Recent developments in technology have seen many advances across a wide range of industries and construction is no exception. So, what tech is in use now and what can you expect to see in the industry in the future?
Drones are now widely used across the construction and civil engineering sectors, changing the way in which much of the industry conducts surveys. When it comes to carrying out land surveys, drones can significantly reduce the time and labour involved, capturing the requisite data in much less time than other more traditional methods.
Drones eliminate the likelihood of much of the human error which can blight the traditional process of surveying land. They can also dramatically improve health and safety on worksites by helping to identify and eliminate hazards. Drones can also be used for site security, monitoring boundary fences for damage and signs of interference.
Augmented Reality (AR)
The use of AR has allowed surveyors to build information that can be shared in real-time. AR’s ability to overlay images and data onto physical spaces is particularly useful in complex processes to highlight potential issues before they occur. This makes it possible to determine whether construction project schedules will be affected and enable appropriate measures to be taken in order to avoid expensive delays.
Augmented reality makes it simpler for architects and planners to collaborate with their clients and contractors, making further savings on time and travel possible.
Building Information Modelling (BIM)
One major technological innovation that has been of particular benefit to the construction industry has been the implementation of Building Information Modelling (BIM). BIM has, to a large extent, replaced traditional hard-copy blueprints with detailed and interactive 3D models. BIM also incorporates information management, collating all the necessary information pertaining to a project into one place. BIM systems are also fully collaborative, meaning that project team members in multiple locations can all access and work on one piece of work simultaneously.
The future could see an eventual transition into 5D modelling, incorporating costing, estimating, quantities, rates, and time management.
3D Printers and Robotic Constructors
3D printers are now capable of printing in many different construction media, including concrete composites and plastics, enabling the manufacture of building components and even whole buildings. 3D printing allows the easy alteration of existing designs in order to alter componentry for construction projects, saving much money and time on the creation of traditional models.
Robotics is also used in conjunction with 3D printers to print a variety of different objects. Robotic machines are used for demolition, excavation, to replace bricks and to carry out other repetitive tasks. Robotics can save money on labour and can also be used in potentially hazardous situations to improve health and safety on-site.
The latest tech developments that are about to emerge in the construction industry include wearable technology, such as smart glasses and hard hats that are designed to provide AR and mixed reality visualisation. These tools can be used to improve safety, accuracy and efficiency.
Tech-enhanced safety vests, health trackers, and smartwatches are also currently being used to monitor workers movements with a view to improving safety, reduce risk, and increase productivity.
Technology is ever-advancing and it looks likely that further developments will swiftly become adapted by the construction industry to improve safety and efficiency.
Lydon Contracting Ltd
Tel: 01327 811533