Technology in Construction: Where Are We Headed in 2017?
Technology is taking over the world, in nearly every facet of our daily lives. From 3-D printing and wearable devices to drones and apps for everything. On the construction front, technology has changed the way we now create schedules, do paperless planning and execute project management. Our world is becoming one where structures can be done without manual labour, and with automation for more efficient workflow.
Let’s examine some cases:
Complex Structures Now Simplified to Boost Efficiency
Technology is now able to gather data in order to construct buildings with more precision than ever. Take, for example, the 57-story building that was constructed on site in just 19 days in Hunan Province, Southern China. You can see the time-lapse video, as featured on The Guardian, here.
How was it possible in such little time? Through automated processes that allowed for incredible speed and accuracy.
Technology Taking Over the Construction Process
Today, during the early stages of construction and civil engineering, drones are now being used by many companies for a much more accurate inspection process. Because they can soar high in limited time, and their powerful lenses can view angles and details not possible before, it is a quicker and more accurate way to ensure safety, quality and other data.
In normal circumstances, building inspections using traditional construction processes could be dangerous and very time-consuming.
When drones collect digital data during the early stages, their information can be used to assess and test designs before executing the final building. By using computers to test and simulate pre-construction designs, architects avoid potential dangers and accidents during actual construction.
Technology also allows you to work remotely, as in the case of 3-D printed construction innovations such as the MX3D now used in Amsterdam. With 3-D printing robots, complex structures like bridges are quickly manufactured and created.
In fact, 3-D printing is taking over many industries. The top 3-D innovations include full-sized homes, printed soil, curved and carbon-fibre buildings, and even prosthetics for handicapped individuals. Complex objects can be easily and quickly manufactured through 3-D printing, avoiding the hassle of inefficient and time-consuming tasks.
Exciting Times for Construction Technology
Smart robots can now do everything from beam construction to brick-laying, drilling, welding and painting. With the possibility of remote technology, architects and technicians have the ability to work from anywhere in the world and oversee the robots on site.
Traditional building concepts may be a thing of the past, as radical developments are made towards construction. Now, every kind of home — from villas and mansions, to basic accommodation for folks in developing countries — can be realized.
When reconstructing buildings, we can now use drones to help rebuild. In the case of the recent earthquake in Italy, drones were deployed to assess the most-damaged areas and have better insight on the actual impact of the earthquake. They were able to glide into cramped buildings and determine where entry points to the disaster site could be made by rescue workers.
The Importance of Communication in Automation
There’s both excitement and trepidation as more corporations turn to technology for their construction needs.
Even with all of this technology, one thing remains: Construction teams must not forego basic building blocks of communication. Just because machines and robots are taking over, does not mean the path veers away from traditional team-working.
Strive to build good relations with every member of the construction team, starting with superiors. Ensure that everyone has open lines of communication, especially when reporting on progress and development.
It is essential to grow with the times, but also remain grounded when solving problems, planning and organising. Only then can your company be catapulted to success in every facet of your business. If you are willing to solve problems with technology on your side, the possibilities are limitless.