The construction industry, like most modernised sectors, benefits extensively from technological innovation. After all, without technology, it would not have been possible to build infrastructure that defined the 20th and 21st-century urban landscapes. For many decades, construction remained productive due to feats of engineering and architecture. Nevertheless, there is much to explore when it comes to new technology which can further elevate and improve how contractors approach specific projects. The main challenge is how to disrupt the status quo significantly. Many of the processes contractors are used to have been quite useful but moving towards digitalisation is not always a welcome change.
Little by little, however, trends in technology are slowly starting to infiltrate the industry. Some of the most profoundly impacting are the following.
The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things is a buzzword that has grown significantly in the consumer tech market. The organic application of connected devices for consumers became easily adaptable. But this innovation is also starting to impact the construction industry. Interconnected devices and machines will be capable of collecting massive amounts of data which will then be analysed to make the appropriate decision. Artificial intelligence will also play a significant role in data interpretation and storage. Imagine seeing drones, robots and construction equipment working autonomously as interconnected parts of a massive IoT ecosystem.
Looking forward to this possibility will not only increase speed but also make construction sites safer.
Building Information Modelling
In 2016, the UK government mandated that all government construction projects have to use BIM. In general, using BIM increases accuracy and empowers various stakeholders to exchange information. As adoption of this technology increases, many conventional processes will be challenged. An already industrialised sector will become highly dependent on creating digital models and simulation of physical objects.
Pre-fabrication and modularisation
Pre-fabricated materials are not new in the construction industry. But modern materials are being explored to ensure that buildings are sustainable. Modularisation increases speed and efficiency. A contractor only needs equipment like that from Plant Hire Preston and other companies to provide the necessary power and workforce can be reduced significantly. Innovative contractors around the world are also experimenting with modular materials to build entire structures. For example, a company in Dubai used a 3D printer to produce the materials needed to make an entire office building. The possibilities are endless if you consider how pre-fabrication will affect the construction industry in the years to come.
Drones and robotics
Drones are already commonplace in many large construction sites. Drones provide essential survey data within minutes, which used to take much more time using conventional methods. Drones are also becoming more sophisticated and require less intervention from a human operator, which can help contractors save money on the workforce.
Using robots is relatively new in the construction industry but is being explored as a viable solution to performing some of the most dangerous jobs in a construction site. Robots are already widely used in many industries, such as manufacturing, but there is a possibility that advanced robotic technology will revolutionise construction in the coming decades.