What are the technology trends for construction?
While the coronavirus still has the industry uncertain, construction is still a vital piece of our economy. The construction industry is responsible for building our infrastructures, roads, bridges, and more.
But construction methods and materials have changed, thanks to the growing scope of technology.
In this article, we’ll look at 6 technology trends for construction and how they are changing the industry’s future.
6 Technology Trends for Construction
1. Better Safety Equipment
Construction is one of the most dangerous fields to work in. The industry sees a 71% higher rate of non-fatal injuries than any other industry.
Fatal injuries, hospital costs, compensation, and days lost in production are serious challenges for contractors and businesses alike.
It’s one reason why construction is looking to technology for better safety equipment.
Automation and robotics are helping to identify and eliminate common safety hazards that are found on-site or within a construction facility.
For example, wearables help to check work health while on the job, such as work boots with sensors that alert others if the wearer has fallen.
Other examples include equipment sensors, which help to monitor and manage equipment and environmental sensors to detect hazardous materials, temperature changes, and more.
2. Green Construction
Green construction is the concept of using technology to lower the carbon footprint of a building, as well as reducing the use of new resources.
- 64% of homeowners said lower energy use was their main reason for green homes
- 71% requested remodels in order to achieve lower energy
- 65% of construction professionals believe green building will have lower operating costs
- 35% of water consumption is reduced when going green
3. Modular & Prefabricated Construction
Modular and prefabricated construction may not sound familiar, but it is a growing trend.
Modular construction is the process of building individual sections off-site and then assembling them together at the final building site.
Modular construction reduces the time it takes to complete an on-site construction project.
This technology is expected to grow by 6.9% year over year and projected to be $157 billion by 2023.
This growth is actually due to the above trend of green construction, with many smaller building companies developing designs to meet this demand.
Modular and prefabrication construction has been growing over the last few years.
One example of this is the CitizenM Bowery Hotel in New York City. The hotel is 100,000 square feet and features 300 guest rooms, rooftop bar, lounge, and a coworking space.
A few more examples include prefabrication buildings in the Dubai Mall and the Dubai Opera.
In fact, construction professionals were able to print a 3D office building in just seventeen days and were able to build it within two.
4. Building Information Modeling
Building information modeling is the digital representation of a building’s aspects.
These representations usually include project timeline, milestones, and budget, which then provide vital information about the project’s scope to managers.
A project’s BIM can be shared with those involved, such as architects, designers, contractors, and shareholders, giving them the ability to collaborate.
As of 2019, 55% of construction firms are using BIM software, while another 27.5% have plans to adopt the technology within the decade.
BIM isn’t just for viewing 3D models; it can also help to show how the building and materials should hold up over time.
It also helps teams to work more efficiently by capturing data and benefits operations and maintenance activities.
Drone technology has moved from being a consumer activity to one being used by a variety of different businesses, including construction.
Experts estimate that investments in drones will reach to nearly $13 billion this year and commercial development of drones to reach $10.9 billion by 2025.
Drones can be used to survey sites in a fraction of minutes versus the weeks or even months when done on foot or car. Drones also provide more accuracy and precision.
6. Mobile Technology
As of this writing, the construction industry, as well as other businesses, has been hit with the COVID-19 outbreak.
This has put a strain on many projects that were ongoing in various cities and states.
With so many people at home, technology has become a vital part of our daily lives.
For those in construction, mobile technology had been increasing in its use.
As you can see from the graph above, smartphones are the most consistent piece of mobile technology being used in construction right now.
In fact, 80% of construction professionals believe that mobile technology is a priority for their business.
Many real-time applications and workflow management can be done through mobile apps.
These are just a few trends that will continue to grow for construction businesses. While the aftermath of COVID-19 is still uncertain, the current use of technology will certainly change future interactions.
In this article, we looked at 6 tech trends for construction and what their uses are and will be in the future.
Communication and collaboration is key in all areas of construction, connecting all of the different professionals together for a project.
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