The construction industry saw growth as renovations of single-family homes, multi-residential housing, tenant buildings, and commercial construction all grew in 2020, despite a global pandemic. Adaptations of construction technology have helped propel growth by keeping workers safe and enabling more efficient operations. Here are some of the construction technologies making project sites safer and more efficient:
Virtual, segmented, and artificial reality is emerging as a construction tech trend with applications that eliminate the need for face-to-face interactions. AI can reduce time and costs on construction projects and improve job site safety; a powerful tool for reducing injuries and death.
The Prefabrication and Modular Construction 2020 SmartMarket Report shows that architects, engineers, and contractors who have built prefab and modular projects plan to increase their use across the USA & Canada significantly. Growth is especially high for healthcare facilities, hotels and motels, multifamily projects, schools, college buildings, and dormitories. Technology such as building information modeling (BIM) is enabling increased adoption of prefabrication, which brings benefits such as reduced project costs and timelines and greater price certainty.
Virtual Design and BIM
Design technology has existed for many years and is only growing in popularity. BIM software has matured in the last decade.
- 4D BIM aids construction sequencing in providing an extra dimension of information to a project information model.
- 5D BIM allows drawing on the components of the information model being able to extract accurate cost information.
- 6D BIM allows a better focus on the whole life span of the project, allowing for better decisions upfront in terms of cost and maintenance after completion.
COVID-19 has made workplace safety even more important than ever. Companies are adopting IoT technology to promote and increase worker safety. Devices in the form of watches, bracelets, and other wearable devices can communicate data behind the scenes to keep workers safe. These devices can warn employees if not properly distanced and notify if close to a fellow employee who has tested positive for COVID-19, limiting unnecessary quarantine of otherwise healthy employees. Some can also determine where workers are if there is an accident.
Drone Use Continues to Soar
The construction industry has been one of the fastest-growing users of drones with no slowdown in sight. Drones allow for new dimensions of remote work and improve safety on construction sites. Aerial views of construction provide contractors with invaluable information, such as helping to identify potential safety issues.