Eight New Technologies that Will Revolutionise the Construction Industry
Construction technology is developing quickly, and there are now a tonne of resources available for the industry to do so. In 2021, funding for construction technology reached a record high of $2.1 billion, an increase of 100% from the previous year.
Research demonstrates that companies that are rated as “digitally savvy” outperform competitors by as much as 48 percent on revenue and 15% on net margin. These investments in innovations pay off significantly. And this holds true in a variety of fields.
Being a part of the construction industry has never been more exciting. Innovations will lead to even more developments and advancements as it continues to change at an accelerated rate. The following eight innovations, in our opinion, will influence how the industry develops moving forward.
1. Construction Workflows Using AI and Machine Learning
In the AEC sector, effective projects and teams depend on optimised workflows. Workflows, however, frequently tend to be disjointed and manual in nature due to the complexity of construction. Communication, data, and transparency are the three most important components of optimised construction workflows. All three of these areas are becoming easier to succeed in thanks to AI, which boosts output and profits. It also helps that Accenture predicted AI has the potential to boost industry profits by 71 percent by 2035.
Construction industry professionals are using machine learning to streamline their processes and improve decision-making. The core technology stack used by the construction industry is quickly incorporating predictive analytics. Companies can predict future outcomes by using both historical and current data, as well as machine learning. These forecasts can then be used to plan future actions and make more informed decisions.
In today’s world of complex construction projects and operations, predictive analytics and machine learning are especially useful. Companies require a precise strategy for reducing risks, seizing opportunities, and getting ready for difficulties. Workers now have the freedom to concentrate on higher-value tasks that are more likely to make a difference thanks to this information.
BAM Ireland is a prime illustration of this advantage. For all projects, the international construction company used Construction IQ as its predictive analytics tool. By doing this, the quality and safety of the work environment increased by 20%, and the amount of time spent on high-risk issues increased by 25%.
Pype’s Smart Plans uses AI to manage essential construction documents, such as submittals and spec books. In order to extract contract compliance items from these unstructured drawings, the software platform reads through them to make sure no requirements are missed.
AI and machine learning can also increase safety at construction sites by automating safety observations and inspections. Josh Kanner, Founder and CEO of Newmetrix, says that construction pros can utilize these technologies to create computer vision models that can identify safety issues.
“You don’t need to have people walking around, you can actually have the machine help you understand what those scenarios are. So now you’re able to get hundreds of additional observations a week, and thousands a year,” says Josh.
Vinnie, a product from Newmetrix, uses AI to make sure job sites adhere to safety regulations. The construction innovation can detect potential safety risks, worker absences of personal protective equipment (PPE), transgressions of social distance, work at height, and more. Construction companies can quickly mitigate risks and produce customizable reports on predetermined benchmarks thanks to the ability to analyse risks within their context.
2.Software for managing resources and personnel
For construction companies, managing resources and a workforce entails significant costs. Effective workforce management can support businesses in maintaining operations, optimising resource allocation, and avoiding unforeseen costs and delays.
More businesses are now relying on software platforms to increase productivity and provide their workforce—remote, on-site, big or small—with actionable analytics.
Predictive tracking, forecasting, and mobile-first interfaces are some of the innovations in workforce management solutions for the construction industry. Many of the manual processes associated with resource planning are eliminated by these solutions.
For instance, the resource management tool Bridgit Bench, developed for the construction sector, incorporates agility and optimization into a dynamic planning process. A tool called Eyrus, which tracks progress on important project areas, makes sure workers are deployed when and where they are needed. IoT technology and connected devices are used by the labour management tool Triax to provide real-time tracking of your on-site personnel, tools, and other resources.
These types of solutions give businesses access to metrics and forecasting analytics, allowing them to more effectively allocate resources to the right projects at the right time. In the current economy, where volatile markets necessitate that businesses be as precise and effective in their operations as possible, workforce management solutions are particularly crucial.
3.The Third-D Printing Revolution
The inclusion of 3D printing on this list probably doesn’t surprise you. After all, it has long been regarded as among the greatest innovations in building. However, as the technology transitions from a novelty to an emerging industry standard, its future is now even more promising.
With the right implementation strategy—and a little imagination—3D printing can expedite projects, increase material accessibility, and let you produce stunning designs.
As Stephan Mansour, a 3D Printing & Emerging Technology Advisor at MaRiTama Ltd points out, “Everything can be 3D-printed; it’s just a matter of how far you want to go, how scalable it is, and how much money you’re going to put in.”
Future predictions call for the development and expansion of 3D printing technology. 3D printing will be available to assist businesses as they look for ways to enhance quality control, address the shortage of skilled labour, and investigate advanced designs.
4. AR, VR, and the Metaverse
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality are terms we’ve all heard of (AR). While AR adds digital elements to our surroundings in real time, VR completely submerges us in the digital world. The metaverse comes into play when immersive reality merges these two worlds into a single one.
