The construction industry is set for significant change as technology allows for improvements in the way projects are designed and managed. New technologies will see construction crews, not merely set out a collapsible cone and start working; they will be given the information to work in a more efficient way.
This promises to improve on costs and speed up the time it takes for development to see completion. We take a look at 5 of the trends in technology which are on the rise in construction.
1. The Internet of Things
The increasing use of devices which collect information has led to greater possibilities in the management of construction projects.
Tools such as wearable technologies, smartphones, sensors, and cameras have created massive amounts of data on the progress being made in the building site.
Data from these devices can be pulled together to give site managers a better understanding of at what state the project is and how to improve the situation.
It can be used to highlight inefficiencies, and if the software is capable, make adjustments automatically. This is an area which hasn’t yet been fully exploited and is a trend which will see continued growth.
Building Information Modeling offers excellent improvements across the management, design, and development of construction projects. BIM allows every part of the building design to be modeled, allowing design options to be fully understood and analyzed.
This leads to customers getting buildings, which will work better for their needs. Since they have already been able to see how the design will work in the model, issues can be ironed out prior to construction.
This modeling also allows for problems with construction to be discovered and solved ahead of time. The cost savings to building projects of using BIM are apparent, with less chance of costly surprises springing up during the build.
It provides a platform to streamline the construction process allowing projects to be delivered on time and budget.
The data that it is now possible to accumulate thanks to the Internet of Things needs to be dealt with in an efficient manner to get the best results. This is where AI comes in, allowing these sources of information to be processed and results presented to project managers.
An AI which has been programmed and trained sufficiently will be able to handle the data, categorizing and highlighting issues far quicker than a human operator ever could.
AI software systems are going to be relied on for efficient management of work sites increasingly. The software will be vital to assess problems in real-time, avoiding hold-ups in the construction process.
Predictive analytics, along with AI, will increasingly be used to foresee future issues in projects. It can look ahead and show up safety concerns, allowing them to be eliminated before they become a real problem.
Budgeting and scheduling are other areas which are going to benefit from the predictive capabilities which are increasingly becoming available to construction firms.
Analytics creates a new way of solving problems by the better utilization of the available data. It allows for the anticipation of the issues but also shows opportunities to cut costs and make time savings.
It gives more power to project managers enabling better decisions to be made. This is a growing area of development which promises significant benefits to the future of construction.
Modular construction isn’t a new idea, but one which promises to get a new lease of life in the coming years. The advantages of using modular construction include increased speed thanks to parts of the building being fabricated offsite and delivered when needed.
The construction which takes place in a factory also avoids expensive delays due to the weather conditions.
The improvement in how fast construction projects are completed, varies between 30 and 50 percent, over more traditional methods. New technologies have allowed for a reduction in costs when factories produce sections of buildings in assembly lines.
Increases in modular construction also present some challenges. Consideration needs to be given to regulations when modular sections are produced in different jurisdictions.
Laws may not yet be ready for the use of modular construction in every state, which could lead to potential problems with building inspectors. The advantages of modular construction certainly seem to be a building trend that is going to be seen on more construction sites in the future.