7 New Construction Technologies and How They’re Transforming the Industry
Construction is still booming in the US, and it’s predicted to keep growing for years to come. As demand grows, construction industry experts look to technology to help them meet expectations.
What new construction technologies are changing the landscape? You might be surprised to learn everything from drones to AI are changing construction. Check out these seven to see what’s in store for the construction industry.
1. AI Lets Construction Companies Build Smarter
AI and machine learning are the most-talked about new technologies in construction. There’s good reason for that. Construction companies are using the Internet of Things to collect more data.
This data can be used to teach machines and let them “learn.” As machines collect more information, they learn more. That lets them make better predictions and smarter decisions.
All self-driving vehicles work on AI and machine learning. Autonomous vehicles are becoming more popular at construction sites. They can reduce waste and the potential for error and injury.
As these machines become more sophisticated, they’ll become more common on job sites.
2. Robot Workers and Drones Get the Job Done
We already talked about autonomous vehicles. They’re not the only new vehicular construction technologies.
Drones are popular for their ability to track worksites and send data. Drones are faster and more accurate when surveying land or assessing structural damage. What’s more is that they can complete these tasks without a human setting foot on site.
This can reduce the risk of injury, as some sites may not be safe human workers. Using drones can help keep people safer.
Robot workers may also be able to reduce worker injuries. They can take on repetitive and strenuous tasks.
Although robots are only beginning to be tested, they show plenty of promise. Already, they can help make building faster, smarter, and safer.
3. Many New Construction Technologies Are “Smart”
You’ve probably heard about all kinds of smart technologies. There are smart speakers and smart homes.
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that smart technologies are also appearing in the construction industry. Their application is a little different though.
Smart bricks are one example. Smart roads are another. Using Internet of Things technology and sensors, smart roads make driving both greener and safer.
Some smart roads can even generate their own electricity to power lighting.
4. BIM and Software Make an Impact
Not all construction technology ends up at the job site. In fact, plenty of technology is used behind the scenes, before workers even break ground on a project.
Construction software is always improving. Better, more powerful software allows for better modeling and prototyping. Newer programs also help speed up projects and streamline the project timeline.
Construction IT services are also key to completing projects on time.
Finally, building information modeling, or BIM, is more popular than ever. BIM software includes actionable information within 3D models. This allows for for improved field communication and more.
BIM goes beyond the construction phase of a project, though. The information stored in the model can be used to help with ongoing maintenance. It also makes it easier to complete renovations long after the build is complete.
With so much information at your fingertips, it’s easier to build smarter.
5. 3D Printing Changes Prefabricated Buildings
Now let’s look at the technologies for building itself. Building technology has been embracing the idea of prefabrication more whole-heartedly.
Prefab is nothing new in the construction world. What is new is the technologies that make it happen. The advent of 3D printing has heralded an enormous change.
It’s now possible to print entire pieces of buildings or even whole buildings. Once these pieces or buildings are printed, they can be transported to the building site. The pieces can be put together and the final project completed in short order.
Obviously, 3D printing streamlines the project schedule. It can also reduce waste.
It also allows for modular construction. Like prefabrication, modular construction is nothing new. Modular constructions allow builders to swap out various pieces to construct new buildings.
The timelines are reduced and waste is streamlined using this method of construction.
6. New Materials Make Buildings Safer and Stronger
There’s some fairly futuristic technology going into building materials themselves. A great example is self-healing concrete. This material can heal itself, which reduces the need for repairs and renovations.
Another example is transparent aluminum. This material is much stronger than glass and won’t shatter. In fact, it’s bullet-proof.
This material could replace glass in windows and doors. This is particularly important for buildings that need improved safety or durability. Say goodbye to shattered windows and hello to sunshine.
Another innovation is aerogel insulation. Despite being almost weightless, this fabric makes an amazing insulation material. It’s much more effective than fiberglass and foam insulation.
7. Virtual and Augmented Realities Are Changing Perspectives
Last but not least are virtual and augmented reality. Over the past few years, both VR and AR have made quite the stir in the public eye.
They’ve been quietly adopted by many industries. Many business leaders are just starting to realize their amazing potential. In the construction industry, AR can be used to enhance site surveys and more.
AR technology allows more information to be available to surveyors and workers. Elevation details or information about current weather can be available in an instant. Having this data in hand makes it easier to make decisions in real-time.
VR’s applications allow for real-time comparison of models to current projects. VR is also great for training. If you’re trying to impress stakeholders, a virtual walk-through of the building could be key to winning the bid or getting approval.
Tomorrow’s Technology in Today’s Buildings
These new construction technologies are completing transforming the world of construction. As these technologies mature, you’ll see them on more construction sites.
Want to know what’s next for technology? Keep tabs on new developments with our insights on the latest trends.