Technology is making big waves in the construction industry, and although sometimes met with reluctance, this innovative platform is creating new opportunities for both established and growing businesses. Trends in any industry change each year but there are some big things to watch out for, with new and exciting advances that can’t be missed in 2018. Some technological implications are tried and tested favorites that are being developed for specific use in the building industry, whereas others have several real-world applications that have been adopted to make construction and infrastructure projects run smoothly and cost-effectively. Take a look at some of the top construction trends helping to make processes and project tracking more efficient than ever.
Equipment is one of the areas where the construction industry invests heavily. Effective equipment is a key part of getting a project right and on cost. Older machinery and outdated equipment could have major impacts on profitability due to maintenance costs so choosing replacements may be a solution. Although this area can cause debate due to workers job security, autonomous equipment is starting to be implemented on many sites. This trend is likely to increase in the coming years as organizations look at the effects this type of machinery has on productivity and reducing costs. Autonomous equipment is also looked at to improve safety, as in 2016 21.1 percent of worker fatalities happened in the private construction sector.
3D printing may not be a new concept, but it is rising in popularity amongst the construction industry. Although it may take a little more time to catch on in general, there is still some excitement about what could be achieved with this technology. Looking at what has already been created with 3D technology, Dubai’s first 3D printed office is an example of the scale that can be undertaken on building projects. There is still some scope to improve the scalability and agility of 3D printing on a grand scale, but it may be a huge talking point for the future of construction.
Construction management software
Managing a project effectively is a key element for the construction industry. As a largely fragmented industry, technology is starting to change the way organizations can assess and monitor tasks from planning through to completion stage. Construction management software is one area that is increasingly aiding this area. With advances in software and functionality, elements such as project tracking, job costing and estimating are offering the industry more visibility and accurate information on projects. As this trend develops, organizations are looking at viable options so their whole workforce can use this software with ease to ensure quick onboarding. With the advances in this technology, workers in many areas of the business will gain visibility on all projects they are contributing to. From improved accuracy, streamlining processes and project monitoring, each person can highlight areas for improvement or implement action points more effectively.
It’s no surprise mobile technology and the key developments in this field are a current talking point in the industry. The advances in technology have seen improvements in each business sector including construction. There are many construction businesses that rely heavily on mobile applications to run operations in their organization including common areas such as field reporting, photos, plans, project costing and scheduling.
In the coming years, the ability to bring all this information to multiple devices and report in real-time is going to see stark improvements in the way businesses operate. Many larger organizations have already implemented such systems, but smaller construction firms are also starting to take hold of this improved technology. Even using classic mobile devices such as the fluke multimeter on Tool Nerds or handheld equipment such as barcode scanners and radio-frequency identification readers, each provides a starting point for accurate and timely data on construction projects.
By bringing workers and information together in perfect synergy, the industry is encouraging the effective use of information for cost-effective and time-efficient project management.
Trust the cloud
In the past, the construction industry has been hesitant to adopt new technologies for a variety of reasons. One such issue is trust in their abilities and overall security. For businesses large and small, keeping your data safe is a top priority and can have a hugely negative impact if this information is corrupted or lost. Traditional servers and systems in modern business have started to become a thing of the past and the movement to cloud-based software is taking over. The construction industry has taken this onboard and with innovations in security and accessibility, trusting the cloud is a huge part of business today.
Cloud software is helping to change the way the construction industry works and makes it easier to implement other areas of technology with fluid information exchange. Integrating this software is simple and cost-effective, and many other systems such as mobile devices, construction management software and BIM technology can be linked efficiently for real-time data sharing.
Drone use is an increasingly popular trend, and it’s not hard to see why. The construction industry is more readily using this technology to enable better mapping and photogrammetry to reduce the time and resources of traditional surveying. Drones can also be used to monitor large-scale projects and give greater visibility to other areas of the business for tasking and be costing aspects.
More advanced drones are able to capture 3D elements of a project and report back visuals from many perspectives. This style of technology is particularly useful in the architectural design and assessing sites for suitability. Although there are some restrictions on drone use for public safety and privacy, they are becoming a well-used piece of equipment that is greatly reducing project timeframes, labor costs and improving accuracy significantly.
The construction industry is embracing a wide range of new and proved technology advances. With the help of updated software and equipment, this sector is transitioning into a more efficient and innovative way of working, which will reap the rewards for both organizations and consumers for years to come.