The construction industry is helping pioneer what’s called “digital transformation” in which businesses become more cloud-based, digital, and interactive. Here’s a look at how construction technology is improving the construction industry and beyond with greater accuracy, speed, and analytical capabilities.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
Most people already have a clear idea of what virtual reality (VR) is, as it’s some type of immersive digital presentation that simulates reality. Usually, it requires wearing a headset that displays a virtual environment. Augmented reality (AR) is a similar concept except it allows users to interact with digital elements in the physical world.
One of the main ways that construction technology involving VR is used at project sites today is with 3D modeling. VR allows you to design a 3D model of your project on a screen. The technology can be used to provide virtual “walkthroughs” for clients and help resolve scalability issues.
Building Information Modelling (BIM)
BIM is computer-aided design (CAD) software that enables construction teams to collaborate cohesively for the design and management stages of building. It’s used by engineers, architects, and builders to address production issues. The software helps keep a team connected throughout the project.
Robots in the Workforce
Machines with robotic capabilities have appeared in factories for decades to perform tasks that are often too dangerous for humans. Lifting heavy objects is one of their specialties. They are also useful for highly repetitious tasks that a human typically finds boring. Modern construction firms can use robots for laying bricks and transporting materials.
3D Printers and Prefabrication
The advent of 3D printers allows construction teams to print building components on-site, which speeds up overall assembly time. The prefabrication of structures off-site also saves time and money, allowing teams to build a complete home in just a few days.
AI and Automation
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now used at construction sites in the form of machine learning software. The program can take a high volume of data and analyze it in seconds to come up with solutions to foresee problems that arise in real time. Automation is helpful in numerous ways, as it can be used to trigger scheduled events or speed up tasks.
Faster, Smarter Internet
Moving to the cloud is one of the first steps towards digital transformation. The cloud is where data is stored and analyzed from a wide variety of sources driven by IoT sensors. These interactive sensors provide a wealth of data about your operation in real time. Thanks to 5G technology, high volumes of data can now be transferred at lightning speed across the internet.
Surveillance and Delivery Drones
Drones can assist construction teams with aerial photography of the project site. They can also be used to deliver materials from one area of a site to another. Even though you may not see many drones in the sky at the moment, Goldman Sachs has reported that by 2025 commercial investment in drone technology will reach $10.9 billion.
Since concrete is the most used material in construction, it’s helpful that a new type of self-healing concrete has emerged. This concrete contains fibers or capsules that, when cracked, release an adhesive liquid that repairs damage. This concept is just in its research stage, though, and is probably years away from widespread application in the concrete industry.
Read more: Robots in Construction: A Changing Workforce
One of the key themes that ties all these modern construction technologies together is sustainability. Not only do these solutions point you toward more efficient processes while cutting waste, they generally involve less damage to the ecology than conventional solutions. Look out for the next generation of construction technology and prepare your business for a digital future.