Approximately 2.5 million years ago during the Stone Age, our ancestors made tools directly from stones. But as humankind evolved into a more intelligent being, the world of construction innovations witnessed significant feats. And the most notable highlights in this industry occurred during the last 40 years.
But let’s face it, the construction sector is still among the least digitalized ones. While more complex projects continue to storm the industry, traditional business methods are still reigning in most places.
It’s time to stay abreast with cutting-edge technologies if you’re looking to construct larger, sustainable, and modern buildings. That way, your next projects can meet health, environmental, and safety regulations.
Why Should You Stay Current With Construction Technology Trends?
Changes in technology trends tend to occur at lightning speed because of increased research and development financing. Here are top reasons why you need to stay abreast of changes in elements like design, safety, and materials:
1. Be on the safe side of the safety laws
As safety-related technologies continue to storm the industry, new safety legislations are seeing the light of the day. Consequently, companies have to scramble to meet new standards and keep workers safer. Staying abreast with technology trends allows you to stay ahead of these legislative changes and embrace products that comply with the latest standards.
2. Beat competition
Staying abreast of the technology trends also gives you a leg up on your competitors. When more efficient work tools come into the market, you’ll be the first one to know. That way, you can slash your project costs plus time.
3. Enjoy the positive economic impact
Of late, many technology trends have been focusing on minimizing expenses, environmental effects, and weight. These shifts are continuously having an economic impact on projects. Your overall project can change if cheaper, better-quality and lighter materials are manufactured and availed to you quickly. If you’re on top of these changes, you can train people to implement new technology before your competitors wake up from their slumber.
4. Avoid falling behind
With the rapid technology change, a company can easily fall behind. The result is poor growth and stability due to missed opportunities. Staying current encourages proactive strategies that keep the business going on.
So, what are some of the construction technology trends that your company should monitor? Read on:
Strategic Priorities: How Well Can You Manage Construction Complexity?
The construction industry is haunted by multi-dimensional complexity that can prove hard to manage. Any single project contends with several factors:
- Talent management: Hiring the right crew members
- Opportunity management: Winning the contract
- Supply chain management: Getting the right tools, supplies, materials, and heavy equipment to the site without delay
- Project execution: Building from the ground up to the end
- Operations and maintenance: Supporting the complete project continuously
Looking to be successful in your next project? The secret lies in capturing all the above factors in a central place. Historically, paperwork ruled the industry. Then monolithic software systems took over in most areas. But as projects became increasingly complex, the systems needed to evolve at the same pace.
It’s time to embrace cloud-based, advanced technology to ensure 360 degrees of connection of all the factors. With digitization, you can also achieve these strategic priorities:
- Efficient data transfer: Enhance seamless transition from construction to operational phases
- Resource visibility: Optimizing and tracking equipment and resources (both rented and owned), slash down expenses, and plan returns or repairs in real-time
- Digitizing expertise: Using technologies like visual work instructions and artificial intelligence (AI) to access industry-best practices and workers. That way, your next project will be of high quality with improved safety
- Connected construction: Establish modern construction sites that have pre-fabrication capabilities and real-time on-site communication
- Digital supply chain: Enhance predictive processes and intelligence to boost timelines, efficiencies, and collaboration across planning, building, and operations
- Robust cash flow: Automating invoicing and payments to cut down payment cycles
- Intercompany collaboration: Linking the whole project crew to collaborate on costs and details
Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) For Seamless Construction Workflows
As complexity continues to haunt the industry, it’s common to witness disconnected and manual workflows. The buildup of silos often results in inefficiencies and loss of crucial data.
Thanks to AI, your construction projects can now ride on optimized workflows. The technology enhances data, communication, and transparency, helping every task run like a well-oiled machine. The result is greater profits and productivity for your business. In fact, Accenture says that by 2035, AI can boost industry profits by 71%.
Some AI-backed software allows you to manage critical documents like submittals and spec books. Contractors are using them to extract contract compliance items from unstructured drawings. That way, they can capture every requirement.