Users can experience the internet in a way that is similar to the real world thanks to the metaverse. Devices like AR glasses and VR headsets make this possible. The metaverse can move “content from the internet into 3D immersive environments that can be shared and interacted with by multiple users (often taking physical form as avatars)” thanks to these gadgets, according to The Wild.
Businesses that depend on cross-departmental cooperation for success can especially benefit from immersive reality. Teams can “meet” in the metaverse in order to interact in a rich, virtual setting, which is not possible when you are seated in front of a computer screen.
Additionally, tools for construction like Revit and Autodesk Construction Cloud solutions can be integrated with platforms like The Wild and IrisVR. Teams can now use a shared workspace to access these applications and collaborate in real time.
It makes sense that the technology is causing a stir in the construction sector given these use cases.
5. Sensor Data
It’s crucial to keep track of all the different parts of your company, such as employees, job sites, and equipment. Monitoring properly facilitates project planning, encourages smoother operations, and ensures adherence to worker and safety regulations.
The good news is that it’s now simpler than ever to keep an eye on the numerous moving parts of your projects thanks to construction sensors and IoT technology. You can track materials through the supply chain, enhance worker safety, and improve facility management with a variety of solutions available on the market.
Sensors are being used by forward-thinking businesses to predict and plan for future events. According to Chris Schoneveld, BIM Manager at Alkondor Hengelo, “With the use of sensor data and Forge as a software foundation, we are able to predict future product failures.”
“So for a maintenance task, we could analyse the use curve of a building and protect our products against future failures. And doing multiple tasks on a single maintenance job benefits our company’s eco footprint due to a minimization of traffic movement.”
6. Digital Twins
The term “digital twins” is undoubtedly catchy, but what advantages does it offer the construction sector? A digital twin is a digital representation of a physical entity that includes all of its existing and potential assets, systems, data, processes, workflows, personnel, and equipment. Digital twins are created in the construction industry to replicate physical structures after collecting data from sensors to better understand them.
Having a backup copy of a physical structure gives staff members the ability to inspect, modify, and improve the structure. They can find potential ways to increase efficiency, establish safety procedures, lower risks, and boost quality as they examine the digital twin. By acting as a digital thread that is directly connected to a physical structure, digital twins also improve BIM.
Since almost 80% of a building’s lifetime value is realized during operations, the data and insights provided by a digital twin helps owners better maintain their facilities, streamline operations, and improve capital planning.
You can also use digital twins to determine if a built asset is meeting certain KPIs and metrics. “If you have certain sustainable goals, you’ll be able to see if you’re achieving them. If you have equipment and want to measure mean time between failure, having a digital twin helps you do that,” explains Bob Bray, Senior Director & General Manager for Autodesk Tandem.
Additionally, it can aid owners in planning ahead. An asset’s performance in the real world can be used to inform, predict, and examine decisions that will be made in the future, as Bob notes.
Last but not least, the benefits of digital twins are particularly important when there is social isolation, remote work, and travel restriction. A digital twin eliminates the need to leave a home office or even to travel in order to access crucial information about a property.
7. Truly Connected Construction
construction with simplicity? We would contend that simplicity is the lifeblood of the most potent innovations, even though it may not be a buzzword. Data, workflows, and technology are all more potent when they are connected. A prime illustration of this is Apple. The company’s iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks all seamlessly exchange the same data. These seamless connections keep everything straightforward and efficient.
In connected construction, the same ideas are demonstrated. Information silos and processes that rely on paper are common problems for the construction industry. The enormous amounts of data and resources that make up the industry make these problems worse. Stakeholders require a strong foundation and a single source of truth in order to work effectively on projects.
With connected construction, this foundation can be built and maintained. Data, workflows, and technology integration and connectivity are synonymous with connected construction. It unites data, people, and processes in a single shared data environment. Whether decisions are made as part of routine operations or a long-term strategic plan, it drives effective decision-making. Connected construction is the solution for businesses that genuinely want to give their employees the freedom to make the best decisions possible.
8. Advanced Takeoff and Estimating Tools
Spreadsheets are no longer used to create quantity takeoffs and estimates. They should be, at the very least. Construction professionals can now carry out these procedures more quickly and accurately thanks to the development of sophisticated takeoff and estimating tools.
You can view and manage bids from anywhere thanks to modern takeoff and estimating solutions that operate in the cloud. Additionally, by connecting teams and data on a single platform, these tools promote better collaboration. Additionally, you can work more quickly, create competitive bids, and ultimately win more work thanks to automation and 3D visualisation.
One useful tool for producing competitive bids from precise estimates is Autodesk Takeoff. Another tool, BuildingConnected, helps your team stay on top of bids by centralising all bidding activity and providing collaboration tools like shared calendars. It’s simpler to keep track of project files, important dates, and stakeholders so you can make sure that nothing gets missed.
Moving Innovation in Construction Forward
In front of our very eyes, the construction industry is actually evolving. These eight innovations in the construction sector, in our opinion, will be especially beneficial to the sector both now and in the future.