New technologies offer many great benefits to the construction industry, providing more efficiencies, better safety, and improved oversight of projects. We take a look at the top 5 technologies which have the highest potential to reshape the construction industry going forward.
The Internet of Things
There has been an increase in the use of technology which uses data to improve efficiencies in the construction industry. This trend will continue in 2020 and for the foreseeable future.
The benefits of collecting and analyzing data within construction processes produce results in many areas. Improvements in safety and workflow efficiencies are just two of the critical areas which are seeing the significant advantages of this new technology opportunity.
Construction is one of the most dangerous industries, and with the help of wearable tech, the industry is seeing essential improvements. Wearable technology devices can do several things, such as monitoring the location of its wearer or realizing when a worker has had an accident.
For example, a construction worker has tripped over a poorly placed parking cone, out of sight of anyone else; it may be some time before they are discovered. If they are wearing a connected device, an alert can be sent to get help from a supervisor.
Trips and falls are one of the most significant causes of construction injuries, so a device which can reduce the harm done in such incidents should have an obvious beneficial effect on construction sites.
Automated equipment is another area where there have been many advances to improve the industry. Construction sites are removing the burden of specific tasks from human workers with the use of autonomous devices.
Take the use of drones, for example. Drones can be used to monitor and inspect a site allowing the worker to keep their feet on the ground instead of needing to scale the scaffolding to examine the building.
This, not only, provides a safety benefit but also increases efficiency reducing the amount of time required to inspect, what would otherwise be, difficult to reach parts of the building.
The status of construction can be monitored with the use of autonomous roving drones or vehicles. These can feed data back to the office where it can be analyzed by predictive analytics.
Computing power can be utilized to take the available data and make predictions. These predictions offer improvements to safety, workflow efficiencies, and more accurate budgeting for worksites. Using large data sets, it is possible to see patterns and with this knowledge provide solutions which avoid likely future problems.
With the use of predictive analytics, project managers have at their fingertips a more enormous wealth of information to inform their decision making. Data mining, machine learning, statistical analysis, and modeling provides an opportunity to find better solutions to construction issues.
This is an area which is still in its infancy but offers a great many ways to improve all aspects of the construction industry.
With all the data which the Internet of things and autonomous equipment is providing, there needs to be a way to deal with this information, and that is where AI can help.
A well-programmed AI software solution should be able to deal with the data faster and more accurately than a human operator ever could. This reduces the time needed to assess and highlight issues within the workspace.
Artificial intelligence is already being utilized to highlight potential safety issues from data received via workspace cameras. But this is only the beginning of what is possible in this exciting area and will be providing new benefits to the industry in 2020 and beyond.
Where virtual reality was just the preserve of games with only a hint at other applications, the technology has now matured to the point where it is increasingly providing real benefits to the industry. Virtual reality, when combined with augmented reality, are now being used in the construction industry to streamline collaboration between teams.
VR gives different teams working on a project the ability to better understand the unique issues of a particular work site without the need to travel to the destination. The potential for improvements in efficiency is obvious, reducing travel expenses, avoiding mistakes, and by making improvements to the construction plan.
Virtual reality can also be used to plan out a building better. The use of VR can provide advantages to the client, which will use the building, allowing them to walk through and understand the plans on a new level.
Chris is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about new exciting technologies, autonomous cars, and how technology impacts public policy.