The demands of new technology for the construction are high, but the high standards and stringent measures are even higher.
Health and safety is at the forefront of the sector and there is no room for errors during the design and construction process. It is due to this that it is only this that the latest construction technology trends have finally caught up for requirements of the construction industry.
Below, we look into the top ten construction technology trends to look out for, what they are and how they are being applied across the sector.
5G and Wi-Fi 6
Every business replies in internet access, not only for communication but to also conduct research and link smart devices.
While broadband is a fantastic way to ensure a secure and fast connection, it is not always viable within the construction industry.
Installing fixed lines can be both costly and time-consuming, especially if having to wait long periods of time for the supplier to commence the initial installation.
While all sites require internet access, not all projects last long enough to justify fixed lines.
That’s where 5G and wi-fi 6 have proven invaluable, faster than their predecessors, and instantly available upon inhabiting a work site.
Building Information Modelling (BIM) Technology
BIM technology 3D modelling with intelligence. It supports various teams during the design process, including architects and engineers.
As buildings are designed, BIM can detect clashes within systems such as plumbing or electronics, alerting design teams early on in the process. It can even produce solutions to these issues.
Compared to traditional 2D drawings, it improves efficiency and allows for better collaboration.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
The IoT is made up of smart devices, such as tablets, phones, wearable devices and sensor operated machinery, that are all controlled by one central platform and are all able to share data with one another.
The construction industry is utilising the IoT with the use of smart machinery, for example, mixers that are running low on cement can detect via sensors and alert workers.
Footfall can be tracked with the wearing of smart devices and sensors, reducing paperwork and the manual task of keeping track of working hours.
Geo-location wearable technology can increase safety by immediately notifying workers that have entered any hazardous zones.
This is even benefiting the environment as sensors can determine when machinery and vehicles are not in use and turning them off, reducing carbon emissions.
Robotics & Drones
Drones have been a keen item for hobbyists for many years but they have evolved into valuable assets within construction.
These machines have evolved to be more robust and can carry heavier materials further distances, meaning delivery times are reduced significantly.
Cameras on drones can always be used to provide an accurate, quick and thorough overview of a worksite, allowing site managers to swiftly identify risks and hazards.
Robotics can be programmed to do numerous repetitive tasks that workers would previously find arduous and time-consuming.
Masonry robotics are improving accuracy and speed while demolition robots reduce costs and increase safety.
VR provides a virtual immersion into a digital environment, while AR adds digital elements into a real environment, both proving useful within the construction sector.
Virtual tours are being used to provide all teams and clients with a full experience of what the finished project will look like on completion.
Risk assessments can be conducted by performing hazard simulations within spaces, not only can this help predict and unthought-of scenarios, but site managers can do so from any location, without having to be on-site.
AI is created to mimic human behaviour, ML does the same but also learns from previous experience.
This is aiding with prediction during the design process by taking weather and location into account when designing identical buildings in different locations.
Machine learning can provide alternatives to designs when clashes have been detected, taking previous successful designs into account.
AI can be programmed to power various machinery to complete relative tasks, allowing workers to concentrate on other, more stimulating tasks.
3D printers are now becoming the norm within a myriad of industries and construction are taking full advantage of them
Bespoke materials can be created at the push of a button, reducing manufacturing times and costs.
With printers located onsite, wait times for deliveries are eradicated and workers are free to perform more trial and error when overcoming hurdles as these are inexpensive to produce.
There is more data created each day than we can comprehend and the thought of analysing this is even more mind-boggling.
Data from previous projects can be utilised to predict weather and traffic patterns and aid the construction process. However, for a human brain to process this, it could take a substantial amount of time.
Big data can analyse this information in a matter of minutes, with higher accuracy than a human.
This can then create actions to steer projects away from pitfalls and increase efficiency from historical data.
We have all heard of Bitcoin, blockchain technology is a form of cryptocurrency. This provides security and a higher element of trust between all parties.
Once contracts have been agreed, payment is stored within these digital holding areas. Once all parties are satisfied that the contract has been completed, payment is then released.
This has removed the worry of unpaid contracts by clients or contractors leaving a project unfinished or unsatisfactory and leaving with the client’s money.
Mobile & Cloud Technologies
Using the cloud to store data is invaluable. Anything from documents, photographs and even contact details can be safely and securely stored on these external servers.
This allows better collaboration as teams in any location can instantly share data that can be edited in real-time.
From signing off tools to sharing timesheets with payroll, no matter where a team member is in the world, it is accessible.
It also removes the need for paper copies, benefiting the environment and reducing floor space needed to store these.
These are the top ten technologies to look out for this year, but with technology constantly evolving at high speeds, who knows where we will be in the next year, five or ten!
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