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Technologies leading to Innovation in the Construction Industry

By Construction Tech Review | Monday, August 19, 2019

Navigating through the technological advancements in the construction industry, some trends certainly bring about positive transformation in this landscape.

Fremont, CA:  As firms are looking for new ways to stay ahead of their competitors, the growing construction technology proves to be one of the ways to attain it. These technological trends can address safety issues while improving efficiency and quality. Consequently, the construction landscape in the upcoming years is expected to undergo a paradigm shift with rising trends. While many trends are shaping up the industry, only a few excel in this attempt of revolutionizing the industry. Navigating through the technological advancements, here are few trends that are profoundly impacting the construction industry.

Virtual reality/Augmented reality

Virtual reality and augmented reality no longer solely serve the world of entertainment, but also the real world and the construction industry is not an exception. VR and AR technologies that take the construction industry forward by enabling the IT teams to address the problems associated with the construction site and other related issues. Using advanced camera and sensors, these technologies combine the computer-generated information with the physical surroundings and present the information in real-time. It allows real-time comparison of 3D models to physical spaces enabling the users to immerse themselves into the projects like they are in that environment and interact with it. It gives the ability to site engineers to “see” a project without physically being there.

Throughout the construction process, AR and VR allow customers to track the project to check if it is progressing as planned. These technologies possess enormous potential to transform the construction industry when adopted.

Internet of Things

IoT utilizes data-driven technology to optimize the entire process of construction. The data collected serves the firm broadly by locating shipments, monitoring vandalism and thefts at building sites, and insurance protection among many more. The deployment of IoT in the construction industry enables preventive maintenance through the data collected from the sensors and embedded code technology. These sensors, when incorporated, provide information regarding the stages of a construction project enabling the employees to manage the time and avoid project delays. IoT tracks the laborers in the construction site using the wearable technology (Fitbit’s, 3D glasses, Google Glass), ensuring their safety during an emergency. With IoT, construction asset management becomes simple by tracking the tools and equipment, thereby managing and safeguarding them throughout the completion of a project.

AI and Machine Learning

As the internet of things relies completely on information for efficient project management, construction firms will need tools to manage all this data. This is where Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning tools come into play. AI and machine learning in construction are of paramount importance for collating and analyzing multiple streams of data from an integrated digital workflow. Properly trained AI can categorize data faster than a human operator, cutting the time needed to get a clear insight of issues on a job site. A typical construction project is subjected to many open problems where machine learning acts as a smart assistive tool and sends alerts about the critical tasks to be addressed immediately. Also, machine learning creates opportunities for new uses of technology, like tagging visual data from job site cameras and using AI to identify potential hazards and safety violations.

Predictive Analytics

Although the above-mentioned tools can categorize data, predictive analytics advances these tools by extracting historical data that can predict future outcomes and trends. It provides a clear picture of safety concerns, workflow schedule, and budget outlooks. Predictive analytics combines techniques like data mining, statistics, modeling, machine learning, and AI to analyze data and make future predictions. Predictive analytics helps firms focus on preventing failures from affecting the upcoming projects by eliminating their recurrence. It can anticipate problems and opportunities for improvement, helping project managers to make critical decisions in the long run. Predictive systems ultimately lead to data-driven decision making with respect to construction.

Autonomous Equipment

While the aforementioned technologies reduce the manual work and cost, the rise of autonomous equipment in construction increases their safety and efficiency. The drone is one of the autonomous equipment whose application in construction is enormous. Drones inspect a job site and provide real-time data for site engineers on the ground giving the potential hazards.

An industrial robot is another autonomous equipment that replaces humans saving labor costs. This equipment can be used in building construction machinery, applying adhesives and assembling doors and windows. In a nutshell, the autonomous equipment technology is chiefly concerned about the safety of heavy equipment operators, and that is the solitary reason why contractors accept this technology without a doubt. 

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