6 Ways Technology is Changing the Construction Industry

You’d be hard-pressed to find an industry that is unaffected by the wave of technology. It seems everything these days is adding the smart moniker to the front.

While some may be watching technology closely, it has made many industries safer, more efficient, and better suited for the customer.

Construction is one such area that has been greatly affected by technology in the last few years and will continue to incorporate new trends into everyday working life.

What are some of the biggest technological trends we’re seeing in the construction industry these days?

1. Drones

Just a few years ago, drones were a new item that had previously only been used by the United States Army. Drones for personal use were incredibly expensive and you might have been lucky to know someone who knew someone that had a drone.

Nowadays, you can go pick up a drone for less than $100 at a local electronics store.

Drones have also made great leeway into the construction world as more and more firms are turning towards drones for a number of tasks.

Workers are using them in order to get that precious bird’s eye view of a project or even scout out land that was previously inaccessible. Others are being used to send information to project software which can then create models of certain projects.

With their use being relatively new in the construction field, we can only imagine what they might be used for in the near future.

2. 3D Printing

Much like drones, 3D printing is also relatively new and is being used more and more for personal use. It’s also making waves in the construction field.

While they are not cheap when it comes to professional use, they do have a number of operations that have proven useful in construction.

For example, 3D printers have been used more for certain materials both on and off-site. This helps cut back on labor and material costs while also reducing the amount of waste produced at a construction site.

3. Virtual Reality

Not just for video games, virtual reality is setting up a stronghold in the construction world as well. It’s quickly becoming the norm for many construction firms around the country.

There really is no limit when it comes to what virtual reality can do, as it’s been used for:

  • Equipment training
  • Safety training
  • Design assistance
  • Quality assurance
  • Giving clients a look at the future building

Much like 3D printing, it has proven to save money with various activities. In addition to virtual reality, there has also been a rise in the use of augmented reality and mixed reality.

4. Software

People have been using computers forever when it comes to construction, but now software is making more and more waves within the industry.

Project management software such as FINALCAD, Procore, and WorkflowMax are just some of the software programs that have found their way into just about every construction firm around the country.

In the past, construction firms would have to use multiple types of software for many different tasks but now? Many of these programs are able to handle plenty of construction tasks, such as planning out scheduling, payroll, and managing large projects.

Similar to other technological trends, they help save money by making tasks more efficient and manageable.

5. Equipment Rental

While technically not a “technology”, construction is following the trend of sharing and renting items instead of making purchases. These practices do go hand-in-hand with software tools, where they are able to pinpoint areas where it would be more cost-effective to rent something instead of making a purchase.

Renting is also a way to protect against depreciation, which just about every construction tool does as soon as it’s taken off the lot.

There are rental options for just about everything, from large-scale transportation to large equipment to even some of the technological items listed above.

6. Robotics

While we probably won’t see any Jetsons-like robots moving around a construction site, robots are becoming more prevalent in the construction industry.

Part of their rise can be attributed to the worker shortage and the need for small tasks to be completed with the utmost efficiency. 2020 is set to be a big year for robots and they come with a large number of benefits, such as reducing labor costs, improving build quality, and shortening the amount of time it takes to finish a project.

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