Construction Technologies and Trends to Watch in 2019
The construction industry has been one of the slower sectors to adopt new and upcoming technology. However this past year we’ve seen a lot of improvement and development in technologies like virtual and augmented reality, wearable tech, 3D printing, prefabrication, etc. We’ve seen new technology, like computer vision, and others that involve complicated systems like predictive analytics as well as connected job sites, rise up to take the spotlight.
Here are the technologies that will rock the industry in 2019:
4D BIM integration
BIM will continue to be one of the hottest technology trends in construction, as we look towards the future that is an open and collaborative data ecosystem. BIM brings collaboration and accuracy to the building process. As the blueprint of the project, all details will be compared to and updated with as build progress referencing BIM model; providing the backbone of data and analytics to which progress is compared.
Autonomous Project Monitoring
Using AI, machine learning and computer vision for autonomous monitoring of construction sites and enhancing project performance & execution. Look for automation of daily tasks like data collection, progress tracking, daily log & reporting, safety observations, claims validation, production analysis & productivity, identification of risks in schedule, cost, and quality.
Drones really shook the world as they took over the interest of not only companies but also the public. With drone technology becoming more affordable, it is no surprise that many construction sites already make use of them. As the technology continues to become more developed, drones are becoming more accurate and simpler to operate, freeing up time to focus on more complicated tasks.
Construction sites are prone to many different delays caused by many different factors. One major cause of delay is the unpredictability of the weather and rework. Outdoor construction can’t continue when the weather gets rough; but modular construction can! Because units are built off site in factories and other locations, the weather has no effect on the productivity of building these units. Modular construction also provides better precision in assembling the parts as it is done in an indoor more controlled environment. This helps keep companies on track and also helps reduce rework and recycle waste, since it’s much easier to organize indoors. Modular construction is going to make huge differences in the industry, providing flexibility and reliability in time and material costs.
Since last year, robots have been influencing the construction industry. Robotics may be one of the most exciting technological advances to watch. Robotics continues to improve and enhance worker’s experiences rather than replace workers. Though the cost of robotics will be high, it is definitely worth the attention, to see where it takes us.
Machine Learning and Computer Vision
Machine learning has been shaking all industries across the world and garnering lots of attention. Mixed with computer vision, companies have started putting this technology to use in construction to monitor safety through object detection, tracking, and action recognition. Continuous monitoring for unsafe conditions provides the opportunity to eliminate potential hazards in a timely manner. Watch for additional use cases in how innovative companies apply computer vision to make progress and productivity tracking more automated and impartial.
Analytics can provide every project and company with valuable insights into progress and status. Big data is already being used in the construction industry, and one of the major concerns with current analytics is that they are not up to date and in real-time. Technology allows us to have real-time data and actionable insights now, but predictive analytics takes it a step further. Predictive analytics can help with managing resources, financial and material, by more accurately forecasting how much is needed and where.
Data Ecosystem and Integration
As the necessity of a collaborative and integrated system grows, the construction industry will be looking for more integrated software solutions that provide real-time collaboration during the building process.
Time is extremely valuable in construction. By combining the many existing processes and integrating them together to create a single platform where real-time collaboration is effortless, will save time and resources, minimize delays and empower the way people work.
Real-time collaboration and a connected data ecosystem will allow the various teams included within different parts of the process to have access to all the most updated information whenever they need it.
Wearables and Internet of Things (IoT)
IoTs are transforming how we manage buildings or even how we build them. We can give instructions remotely to operate alone in areas that would be hazardous to humans because of pollution; or track material via RFID tags; or be able to fix the machines before they break. Wearables and IoT devices at construction sites will be leveraging scalable mesh networks, equipment sensors, and a cloud-based dashboards like providing worker location, automatic safety events and alert notifications, automated worker time and attendance, and equipment location and use, just to name a few use cases around labor tracking and safety. Wearables will automate tracking headcount, show you who is working where, mark hazards, and send real-time safety alerts site wide. Only thing you need to remember is that you have to carry wearable devices on you.
Cloud and Mobile Technology
Taking advantage of the amount of technology in everyday life, cloud technology is no longer a stranger to the everyday person. Cloud and mobile technology is the link from the people to their current systems, eventually becoming the personal link to the singular integrated platform mentioned previously.
This industry needs to hit the ground running again, and take advantage of the potential there are in these upgrades in technology. We have to embrace technology and understand how it can help us and make our projects and sites better, safer, and more effective.
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