Editorial Note: This article was brought to you courtesy of James Rennie, founder, director, & CEO of AUAV, Australia’s first drone services company.
The digital landscape is ever-changing. Digitalising the workspace isn’t enough; organisations now have to find ways to keep up and adapt to the ever-evolving technologies.
Innovative construction technology has touched every aspect of a construction project, enabling massive efficiency, safety, and productivity improvements. In this article, we’ll take a look at 8 different construction technologies that are reshaping construction as we know it.
1. Big Data
Big data is large data sets that help uncover patterns in behaviour, uncover hidden trends, and make unknown correlations — all these help in making informed business decisions. In the construction industry, big data drives advancements in construction technology as it serves as the basis for automation systems and artificial intelligence.
The data is collected from various internet searches, social media and many other forms of digital communication, including emails, Skype and text messages. Big data can be used for:
- Picking out probabilities and patterns of construction risks
- Determining optimal phasing of construction activities
- Improving logistics – making equipment and spare parts available when needed, thus reducing downtime
- Scheduling maintenance activities as required
2. Robotics & Drones
With the construction sites getting smarter, robots are being programmed and used in construction projects.
One of the most compelling construction trends is the use of drones. The construction industry has experienced a 239% growth in drone use year over year – that’s higher than any other commercial sector. Drones carry out an aerial survey and are equipped with data-collecting abilities, making them viable tools with benefits ranging from on-site safety to remote monitoring.
3. The Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) is massively evolving to reshape the construction industry. IoT connects devices and sensors, making it easier to share data with each other and control data from a single, central platform.
What IoT means for construction?
- Performing repetitive tasks, thus boosting efficiency and productivity
- Reducing heavy tasks, thus saving huge amounts of time
- Increasing safety by identifying danger areas
- Reducing carbon footprints by reducing wastage of resources
For example, with a constantly evolving line-up of connected tools, Milwaukee is the world leader in smart tool solutions, dedicated to moving jobs forward. Some smart features include:
4. Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
These technologies are being used to programme robots and design buildings/houses. Some uses of AI and ML in construction include:
- Increased productivity
- Better design of buildings
- Predictive designing
- Increased safety
- Better financial planning and project management
5. Building Information Modelling (BIM) Technology
BIM technology is a 3D modelling tool that helps construction professionals manage the entire lifecycle of a construction project – right from planning, designing, building, managing and maintenance. It also helps optimise the work and company processes.
6. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)
VR and AR technologies are not restricted to the gaming industry anymore.
When these technologies are combined with BIM technology, the potential is limitless. The building model is created using BIM technology. It is then taken a notch higher by adding visual elements and literal walkthroughs using AR/VR technologies. Some benefits of using AR/VR technologies include:
- Visually experience how a finished project will look like
- Real-time design feedback
- Better team collaboration
- Risk assessments
- Safety improvements
7. 3D Printing
3D printing technology in construction pushes the boundaries of creativity. It creates a 3D object/structure from a computer-aided design model, building it up layer by layer.
Here’s how 3D printing influences the construction industry:
- Efficient material usage
- Increased speed
- Reduced errors
8. Mobile and Cloud Technologies
Mobile technology and cloud-based construction solutions help professionals be on the same page as the construction work progresses. These technologies allow construction professionals to review and update documents, plans, reports and specifications in real-time.
Milwaukee Tool, for example, develops its mobile, cloud-based One-Key inventory app to help contractors and professional tradespeople (and their teams) manage their tool and equipment inventories from anywhere, on any device, without the headaches that come with the old ways of papers, pens, and spreadsheets. Some of these features include:
Overall, it’s an exciting time for construction technology as the readily-accessible tools have been game-changers, making the construction environment more efficient, safer and smarter.
This is a guest post written by James Rennie, founder, director, & CEO of Australian UAV (AUAV).