FREMONT, CA: Traditionally, the construction sector had been slow to integrate change into their business models. Lack of IT skilled staff, employee's uneasiness in using technology are pulling back the industry from embracing technology. A report by JBK points out that only 24% of construction employees are very comfortable with new technologies and 39% of companies lack IT, staff. However, early adopters realize the benefits of implementing new technologies—a strategic long term asset—as they look to gain an edge on their competition. And now, emerging technologies are making strides in the field of construction, and smart builders will soon sophisticate themselves. Read on!
• Internet of Things
As there is a continued rise in the adoption of data-driven technology in construction, there are innovations in how this technology is harnessed to create efficiencies. Sensors on a connected worksite can create enormous opportunities for collecting and managing data on safety, material performance, and operational workflow. Smart devices, wearable, sensors and on-site cameras can be tied into construction management software and give a much more in-depth picture of progress and real-time reporting.
• Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
AI and machine learning in the construction domain is going to become critical players for collecting and analyzing multiple sources of data from the digital workflow. Trained AI can categorize data rapidly than a human, reducing the time needed to get the complete picture of issues on a site. Machine learning is creating opportunities by aggregating visual information from job site cameras and uses AI to tag potential risks and safety violations.
• Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
Virtual reality facilitates real-time comparison of 3D models to physical spaces, overlay of location and position data during installation, and virtual walkthroughs with project stakeholders. VR and AR tools are also reducing error and increasing safety. It can be used to enhance the precision of complex installations and is opening up a new world of opportunities for collaboration between designers and builders.
• Autonomous Equipment
Automation and robotics are providing more excellent safety and efficiency in construction. Sending a drone to inspect a site saves time and keeps the technician on the ground instead of navigating the potential hazards of a construction site. The drone can generate a 3D model of a site that allows calculation of area, the volume of earth to be moved, and other information that if done manually requires several human hours.
Connected digital workflows redefine collaboration, allowing stakeholders and owners updated up to the minute information on project status and decisions. What the world is witnessing is a blend of old and new, as moving into the future as an industry.