Like any other business today, the construction sector is changing and being shaped because of new technologies. Long gone are the days when all building workers had to rely on were a dog-eared set of patterns and a range of handheld tools to change their truckloads of basic raw materials to a structure capable of supplying all the modern conveniences to its inhabitants.
Updates and upgrades in computer-based applications, along with advancements in chemical technology, mean that today’s construction market is more reliant on new technologies than ever before. While it may initially appear that the emerging and evolving part of technology in building would appeal only to people in the construction sector, that could not be farther from the truth.
As building practices accommodate the latest technology, possibilities open up for better constructions built more efficiently and with fewer mistakes – something that benefits all people. Keep reading to find out more about how the latest technologies are impacting construction and extension builders.
BIM is Big
Among the most significant uses of technologies in the construction field is BIM, or building information modelling. This is strong drafting and collaboration software that produces the most highly accurate digital building models that building teams have ever had. The electronic model also serves as a library of information to the design, construction, and maintenance of a structure, and can be made for buildings, tunnels, bridges, streets, and just about any other kind of infrastructure project.
What BIM basically does is construct the entire project digitally, from beginning to finish, before a construction team places the first beam. And unlike the more traditional patterns and artist’s sketches that preceded building, BIM prototypes are complete 3D renderings, allowing builders, constructors, and anyone else to get a virtual walk through a job, complete with details on every last element. Advice on interior walls and exterior surfaces, doors and windows, as well as things like general plumbing fixtures and major appliances can all be contained in BIM renderings.
The significant advantage of BIM, apart from providing a true sense of what a completed project will look like, is that it greatly reduces the probability of making any costly mistakes during the building procedure. Additionally, it allows pretty much all the design choices and adjustments to be made before construction even starts.
The biggest threat to using BIM is the shortage of skilled talent. Based on Jose Cruz, Director, Virtual Design and Construction in New York-City established UA Builders Group – a pioneer in the implementation of BIM technologies, while there’s absolutely no lack of BIM tools, there is, however, a serious shortage of skilled ability to use them.
Last year, building companies mentioned finding professionals with the necessary BIM training as their most frequent struggle. This technology is one of the construction industry’s most important inventions, but the ability gap has to be overcome for its whole capacity and capabilities to be accomplished.
Materials, Wearables, and Drones
Some new developments in materials science could have large consequences on the future of the building industry. By way of instance, ordinary concrete is used for many different construction applications, from foundations to horizontal surfaces, but it is often prone to cracking, and when it is not put down properly, water may pool on its surface. But a fresh self-healing concrete that uses bacteria to seal cracks with no intervention is in the works. A permeable concrete which allows water to drain through it instead of pool on it is also being developed.
Other new substances are in the early stages of development, like a transparent aluminum, which provides the attractive aesthetics of glass but the strength and durability of metal. Transparent metallic technology is also being used to make transparent solar panels, for eco-friendly energy with no big, unsightly black rectangles on the roof. 3D printing technology is also moving to the home and construction businesses as a response to the requirement for affordable housing and growing caution for advanced emergency plumbing services. A couple of startup companies found all around the world market that they can 3D publish a home in about a day at a price that is significantly less than that of standard construction.
Augmented reality, or AR, will likely have a larger role in construction. Unlike VR, or virtual reality, where a person’s full field of vision is substituted with a rendered environment, AR places images over what is actually in front of someone. Used in construction, an AR wearable could provide what amounts to a 3D blueprint to workers since they’re at work. Think smart safety goggles such as Google Glass, or smart helmets using a mix visor-screen, and you are on the right path.
Finally, as drones become cheaper and easier to use, look for them to be used for surveying purposes, particularly for larger commercial projects on previously undeveloped land. That is because drones can quickly and more effectively gather complete information on a work website.
As Technology Advances, So Does Construction
Technology is never really hits the last stage of every other product lifecycle so its role in the construction industry will continue to grow and grow.
It is entirely likely that the new technologies mentioned here will become commonplace in just a couple decades, and it is also possible that further improvements in wearables and robotics will get a heavier effect in the sector. The one thing that’s for sure is that as technology advances, so will the sector as a whole.