As more technologies emerge in the construction industry, it can be a challenge to keep up with them. However, these new construction technologies hold great promise for companies, as they can improve several aspects of the construction process.
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For example, new tech can increase worker productivity and safety, speed up the design process, and allow management to gather data to make better decisions. When businesses can take advantage of these technologies, they’d have a significant competitive edge and could even help them earn the business of new clients.
More and more companies are now investing in technology to improve their operations. Below are some examples of innovative pieces of tech that can typically be found at a modern construction site.
New software and smartphone apps are now available that construction teams can use to manage every aspect of their business. There are software solutions for pre-construction, worker scheduling, and field reporting. Managing all of the activities on a construction site can be challenging, but software and mobile apps make it easier.
It’s common to spot tablets on modern construction sites, but they are often rugged tablets with extended battery life and plenty of internal storage. This allows construction workers to spend less time charging the tablet or struggling to save important documents. Using construction software or apps on a tablet can streamline operations and help with project management.
Protecting construction workers from falling is a major concern for site managers. No company wants to put its workers at risk of severe injury or fatality. Thankfully, advanced fall safety equipment is available and highly recommended. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires fall protection safety harnesses to come equipped with a D-ring on the back.
This keeps workers’ bodies upright in the event of a fall and distributes their weight evenly. It’s always important for construction workers to put on safety harnesses properly and use them correctly. Fall incidents often occur from ill-fitting safety harnesses, misusing rebar strap hooks, anchoring below the D-ring, or mixing up the self-retracting and twin-leg energy-absorbing devices.
Construction vehicles and heavy equipment are essential on a construction site. These pieces of equipment have become larger, faster, heavier, and more powerful to keep up with new project requirements. However, it’s still possible for construction equipment to get a flat tire.
Driving on a flat tire can cause more damage to other parts of the equipment or vehicle. Construction companies can now invest in advanced tires to avoid flats, such as using:
- Solid tires
- Radial or bias tires
- Airless tires
- Multipurpose tires
To keep up with these changes, companies need to ensure they have the best tires to prevent downtime due to flat tire incidents.
AI has offered construction companies plenty of benefits on the project site, such as improved safety, better workflows, and higher efficiency. Some construction companies decided to build their own AI solutions to suit their unique needs.
Construction teams that leverage AI solutions can make critical project decisions faster. Some companies invest in an AI-powered construction camera system, which allows them to present activity data to clients, take photos of project progression, and spot any safety issues.
While many people associate VR with the gaming industry, it has several construction applications. Construction companies often leverage VR to improve worker safety and equipment training. Workers can get exposure to confined spaces or practice working on elevated surfaces with VR solutions.
Another use case for VR is to create a mockup of a project and walk around it while immersed in a VR environment. Additionally, it’s becoming more common for site managers to use VR to view site conditions and reduce the chances of rework due to mistakes in the building process.
Digital twins are a new technology that creates a virtual representation of a construction site or project that can help companies reduce rework and even deploy fewer workers to a site.
One construction provider in biotech called CRB used digital twin technology for a project. The company reduced the number of onsite engineers from 10 to 1, expedited the design process to finish it in three weeks, and lowered travel costs by 33%. It’s expected that digital twins will become more widely used in construction in the future.
Another useful technology is the IoT, which is already used in several other industries, such as health care, manufacturing, and automotive. IoT sensors can gather data on a construction site to track key performance indicators (KPIs), utilization rates, inventory levels, and equipment turnover.
Some companies will also use IoT sensors coupled with 5G solutions to benefit from higher speeds and lower latency to power other digital tools. IoT will likely become more prevalent in construction over time.
This is not an exhaustive list of new construction technologies on a site, but they give a glimpse into what the future looks like for the industry.
The industry is ripe for innovation. Businesses within the construction industry should be willing to invest in and implement new technologies to improve their processes, whether on a project site or in the office. It’ll be interesting to see what other construction technologies become available in the future.
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Last Updated on May 23, 2022.