construction technology, Bhangals Construction

Parm Bhangal, managing director of Bhangals Construction Consultants and My Build Estimate, looks at how construction technology is transforming the industry 

If you are not sure how important construction technology is to today’s world, consider this – in the past decade construction technology firms have secured more than £7.7bn in investment.

The use of construction technology is becoming increasingly important in a world where we are not relying so heavily on standard building types and are instead turning more and more to one-off prototype construction projects.

When we talk about construction technology, we really mean any technology relating to building materials and construction techniques. It is an extremely broad area but in general refers to any tools, machinery, modifications and software which lead to the advancement of construction methods. This can include both semi-automated and automated construction equipment.

In recent years we have seen apps becoming the norm in construction, along with the use of drones, BIM, virtual reality and 3D printing.

Advances in software, hardware and analytics are making it ever easier and more efficient for construction firms to compile and share project information. For example, one of the exciting technological tools, which we employ at Bhangals Construction Consultants, is taking off software which ensures measurement work is extremely accurate.

We also send clients a digital copy of the measurement work so they can see exactly what has been measured. This makes the project in question easier to discuss because they can see colour coded digital ‘take off’ work.

Green construction technology

There has been huge growth in the area of green technology over the past decade as the need to protect our environment has taken greater hold of the public’s consciousness. Green construction technology now comes in a wide variety of forms, including solar power, biodegradable materials, green insulation, cool roofs, sustainable resource sourcing, electrochromic smart glass and water efficiency technologies.

All these technologies make buildings more energy-efficient and builders, their clients and tenants are all realising the benefits of using green construction technology.

Modular and prefabricated construction technology

The assembly of buildings and their parts offsite is also growing in popularity. In the past this method of construction has been thought of as low end but with today’s technologies this method can help to control costs through delivering efficiencies.

Offsite construction can reduce waste and can increase worker efficiency by creating an environment similar to a manufacturing plant. Prefabricated units can include entire buildings or components such as walls, doors, stairs, flooring and roof trusses.

This method of construction is mainly used on projects with consistent layouts, such as apartments, hospitals and schools.

It is safe to say prefabricated technology has moved away from the image of the post-war pre-fabs to an era where work is underway on a pair of towers in Singapore which, at 630ft tall, are set to become the world’s tallest prefabricated buildings.

Worker safety

New technologies, such as virtual reality, are also being put to good use improve worker safety levels. Such technologies enable workers to practice working in potentially dangerous environments. For example, workers can practice operating heavy machinery in virtual reality scenarios.

The impact of Covid-19

Most recently the construction industry has experienced a dramatic rise in the use of video walkthroughs on projects since the onset of Covid-19. Whenever we do site visits now we will do a video walkthrough to send to our clients so they can see exactly what is happening on location without actually having to take time out of their busy schedules to visit. This is proving to be a fantastic tool.

In a similar vein, the rise of the Covid-19 pandemic has seen construction businesses move from face-to-face meetings and consultations with clients towards online meetings via the likes of Microsoft Teams and Zoom. Such video platforms are making non face-to-face a lot more personal and convenient for clients and construction firms alike.

What do these developments mean for the industry?

The onset of Covid-19 has dramatically highlighted how technology can move the construction industry forward, even in times of difficulty and upheaval, and opened the eyes of many to the wider technological innovations going on the industry.

New construction technology is improving the industry in a variety of ways. Digital communications are making it easier than ever before firms to keep their clients up to date with the progress of their projects.

As projects become increasingly complex and costly technological advances are enabling us to create taller, stronger and more innovative buildings with reduced costs and greater efficiency.

With a shortage of skilled labourers, construction technology is also helping firms to save on labour costs through the use of robots and autonomous, heavy machinery.

 

 

Parm Bhangal
Parm Bhangal

Parm Bhangal

Managing director

Bhangal Construction Consultants

My Build Estimate

info@bhangals.co.uk

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here