When it comes to construction coordination, laser scanning avoids conflicts between different systems like electrical and plumbing. It can also help in the easy documentation necessary for fast work transfer between project members.
Another useful innovation in conducting site surveys is drones. It is cheaper than aerial imaging and can survey fast and accurately. Using drones with high-resolution cameras can be used to produce 3D maps and models. Drones can also effectively and safely reach difficult areas such as high-rise buildings.
This flying machine is also helpful in terms of managing equipment. A project manager can use a drone to check if all equipment is supposed to be. The recording function of a drone can also help when equipment malfunctions. The recording can clearly show when and how the equipment stopped operating; this is helpful for quick repairs by technicians or rental companies.
Building Information Modeling Software
Building Information Modeling or BIM is done to manage information throughout the whole construction process. A Building Information Model is the digital description of the aspects of a project. A BIM software, therefore, is crucial to make collaboration easier in a construction project.
A construction project is essentially a collaboration between experts, including designers, architects, and general contractors. Using BIM, each collaborator can easily add their contribution to the same model rather than create a separate one. Doing so provides a clearer picture of the output and immediate detection of possible clashes.
The United Kingdom has already made BIM mandatory in all government construction projects. On the other hand, the US has not received a mandate, yet its construction industry has seen growth in the implementation and adaptation of BIM over the last ten years.
The Future of Construction
As the pandemic forced most institutions to go digital, the construction industry was no exception. Hence, digital construction practices such as BIM are foreseen to grow stronger in the coming years. By using these practices, the construction industry is seen to increase in value up to 8.8 billion by 2025. Using digital practices also avoids project delays, further strengthening the growth of the sector.
Social distancing has also made AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) crucial in the business. By using these innovations, visiting the site is no longer necessary. Construction professionals can easily view designs and changes virtually and safely.
The use of drones has also proved useful at the time of the pandemic; with the virus still lurking around, drones are predicted to be an essential tool in construction. Using drones, teams can monitor sites from the safety of their workstations.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are slowly gaining popularity in the construction industry as well. By using Bitcoin, more transparency in payments and transactions is expected.
Overall, the future of the construction industry is bright. The pandemic has certainly triggered certain changes that pushed boundaries. It has challenged companies to update their work process and adopt new technology. Innovations are made and constantly being improved for a safer and smarter working environment in the construction field.