The world of construction is constantly advancing when it comes to new technologies on the building site.
Developers are split, some are embracing it while others are still plucking up the courage to dip their toe in the water. Though it seems more important in recent years to keep up to date with the emerging trends in technology and how it can benefit your business and new builds.
Below is just a handful of some of the technology available:
Construction companies are searching for more innovative ways to reduce the continuing skills shortage.
Like drones, robots are not new in the construction industry. The in recent years they have moved away from being a gadget and started to be an important part of projects by reducing costs and time savings.
Robots are currently used in many different ways, more largely in fabrication with few existing on site - though this is starting to change.
One example is brick factory uses a robotic system for palletising bricks. The brick laying robots are built with vacuum grippers that can determine differences in blocks and manipulate the brick or concrete block.
When it comes to demolition, instead of building, there is a deconstruction robot that literally ‘erases’ concrete from reinforced walls, leaving the rebar clean and ready for reuse or scrap. The robot removes the concrete using powerful water jets, recycling the water and separating the concrete into aggregate. In the not too distant future a fleet of these robots will be able to erase a building without any major human involvement.
Looking further into the future the race is on for 3D printing on a massive scale. The industry is currently a long way off from being able to print an entire structure, but the idea of creating building components of any shape has the industry just as excited (and R&D busy!)
2. Smart Helmets
US-based tech company Daqri has developed the construction sector’s first smart helmet.
It’s a mixture between Google Glass and your standard site hard hat. It uses 4D augmented reality technology that has a combination of cameras and sensors that capture and record real-time information about the user’s surroundings. From valve readings to thermal data, it can also show the wearer stored information like safety guidelines and worker instructions.
The helmet also improves communication on site, as managers can send instant messages to workers about potential hazards, or use the live stream video function to give workers advice and guidance remotely when carrying out jobs.
The construction industry is only starting to realise the potential of these machines.
From the outset drones (UAVs) have delivered aerial photos, videos which can be used to to survey a site, map building, design, marketing and PR, as well as generating valuable information for planning the first stage of a build.
As technology develops, drone photography will help with day-to-day on-site decision making, materials co-ordination, monitoring progress and keeping the client in the loop. High-risk areas will be examined and recorded from close up, and from miles away, managers will reassure themselves that the crane they ordered has indeed arrived on the site. Footage will be used for health and safety training and for induction of workers. Thermal imaging scanning will also play a key role in identifying issues with concrete works and more.
4. Mobile Apps
Construction apps allow foreman and contractors to get the most out of technology. There are a number of construction-focused apps on the market, such as augmented reality and CAD apps that make it possible to visualise the structure and make blueprint changes instantly.
There are also calculating apps that help construction managers better calculate supplies, including concrete volumes, roofing materials, and hardware amounts. These apps also help construction companies calculate estimates for future jobs.
From robots to smart helmets and every technology in between, it’s plain to see why construction sites are focusing on these technology trends.
Article sources: Lunar-ai.com bdcnetwork.com darqi.com dezeen.com constructingglobal.com
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