6 Emerging Tech Trends in the Construction Industry
Technology has infiltrated virtually every aspect of life in today’s digital world. For years, the construction industry relied on manual methods to complete tasks like project planning, mapping, marking and grading, excavation, building construction, and finishing. However, in recent years, technology has transformed how construction companies carry out projects, analyze project feasibility, and create designs and maps.
Rapid technological development has allowed construction companies to build faster and smarter, providing an ideal opportunity to grow and stay in the competition. Technology has accelerated the use of advanced tools for effective and efficient construction in projects like urban development, housing, sanitation, and transportation infrastructure.
The evolving technology trends have paved the way for environmentally-friendly constructions, advanced materials, minimal waste, and re-engineering. Moreover, new construction technology is driving efficiencies in communications, real-time data input, and informed decision-making. Read on to discover some significant technological breakthroughs in the construction industry.
What is Construction Technology?
Construction technology is a set of tools used in the construction industry to optimize processes, create virtual maps and designs, ease the construction process, and increase communication among teams, clients, and stakeholders. While it’s common to attribute the advancement in construction technology to heavy equipment, alongside those advances are breakthroughs in innovative tools, machinery, software, devices, upgradation of existing equipment, and product re-engineering.
The tools and technologies used in the construction industry help managers and civil engineers become more productive. For this reason, civil engineers need to master these tools and devices. This is why many institutes across the United States include detailed courses related to construction technology in their civil engineering degree programs. Those aspiring engineers who opt for a master’s in civil engineering online can get hands-on experience with various construction tools during online sessions. Apart from CAD and CAM, civil engineers need to have a hands-on experience in GIS applications, big data analytics in construction design, and various tools for planning and scheduling.
Emerging Construction Technology Trends
The construction industry is embracing new technology at a rapid pace. Here are eight emerging construction technology trends that are here to stay and revolutionize the construction industry:
- Cloud Technology
Delays in each phase of the construction project are one of the most common issues the construction industry faces today. The widespread use of cloud technology has allowed engineers and managers to access data, software, and essential design tools through cloud-based apps and storage. Through cloud technology, users can access a shared workspace, create files accessible to others, and modify existing designs remotely without needing to be physically present at the site or boardrooms. The ease of shared storage, tools, and workspace helps enhance team collaboration and communication.
Construction companies can provide real-time data to clients and stakeholders. Managers, engineers, and workers can use cloud-based applications to share time cards, plan budgets, create reports, develop designs, and generate requests for information from the construction site. Smartphones and responsive application designs have assisted construction companies in using all-out construction software backed by cloud technology as a centralized system. As a result, companies are equally transparent to clients, stakeholders, and employees.
- Building Information Modeling (BIM)
BIM, or building information modeling, is a sophisticated software tool that integrates augmented reality (AR) and real-time data from the internet of things (IoT) to generate many options during construction design, planning, and management. Managers can create project workflows and timelines from an intelligently-designed 3D model.
Information modeling has revolutionized construction at all stages, from planning to designing and maintaining buildings.
- Augmented Reality
The construction industry has reaped the most benefits of augmented reality in the modern world. Augmented reality is a preconstruction tool that allows users to view virtual computer-generated images and designs in a real physical environment. The use of AR devices in the construction industry allows engineers, clients, and stakeholders to view the future design of each element of the building through computerized images even before it is constructed. You can view a 3D model of the entire building and analyze each interior and exterior detail on site. This helps clients to have a detailed insight into the future design. Engineers use AR to estimate a building’s strength and life, discover any design errors, and explore various improvement options.
- Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality, or VR, is another preconstruction tool that uses specialized devices to view 3D models of prospective buildings and infrastructure. While AR technology is used on-site, clients and engineers can use VR technology at any location and virtually immerse themselves into the future building design, walk around it, and discover each aspect of the building in a virtual world called the Metaverse. Clients can virtually experience a detailed tour of the future building.
- Mini Metaverses
The inception of the Metaverse has opened new avenues for the construction industry. Now, engineers use mini Metaverses instead of creating 3D models with CAD. They use it to visualize entire housing projects, design the most minute details of larger infrastructures, and simulate flooding.
In addition, they use earthquakes and tsunamis to test the strength and efficacy of a building’s sanitation, electrical, and mechanical systems. Clients can take a complete tour of a larger building or housing society and choose the location that suits them best.
The construction industry is slowly shifting towards repetitive task automation through robots. The purpose of these machines is to make the entire work process and make the job easier for workers. Robots are being used for completing tasks that are repetitive in design. Robots with machine-learning capabilities can perform simpler tasks such as rebar tying, bricklaying, creating concrete mixtures, transporting materials, and much more. Robots also help in cutting building materials, packaging, and palletizing. Instead of working long hours in repetitive jobs, workers can now take help from robots while concentrating more on important aspects of construction, like overseeing the work in progress or problem-solving.
Technology has brought a landscape change in the construction industry. Construction companies need to integrate these technologies and create holistic systems with machine learning capabilities to get the utmost advantage of the latest technology trends.
An all-out construction technology will help construction companies plan, control, monitor, and implement projects more easily. Cohesion and a smooth flow of information between these technologies will serve as a backbone for construction companies and help them complete projects with ultimate precision without delays.