Digitization is overwhelmingly taking most industries by storm, but the construction and housing industry has been the slowest and most hesitant in accepting it. When it comes to the construction industry, however, the benefits of digital tech are multiple. It increases efficiency, accuracy, standards of quality, workplace safety, success rates, and decreases the possibility for errors and accidents. Everything is done in a shorter amount of time, and all of it, in turn, results in lower overall cost of the project.
Digital tech and digitization in general have proven helpful in nearly every aspect of construction – from the idea’s inception and the process of designing, to the construction itself and the maintenance of the building. It covers all grounds and facilitates everything through team’s communication and the arrangements of the project to the actual physical work of constructing. We have seen the tile manufacturer also using advance technology in manufacturing digital floor tiles and its design.
The bar has been raised very high and demands for new technology are greater, so it is no wonder there are so many cutting-edge products on the market at the moment, or in the process of development and manufacture. Drones, robots, 3D printing, smart technology and different software are all making a difference in construction.
New smart technology and software
Mobile devices, tablets, apps, and project management software have become an integral part in construction. They have contributed greatly to the improvement of workplace efficiency and safety. They help with and keep track of various aspects of the project – from the workers to the materials used. BIM, for example, represents a key change. It is short for Building Information Modelling, software that replaces all the unnecessary paper, such as blueprints, drawings and all other paperwork. With BIM everything is digitalized and stored in one place, accessible to everyone at any time. All the information and all the participants of the project are connected better, which makes collaboration, communication and coordination much easier.
It can also be connected to other smart technology such as smart vests and helmets. They can be used to track the well-being of a worker – their temperature, heart rate, and overall physical condition, or for different kinds of measurements at a job site using built-in sensors. The software can then collect and analyze data from the vests and helmets about the workers’ health, as well as keep track of the project’s developmental stages and results, and estimate and prevent hazardous situations. They help keep the entire process organized, safe and successful. Roofing is one of the most important part in construction industry and we have seen some innovative ways they started using technology in recent time.
When it comes to sensor technologies, there are also many ways of surveying and monitoring the site as efficiently as possible, as well as keeping track of workers, equipment, and construction phases. This can all be done through drones, GPS tracking, video surveillance, and even mobile devices. What it includes is everything from securing the perimeter when it is unsupervised, at night for example, to surveying the site and gathering information on workers, different resources and equipment. The more detailed information gathered and analyzed, the better the overall quality of the end result.
Drones play an especially important role when it comes to all the different kinds of inspections necessary before and during the construction process. The automation of the data collection has significantly expedited and simplified construction and the preparations needed before the beginning of the process. First, before anything starts, before the foundations are built, there is a series of inspections that the construction site needs to go through, such as the soil, terrain, vegetation. There are even more of them once the construction starts – safety risks, quality assessment, progress etc. All of this is time consuming and it also takes its toll on the financial part. Some of the inspection tasks can also be dangerous and cause safety risks, such as inspecting higher floors or beams on higher altitudes. Drones can do all of this safely and with no risks involved. They are automated or controlled remotely, and can give more precise and accurate data and estimations.
With 3D printers and scanners, it is possible to build actual or virtual models. Models can be built in different stages of construction, for comparison purposes, for analysis, to check for oversights, reduce the possibility for mistakes and future corrections. This is very significant and important since it can reduce the time and cost of construction. This is very significant and important since it can reduce the time and cost of construction. In recent times, and in more evolved companies, 3D printers are being used to make entire objects or parts of those objects. They are a great solution for different complex or unusually shaped parts and structures.
Automated robots also present an innovation in the construction industry. Some of the more modern and innovative companies have started using this kind of automated work. The robots can be manned remotely, even from another side of the world, or programmed to operate completely independently. They can perform an array of different tasks, and also with more precision, in less time and with far lesser or no risks involved. They can be used to build different beams or bricks, they can paint, dig holes and perform basically any other tasks during the construction of the building, and recently even build more complex objects.
While many in the construction industry have traditionally been weary of and resistant towards new technologies, the improvements and better results are not lacking. Interest is growing, and awareness of the many benefits of technology is increasing. Business models in construction and building practices are radically changing, improving and allowing for more complex objects to be built more efficiently – at a faster rate and with more precision.
Over to you
If you are the one working in construction industry and effectively utilizing the technology to enhance the productivity, write us here by comment. We would love to share your experience with our readers here at DigiFloor.