Technology is changing the world around us as we know it. One big area we are seeing technology progress forward is in the construction space. It seems like every day there is a new product designed to help with productivity or planning. While we may not notice these changes in our daily lives, space is constantly pushing forward. The industry is changing fast and the workforce is changing with it.
The concept might be the same as it has always been. Find a site, plan it, build it, and move on to the next one. However, that actual process is constantly evolving.
Here are five ways new technology is being incorporated into the construction industry!
Robots are making their way into the construction industry and they are changing the way we approach certain jobs.
We are used to seeing giant bulldozers or excavators be on the front line of demolition on the job site. With the adoption of demolition robots, there has been a major step forward in the construction space. These machines are safer, more efficient, and more powerful than their predecessors.
Demolition robots currently make up 90% of the construction robotics market. These robots are designed to outperform people and the bigger machines. They are incredibly versatile machines designed to be able to move through the site and take everything out with it.
We also see self-driving rigs being implemented for faster and easier loading and unloading of material and debris.
The implementation of controlled/autonomous robotics in the construction site has greatly improved efficiency and worker safety. It will be interesting to see how far this implementation goes
2.)Augmented Reality / Virtuality Reality
Augmented reality and virtual reality are two big technological pushes we are seeing all over the place. In recent years we are seeing them start to become adopted into the construction space. These two technologies are useful in the planning and development stages.
With the use of augmented reality, the possibilities are endless. There is technology out that will allow you to view 3D images on top of an untouched job site. This will allow you to see what the project will look like whether on untouched land or in the middle of a project and in real-time.
Virtual reality plays a similar, but different function to augmented reality. The main use we are seeing for virtual reality is to display 4D images and videos of full project plans. The ability to give these virtual tours of the plans makes it easier for people to envision the result.
Virtual reality is also allowing safety training to be elevated through ritual training. VR simulators can be used to train workers on a variety of tasks such as operating heavy machinery, to welding. IT also serves as a training aid by allowing workers to be in a position where they can be exposed to rough working conditions in a safe environment.
The construction industry has been experimenting with 3D printing for a while now, and in recent years we are seeing it be more accepted. 3D printers are starting to be used to create individual pieces, and in some scenarios, entire buildings.
Prefabrication is an old concept, but 3D printing adds a new twist. Some companies experiment with printing entire structures/buildings and then transferring them to the building site.
Another benefit is the process is all computerized so it allows the parts to be printed throughout the day with little labor.
Robotic building arms and 3D printers are being used to produce building components or even entire buildings. This combination of technology uses concrete, extruded concrete, and plastics to “print” components and buildings of all kinds, and is quickly being adopted on a wider scale.
Robotics is also being used for mapping purposes. Sensors can virtually map the layout of a building as well as any objects inside.
We should all be familiar with drones at this point. They are very popular among casual users and those interested in photography and cinematography. In the construction space, drones serve a variety of purposes and become a valuable asset to any job site.
Drones have made it easy to monitor the progress of the job. Not only does it cut down the time it takes to go and check the progress, you now have aerial video shots providing detailed videos that you can provide to your clients.
Along with monitoring the progress. The use of drones has also been incorporated in the inspection and surveying processes. Drones drastically cut down the time it takes to survey land and go through and inspect buildings.
The final area that has been pushed forward is wearable technology. While wearable technology might seem like a place where advancements are not exciting, the wearable technology space is an area of major change in the construction industry.
Working in the dark can be a serious safety hazard. A simple headlamp does not provide enough light for real clarity at night. One way to help this issue is Halo lights. These lights wrap around the entirety of the helmet allowing for a wide range of vision in the dark.
Another wearable item that has helped workers is color-changing gloves. These gloves will change colors when exposed to toxic substances such as carbon monoxide.
We are also seeing the addition of smart helmets, the use of health monitors, and other smart grat that are rugged enough for the job but are still able to keep the crews connected and safe. Most of these smart devices will be able to alert supervisors if there is an accident so the response can be
Simple additions of this wearable technology have helped improve the working conditions for the workers.
Technology is changing the way the construction industry functions. This tech is progressing every aspect, from management to construction.
While current technology is impressive, it does present some questions. How will this technology affect the workers? And How will AI and robotics be used with workers?
Time will tell how new technology will keep changing the construction industry.