Technology is an area that never stops evolving and construction technology is no different. Technology is revolutionising the way buildings are designed and constructed. The evolution of construction technology is making the entire industry cheaper, faster and most importantly safer. In 2021 76% of executives in the engineering and construction industry said they were investing in digital technology. The trend in the industry is becoming such that it’s not a matter of if you embrace digitalisation but when.
This is a technology that is becoming more and more popular in many industries. 3D printing allows for the creation of complex shapes and structures that are difficult or impossible to produce with traditional building techniques. It also helps with the ongoing issue of materials shortages because you can simply print what you need. This technology is also being used to create prefabricated building components, which can be assembled quickly and easily on-site. An added benefit is that you are only using what you need so there is little wastage. There is a limitation at the moment however due to the issues with printing large-scale objects and the cost of that.
One of the most popular of the emerging technologies drones have become increasingly popular on construction sites. The increased proliferation of drones has also influenced price which in turn makes them even more present on construction sites. They can be used to survey land, create 3D maps of construction sites, and inspect buildings from above. Drones can also be used to monitor construction progress, track equipment and materials, and ensure that safety protocols are being followed. They can also be used to safely check hard-to-reach areas, like great heights or under bridges.
VR is revolutionising the industry. Rather than having blueprints of your designs you can create immersive, 3D models of building designs. This allows you to visualise the outcome and even ‘walk’ around the building before it’s built. This helps to identify potential problems and make changes before construction starts. This helps you to avoid unexpected costs and budget issues.
BIM is often used in conjunction with VR. It’s a digital tool that allows architects, engineers, and builders to create a detailed, 3D model of a building. Each team involved in the build can add their part allowing the model to evolve along the way. The model includes information about the building’s structure, systems, and materials, which can be used to plan construction, estimate costs, and make design changes. It also automates design clashes allowing you to avoid issues one the go.
Augmented Reality is a technology that allows builders to overlay digital information onto the physical world. This can be used to visualise how a building will look once it’s complete or to find potential problems on a construction site. It differs from VR in that it uses a real-world setting while VR is completely virtual.
Robotics are used in all areas of the construction industry. There are bricklaying robots, 3D Printing robots and even security robots like drones or CCTV. Robots are being used in the construction industry to perform tasks that are dangerous, difficult, or repetitive. This reduces the need for human labour and increases efficiency. For example, robots can lay bricks, pour concrete, or install drywall.
As technology continues to revolutionise the way buildings are designed, we can expect to see even more innovation and development in the field of construction. The adoption of these technologies will bring greater efficiency, safety, and sustainability to construction projects, making the industry more productive and effective than ever before.
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