Everywhere you look, technology is revolutionizing the way things are done. While most people would look at something like smartphones transforming communication or the internet changing the way information is accessed and shared, fewer people think about the impacts technological advancements have on industries.
But the construction industry is no exception to technological developments. Like any other business, construction focuses on learning how to do things better, faster, and more economically. While the industry may not be a first-adopter, it’s often an early adopter of new technologies as their uses and advantages become apparent. Here are just a few technologies impacting the construction industry today.
1. Pre-Fab Buildings with 3D Printers
A few years ago, 3D printing was novel. People marvelled at it and wondered what it might be used for in the future. At the time, the technology was relatively expensive, and printing items was a slow process. Improvements, however, have made 3D printing more viable—and its use is being adopted in many industries—in many different ways.
While manufacturing has adopted 3D printing to help with modelling, prototyping, and even printing parts, the construction industry looked at the technology and said, “Why stop there?” Construction has hopped onboard with the technology and is now printing entire buildings.
While pre-fabrication is nothing new in the construction industry, the use of 3D printing to print complete buildings is a definite leap forward.
2. A Green Revolution
It’s difficult to distill the effect the green movement is having on construction down to just one or two technologies. Rather, green thinking, green products, and green technologies are now part of a “green wave” sweeping through the industry. Not only are green products, processes, and technologies better for the environment, they also help people save money and be more efficient.
A great example is the technologies being incorporated into new buildings to help them manage their climates and energy consumption. Solar blinds, for example, help regulate heating and cooling.
Many new buildings are also incorporating alternative energy sources, such as wind and solar, to help them meet their energy needs. These technologies require not only new thinking, but skilled employees to help implement them in the construction industry.
Drones are controversial, for many reasons, but they’re also proving their worth in a number of different industries. Originally developed for military operations, the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are now being incorporated into manufacturing operations. They’re completing tasks like monitoring infrastructure in the oil and gas industry—like keeping an eye on remote pipelines.
The construction industry has also embraced drones. While construction might seem like a very unlikely place for drones to be used, they’re actually proving quite helpful, in a variety of ways. Drones can help with surveying construction sites, both before construction begins and after the ground has been broken. UAVs are often more accurate, more efficient, and more cost-effective than human surveyors.
Drones can also help manage the supply chain on various construction sites. Drones report on supplies in stock and those needed, and they can gather information on the project’s progress, providing estimates for the amount of supplies needed and the dates they’ll be needed. This leads to less waste and fewer delays. Drones can even use this information to coordinate exchanges of supplies between construction sites, further reducing waste.
An Exciting Time for Construction
The adoption of new technologies often means the creation of new jobs. While some people fear the use of technology will lead to fewer construction jobs in the future, the reality is new technologies tend to open up new opportunities for those seeking jobs in the construction industry.