Construction technology, which traditionally has always been behind the curve has now been realised as a market with the biggest opportunity for technology growth and innovation
As smart technology develops, alongside connectivity advancements such as 5G and WiFi6, the vision for improving efficiency, creating smarter and safer work environments and increased productivity look to be in reach for the construction industry.
We take a look at five of the biggest construction technology trends to watch.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
Made up of a collection of sensors and central control systems, IoT is taking many different industries by storm to create smarter working environments.
Creating a connected worksite allows for improved safety, better site regulation and a massive boost inefficiency.
Using centralised software, wearable construction technology and mobile data, construction site managers will have a lot more control over a site without comprising on time.
Some key benefits include:
- the ability to track footfall on a worksite,
- check workers in and out of site efficiently
- send broadcast messages to personnel on-site in case of emergencies
- warn workers by SMS if they are entering a danger zone.
Not only this – placing sensors on equipment can be used to track usage, place orders when running low on a product – not to mention switch things off at a touch of button – massively reducing the environmental impact construction sites have.
With reports showing that the number of IoT active devices is set to be 10 billion by 2020 and 22 billion by 2025, this really is one to watch.
Machine Learning and AI
Using technology to work smarter means that there is a higher quantity of data to process.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence can help us to automate our workflows, further improving efficiency and not only this – making suggestions based on historical data trends to help improve quality of work.
Using these forms of technology can help prevent cost overruns, assist in the design offering generative design, help to educate workers creating safer working environments, help reduce costs by maximising efficiencies and much more.
Augmented reality and virtual reality are already revolutionising many sectors, but the impact on the world of construction is set to be huge.
Thanks to this advanced technology, construction managers will be able to oversee every element of a project on as granular a level as necessary – aiding with health & safety, co-design, digital job guidance, progress monitoring and more.
Virtual Reality takes 3D modelling to the next level, allowing people to immerse themselves in a project, as if they were actually there and engage with the environment to examine the details. VR also allows colleagues in different physical locations the ability to do a site walk through together, allowing better collaboration on projects that isn’t restricted by location or facilities.
Not only this, it gives clients the ability to really see what a development will look like before it’s complete allowing expectations for a project to be set from the get go.
Drone technology (also knows as unmanned aerial vehicles – UAV’s) allow for site managers and teams to not only receive real-time progress updates but also to check for and monitor health and safety hazards they may not have otherwise been able to spot.
Furthermore, from a marketing perspective, being able to use drones to capture time-lapse footage of schemes being constructed is a brilliant calling card for surveyors and agents.
Connectivity – 5G, WiFi6
Lastly, but by no means least we take a look at connectivity.
Connecting construction sites is a critical step in any project and with all this evolving technology a backbone to support greater speeds and amounts of data is required.
With enhanced technologies such as 5G and WiFi6 becoming available, providing enterprise grade solutions as a mobile service with greater speeds and reliability is becoming less challenging.
Using mobile broadband comes with many benefits – it is quick and easy to install, can be moved with a project and generally providers offer short term contracts.
With greater speeds, better traffic handling and less congestion, 5G offers an alternative to traditional fixed-line broadband that just makes sense.