Technology: What’s next for the construction industry?
Technology has a great deal to offer the construction sector, from improving project delivery to ensuring higher standards of safety on site. The range of tech available today is broad and investing in it can create a significant competitive advantage. Unsurprisingly, 76% of engineering and construction executives are planning to invest in digital technology over the coming year, according to a report from Deloitte. These are the technologies that are going to become increasingly common in construction in the years to come.
- Drones. We are already seeing drones widely used on construction sites and they are going to become increasingly vital. They not only offer cost benefits when compared to manual information collection but they can also reach places that are dangerous or difficult to access and are faster than humans at site surveys.
- 3D printing. Although 3D printers currently face limitations when it comes to their potential for mass production when this technology evolves it will be a go-to for creating prefabricated components for a job site. There are many benefits to working in this way, from the opportunities to reduce waste to the cost savings that can be made.
- Greater use of data collection apps on construction sites. Data is a vital part of any project and the increased use of devices has facilitated the growth of the data collection app. There are many advantages to working with this technology, including the fact that it reduces data collection errors by 50%. Data collection workflows can be automated, saving time and money, and instant reporting is available where this technology is in regular use.
- Building Information Modeling (BIM) Software. BIM has many advantages for construction projects, including when it comes to collaboration. Rather than using 2D paper drawings, BIM allows everyone on the project to make their contributions to the same model, ensuring that the process is more efficient and complete. It can also automate clash detection and provide broader project insight to help with problem-solving and design when projects begin.
- Wearable devices and Virtual Reality (VR). VR technology provides the opportunity to get a more complete insight into what a project will actually look like when completed so that costly changes can be avoided halfway through when unforeseen issues arise. Wearable tech offers many advantages when it comes to safety but also with respect to productivity – in construction, wearable tech can increase productivity by 8.5%.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI tools are already available to construction businesses to help solve key organisational issues, from inefficient workflows to poor health and safety. This tech offers so many opportunities to increase both speed and quality on projects. As AI evolves there will be more integration available, for example building internal AI programs to support decision-making and operations.
Technology is constantly driving the construction sector forward and creating opportunities to evolve and create more efficient workflows and working practices. From AI to drones, this is just a taste of what’s next for the industry where tech is concerned.