The market also has solutions that use AI to promote safety protocols. They can smoke out and analyze risks like potential hazards, work at height, social distancing infractions, and missing PPEs. With such innovations, quick mitigation of costly risks is now possible.
Smart Construction Wearables
It’s no secret that the construction industry is among the most notorious ones regarding workplace-related injuries. But thanks to mobile and cloud technologies, you can reduce or even eliminate avoidable risks at your next project site.
These technologies have led to construction wearables to improve workers’ safety and productivity. You can use them to gather, store, send, and receive details about job-site data such as your crew members’:
- Biometric signs
- Nearby hazards
Here are some of the smart wearables that will put a smile on your crew members’ faces:
- Smart helmets: They offer 3D visual overlays, direct communication to remote members, 360 degrees views of the surrounding, and augmented work instructions.
- Bionic suits: This innovative wearable equipment can easily pick and handle heavy things. Your worker no longer has to contend with safety and health issues caused by extreme physical labor. It also cuts down labor time.
- Smart safety vests: Looking to track your worker’s safety and productivity effectively? Safety vests can boost their real-time visibility at sites. They have various features: working temperatures, working hours, GPS, call buttons, distance tracker, activity monitoring, and location tracking.
- Smart glasses: Running low on budget? These innovative glasses offer the most affordable solution, even if your project is small. Workers can simply roll their eyes in the desired direction to control what they see. They can access layouts, plans, and instructions without the need for cumbersome paperwork. Furthermore, these wearables allow integration with mobile apps to record commands.
- Wearable sensor: The worker will wear this device on their belts. In case of any fall, slip, or trip, it’ll alert the safety supervisor immediately. It also notifies them about the affected worker’s location. Also, your worker can hold a self-alert button for 2 seconds to alert their supervisor without going away from the site.
If you think that off-site fabrication is not possible for whole buildings, modular construction will surprise you.
The innovation allows contractors to design and construct modules with the same standards and materials as on-site buildings. However, the environmental disruption is significantly reduced. You receive components on-site as and when you need them.
Almost 70% of constructions currently occur in the form of components. With modular construction, the ‘just-in-time’ delivery slashes waste, transit, and schedules.
The Promising Future of 3D Printing
3D is among the construction innovations riding the waves. And the passage of years has seen this technology cruising from novelty to emerging industry standard.
As it continues to grow and mature, the future is pregnant with:
- Solutions to skilled human resources’ shortages
- Improved quality control
- More intricate designs
A case in point is when Saint-Gobain Weber Beamix and Royal BAM partnered to create a 3D printing factory for concrete elements in 2019. They got motivation from 2017’s creation of a 3D printed concrete bridge.
The two companies discovered an avalanche of benefits from this innovation: flexibility, cost savings, and sustainability. They proved that the technology could indeed beat conventional methods hands-down.
Workforce and Resource Management Software
Are you still stuck with the conventional methods of managing construction projects? It’s time to switch to modern software solutions before it’s too late. You don’t want skyrocketing management expenses to haunt your construction projects.
You’re probably aware of the market volatilities and how they’re pushing companies to be as precise and efficient as possible in their projects. This push is among the driving forces behind the widespread use of project management software.
Thanks to innovative project management platforms, you can now optimize resource allocation, slash unexpected costs, and run operations seamlessly. Your team can access actionable and efficient analytics, regardless of location (remote versus on-site) and size (small versus big).
These solutions allow you to bid goodbye to manual processes. They bring a plethora of innovations, some of which include:
- Predictive tracking
- Mobile-first interfaces
The forecasting analytics and metrics allow you to allocate resources to the right projects without delays.
Innovation is spearheading growth in intelligent construction. As more clients demand more sustainable and efficient business processes, be sure to use innovative approaches and respond to events quickly. That way, completing projects faster and on a budget becomes a breeze. You also get to enjoy tremendous productivity, efficiency, and quality control throughout your operations. For more information, please free to contact us today, and we’ll be glad to help!