The construction industry has always had a reputation for being an old, traditional and slow industry. The industry has always done things the same way and has been resistant to change. But change is coming and even though it has been slow in arrival, it has brought various technologies and trends in the industry.
We now see various technological advancements that have brought numerous benefits to the industry in terms of efficiency, resource management, time management and insights from data.
With a splendid end of the year 2017, the upcoming years bring more opportunities for construction managers to utilize the main technological trends that have been entering various sectors of the industry. So let’s have a look at the main emerging trends that have brought change to the industry.
Emerging Construction Trends
Robotics have entered the industry with a bang! It is most definitely a very glamorous topic to talk about and there is much hype about it. But is there a need for it? Can it improve efficiency and bring order to the chaos in construction? The answer is a definite yes!
It is true that the technology is at its infancy and needs time to mature and bring about the kind of change we think it’s capable of bringing. But it is getting there... One such example is the famous robotic arm by MIT’s Digital Construction Platform.
To be able to create structures with robots can improve the labor shortage issues that the industry is facing. An increase in robots can bring about a change in the labor market. With the developments of robots, we will see a higher focus on construction workers to be more quality workers or intelligent workers.
2. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
Another sexy technology that has been bringing change in the industry is VR tech. Virtual reality can provide virtual walkthroughs of the current stage of the construction project and how it will look once the job is done.
Its benefits are irreplaceable as it can be difficult to show clients how the project will look before the actual investment takes place. It also reduces the need to have on-site updates.
Another emerging trend is the use of augmented reality. It, as the name implies, enhances the view of our current reality. Increases the information of the objects right in front of us. The technology is not as common in the industry as VR.
That is due to the fact that technology requires a large amount of investment in data and information flow in the project. It requires accurate storage of information about every aspect of the project.
The industry is moving towards a higher data management structure in their projects and with that, we will see more of AR and VR in the industry.
3. Construction Project Management Software
A technology that has made rapid progress in the industry, is the development of project management software. Its benefits are to bring order in a project through the management of data and information. It provides real-time updates on the different stages of the project to enhance communication and collaboration.
It brings insight and an overview of the project that can reduce waste and increase efficiency. Insights gained from a project that effectively used project management software can be applied to other projects. Through budget estimates and planning, we can forecast the resources used in future projects.
Drones have already been making a lot of progress in the industry and they plan to do more. The drone industry is forecasted to grow to a whopping $10 billion by 10 years. That makes it a technology worth investing in. There are various uses to drone tech starting from mapping the construction site, data storage and analysis, and reducing time inefficiency.
It’s only a matter of time for drones to become valuable and necessary tools in the construction world. Providing instant updates of the project site in a matter of seconds, this tech can be an attractive tool for the contractors to invest in.
Therefore, in the upcoming years, we will see a higher implementation of drone technology in the construction industry.
5. Green Construction
One main trend that has had a significant effect on the construction industry is the increasing use of green buildings in creating structures. According to the world green building council, green construction is the modification of all construction practices and work processes to reduce the impact it has on the climate and environment.
Another trend that has been observed under the green construction category is the acceptance of modular or prefabricated construction. Modular construction essentially moves 80% of the construction work, off-site. This leaves a very small environmental impact on the environment.
So the future shows a lot of acceptance of green construction. Its various benefits make it a much smarter choice when focusing on the climate and various resources.
6. BIM (Building Information Modelling)
Another technology that has been making headway is the BIM tech in construction. Successful implementation of BIM provides virtual walkthroughs, collaboration, and resource management.
With the BIM level 2 mandate in the UK, we can already see the ball rolling towards a more digitized industry. BIM’s benefits are not limited to design and engineering. For contractors, it can be a strength to show the end result of the product to clients.
The technology is continuously improving and with the latest 5D BIM model we can see an increase in collaboration and communication. All in all, the industry will focus on a more collaborative environment.
The future of construction
What do all of these trends have in common? All of them focus on changing the way the construction industry operates. The technologies have entered an industry where there was very little modernization. Of course many have been met with resistance such as BIM and Project Management Software. But this will not continue.
In the end, the industry will change for the better and bring forth a very transparent and collaborative industry. And a significant part of it will be played by the above-mentioned trends. Let’s see where these technologies will take us!
About the author: Shaneel Akbar is Content Marketing Assistant at GenieBelt.