Over the last century, when the world progressed a lot due to scientific and technological advances, the construction industry had not changed much. This impacted productivity and ROI as projects took longer to complete.
But this is changing now. In China, a 57-floor building was completed in 19 days flat! Can you imagine this kind of expedited project implementation in the construction industry? Just imagine how the investors may be feeling. Within 19 days, the real estate project is ready to be handed over.
In any other case, it would take at least a couple of years to complete a 57-floor building.
So what’s it that’s driving the construction industry to this kind of expedited project implementation? After a lot of delay and indecisiveness, the real estate sector has come to embrace new technologies, and it’s slowly but surely transforming the industry.
Here are a few cutting edge technologies that are disrupting the construction industry:
Drones used in the construction industry are equipped with high-performance lenses, computing, and communication technologies. This enables the engineers to get an inspection done and data received on their computers by sending a drone to any part of a mega construction project.
This means checking the beam quality on the 45th floor does need a team of engineers to visit that floor. Your drone can give you thousands of high-resolution color photographs of the entire area, including the beam in question, in less than 30 minutes.
Now, most significant construction projects are using drones for inspection purposes.
The 3D printing and construction industry is a lot similar. Both have a manufacturing process that goes layer by layer or brick by brick. In that sense, both are additive manufacturing. For now, 3D printing is being used to print models of construction projects.
Once the design is ready in CAD files, civil engineers can go on building the project while a 3D printer will print an exact model of the project in proportionately reduced dimensions. This helps the engineers understand many essential aspects of the project before they start the construction.
But 3D printing is also being used to print complex parts and sometimes an entire project such as a 3D-printed home. A 3D printed bridge has already been commissioned.
Different kinds of robots are fast replacing human labor from the construction industry. Whether it is a high-rise or a highway project, many repetitive works can be assigned to robots coming in all shapes and sizes.
The construction industry is a labor-intensive sector. By deploying giant robots, the industry leaders have already cut down their dependence on human labor significantly. Now more robots are being developed specifically for this sector.
For example, traffic cones that are widely used to earmark unsafe areas in an under-construction project have come equipped with smart sensors and WiFi features. A smart traffic cone is now sending data surveillance, inspection, and workflow data from every building part.
Internet of Things
Even a single construction industry project can be large enough to be a separate company in itself. To run the affairs smoothly, the project needs to deploy the Internet of Things (IoT) that connects different data points and keep the central data processing unit updated with all relevant information and data.
This makes it possible for all the decisions made to access critical information on a real-time basis. This enhances the level of coordination between key decision-makers and the project’s overall productivity. In highway projects, engineers are now sending real-time data that include photographs and videos to the central data processing unit daily.
This is just an example. The real scope and application of IoT in the construction industry are immense. And it has revolutionized the workflow and project implementation.
The construction industry has been late in adopting significant technologies that are available today and benefiting the industrial sector. But now it seems to be in a hurry to adopt all cutting-edge technologies and race ahead of other tech-savvy industries.
Drones, robots, 3D printing, and IoT are all used by the construction industry to improve productivity, bring speed and precision to their business, and increase the RoI.
Apart from these significant technologies, hundreds of other innovative technologies are shaping every part of the construction business.