Technology has changed the game in the construction industry. Things are now more accurate, faster, and cheaper. This is all that construction firms have ever wanted. While numerous technologies now exist to provide efficiency in this industry, new technologies keep emerging. Here are seven ways technology has aided the building and construction industry.
01. Augmented Reality (AR)
Augmented reality lets users take an actual walk in real 3D environments as they view and gather additional real-time data regarding the environment. For example, an iOS app named MeasureKit lets users point their iPad or phone at a building component or object, and interact with the object via the screen in three critical ways: Level, measure, and place objects. Another augmented reality app is the BIM 360, which allows subcontractors to point a device at an object and gather data from the 3D models placed against the picture that is framed in the device. While existing AR apps will continue to become mainstream, more will be created.
02. Machine Learning
Machine learning has been very vital to safety in the construction industry. For instance, Smartvid.io aggregates visual information from the job site and makes intelligent analysis for purposes like progress tracking, safety, marketing, and quality. The app constantly analyzes videos, images, and other visual information originating from the construction site as it searches for safety violations, like failing to use PPEs. It also tags items by room and links them with plan data. This lets employees in the office to quickly find visual data regarding the site without having to go through lots of data. Moreover, it makes it simple to determine visual data to be utilized for marketing purposes. These machine learning technologies are transforming the way firms do business, by making current data easier to use and more accessible for improving safety, marketing, quality, and timeliness.
03. Predictive Analytics
Most of the times, the difference between struggling and successful construction firms is the ability of the company to manage risk. Predictive analytics is being used by construction firms to make it easier to manage risk. Applications like Project IQ aid in analyzing information from subcontractors, design plans, the construction site, and material suppliers to analyze factors of risk based on historical data. It offers a dashboard where firms can determine the project elements that have the highest risk and require more attention. The software also allows construction firms to view the reasons behind the risk assessment. Project IQ learns from the interaction between the contractor and the information offered to the contractor as well as historical data. This is for purposes of the provision of accurate and better risk assessments. More machine learning software is being created to aid in risk assessment in this industry.
04. Virtual Reality (VR)
Virtual reality lets users take a walk through 3D and 4D model environments without making any movements. A company called Winter Construction is using 4D VR models to completely immerse stakeholders in the planned construction environments during designing and planning stages of big projects, like an entertainment complex, airport hotel, and a zoo parking. Taking stakeholders through an immersive and interactive experience before completing construction plans allows construction firms to win buy-in and offer plans that completely meet expectations. It also allows firms to work around unique conditions, such as views of aircraft landings and take-offs and schedule requirements of zoo animals. VR is not just a domain for the big organizations, but it’s also getting popular among building owners as it becomes mainstream. 4D environments let construction firms plan each aspect of the construction project, boosting everything from efficiency to safety, and offering more quality and consistent final product.
05. Wearable Technology
The construction site is becoming safer than before due to the evolution of wearable technology. Organizations like Triax provide wearables that track the location of the workers at the construction site, warn them in real time in case of potential dangers, and determine when a worker has fallen, tripped, or slipped, to allow for instant help. Companies are developing more and better wearable technologies to boost safety and efficiency at job sites. Construction firms that are leveraging this technology are gaining in demand since owners want to hire safety-conscious construction firms.
The building industry has been utilizing prefabrication for years now. But new technologies are making the prefabrication advantages easier to access. They are also adjusting the way the building industry integrates prefab into the process. For example, ManufactOn offers a mobile technology that gives full visibility into the prefabrication process to allow all the stakeholders to see what is under manufacturing, where it is in the process, and when delivery will be made. Companies that are leveraging these technologies to smoothen and increase their use of prefabrication are gaining a competitive edge.
07. 3D Modeling
3D modeling enables the construction industry to achieve a lot in little time and at minimal costs. It is also changing the presentation of architectural designs. There is no more need for rolling out of building design blueprints. Designs remain digital, and this enables designers and architects to be more experimental and creative. With a tablet, smartphone, or laptop, one can view the building design as a 3D model as opposed to the more traditional 2D models. As a result, stakeholders can view the project in more detail and suggest changes where necessary. When changes are suggested, they can be made in real-time, which speeds up the process and minimizes errors and cost. Additionally, 3D modeling allows for remote sharing of designs and stakeholders can share ideas without meeting in person. Again, this saves on time and speeds up the process. There is no need to meet a client for an hour like before. Companies like Sydney 3D Rendering Rendersmart offer 3D software to construction firms.
From augmented reality to predictive analytics, machine learning, virtual reality, wearable technology, prefabrication, and 3D modeling, these technologies are boosting revenues of construction firms. In addition to more sales, firms enjoy more safety, better quality buildings, and progress tracking.