The evolution of the construction industry has traditionally involved embracing new technology to make building strategies more efficient. For example, during the last century, various power tools accelerated manual labor tasks. Today, the industry is becoming more and more digital, which helps keep projects on schedule.
The Basics of Construction Technology
According to the Construction Industry Institute, construction technology is a group of innovative tools, machinery, software, and other useful products designed to advance construction methods.
The growing list of modern innovations used to improve construction methods includes 3D printed structures, robots, drones, and virtual reality. Each of these technologies contributes to a theme of sustainability in which the core virtues are economic efficiency, eco-friendly conservation, waste reduction, and worker safety. Mobile apps alone contribute to these themes.
Investors are increasingly pouring money into “ConTech” startups. In the first half of 2018, investors invested over $1 billion in new ConTech firms. That figure exceeded the amount of investment capital coming into ConTech the entire previous year. The amount investors pumped into this emerging space was $4.34 billion from 2009 through 2020.
In recent years, the cloud has been at the center of construction technology, serving as a digital hub that connects contractors, crew members, and stakeholders. As an essential key for remote communication and collaboration, the cloud can provide real-time data streams, access to the company’s database, and other digital resources. These capabilities contribute to a more productive workforce.
Software & Mobile Apps for 2-Way Communication
Every element of construction can be managed through a software platform that connects with electronic networks. The 2-way communication platform can send data requests and receive data input from IoT devices that monitor system processes.
In order to cut down on time taken to assemble buildings with redundant floor plan layouts, certain construction work is put together offsite. By reducing crowded activity at the worksite, the crew can be more productive. Some examples of common offsite construction include modular or prefabricated elements for schools, hospitals, and hotels.
One of the most advanced forms of construction technology is artificial intelligence, which includes machine learning software. This powerful software scans a massive amount of data to generate answers to questions and suggestions for system improvements. Another vital benefit of AI is that it integrates with IoT to monitor real-time data from various digital sources it can feed to robots.
Improved Workplace Safety
Workplace safety can potentially improve by conducting virtual meetings with staff members on job safety through a cloud platform. Virtual reality (VR) is a digital world that requires a headset to experience VR simulation. Augmented reality (AR) software allows each crew member to learn about workplace safety through digital experiences that link with physical objects.
A construction company must always be prepared for events like the pandemic that create labor shortages. Some of the available construction technologies that can replace human labor for certain tasks include autonomous vehicles, drones, and robots.
The main keys to successful collaboration are mobile apps on smartphones and Building Information Modeling (BIM). This process involves making real-time adjustments at construction sites and working with the visual simulation through VR software.
Wrapping up: Technology in Construction
Hesitancy toward new construction technology has made the adoption of advanced digital solutions like AI and automation slow compared to smartphones. However, as newer construction technology arrives, more and more contractors are jumping in and testing the waters of AI, VR, automation, and other advancements. Contact us at Proforma Construction for further information on how ConTech is advancing the construction industry.