One industry that has been sluggish in adopting technology is the construction sector. The reason for the slow uptake is the high standards of accuracy necessary to implement new techniques in a project. Things, however, have changed.
Technology in the last few years has started to transform to meet these high standards. Construction professionals, for instance, have been taking advantage of various forms of technology to improve efficiency, keep the job site running smoothly and more.
Here are five technology trends that are disrupting, reshaping and improving the construction sector:
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning
Construction companies are using data to boost job site safety, bump up productivity and come up with better decisions. Firms that employ machine learning and AI systems can transform a truckload of construction project data they’ve gathered over the years to forecast future outcomes.
What’s more, firms that use machine learning algorithms can uncover and report problems in work performance. This can be anything from site work and excavation to the installation of plumbing and electrical systems. AI can recognize a portion of a building based on its location, shape and size even if only a small part of the component is visible.
2. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
AR is a form of technology that produces digital assets within a real-world environment. VR, on the other hand, is a computer-generated environment with elements that look real, making the individual feel immersed in their surroundings.
Professionals that employ virtual reality can offer walkthrough tours to clients, designers and contractors before the actual construction process begins. This provides all parties a glimpse of what the completed project would look like, allowing everyone to fully understand what the construction company is going to build.
Also, construction firms that use augmented reality can display digital products and items in a real-world setting. Clients will gain a better understanding of what they’ll get upon completion of a project.
3. The Internet of Things (IoT)
IoT refers to devices controlled and connected to a central platform. An example of this device is a smartwatch. This wearable technology, for instance, can alert construction workers when they enter a danger zone.
Construction firms can take advantage of IoT by installing sensors on their frequently used machinery. Cement mixers that have these sensors, for example, can inform personnel if the machinery is not in use or is running low on wet cement.
4. Autonomous Machines
Automation is highly beneficial on construction sites, as it takes some backbreaking and dangerous jobs off a worker’s plate. An example is the 2018 HRP-5P, a humanoid robot that can execute simple construction jobs, such as installing drywall on houses and other buildings.
Another highly useful tech is the automated drone. Professionals can use this machine to perform visual inspections and map job sites. It can transmit images and other data safely without having to send a human inspector into the site area.
Drones equipped with thermal imaging and high-definition cameras can generate rich three-dimensional models faster than a team of inspectors.
5. 5G and Wi-Fi 6
A fast and stable internet connection is crucial not just for the construction industry, but also for other sectors. A snail-paced and intermittent connection can prevent the timely completion of building projects.
Although broadband may be the best option for some construction sites, this isn’t always viable. Obtaining permission to install broadband can take some time, which isn’t practical for projects that demand immediate internet connection.
The internet speeds of 5G and Wi-Fi 6 are a lot quicker than their predecessors. They deliver secure, immediate and lightning-fast connectivity for all internet-enabled devices. This allows companies to avoid pauses in construction caused by poor or loss of connection.
This is an exciting time for the construction industry, as companies can apply these five tech trends to their advantage. Construction firms that want to stay competitive and afloat will have to strategically adapt and implement tech solutions to their day-to-day processes.