Technology is advancing in most areas of modern life, including the construction industry. While human skills and innovative creativity are still required, advances in digitally developed and operated processes and devices are changing the way this industry does its job. The sometimes surprising results are eye-opening and unexpectedly positive.
The transformations within the construction field take specific forms.
Artificial intelligence or AI shakes the building process in a variety of ways.
- Analytical designs based on predictions
- More efficient project planning through virtual and augmented reality functions
- Digital twins of proposed structures
AI-driven advances can help reduce construction costs and simplify work schedules. Large projects can be created faster and more accurately, which benefits investors, as they see a quick return on their financial expenses.
Construction robots are not quite the same today as you can imagine from science fiction programs of the 1950s and 1960s. Robots do many jobs, including digging, painting, drilling, placing beams, and even laying bricks. These automated employees can be controlled by a manager over the Internet from almost anywhere in the world. Machines can process complex projects synchronously and complete them quickly.
The growth in 3D printing capabilities is making waves across the construction industry and beyond. In general, 3D printing can significantly reduce project costs and duration. For this type of printing, data such as dimensions, blueprints, plans and maps are entered into a machine. It digitally generates an accurate physical result. This technology not only increases overall project efficiency, it also enables greater creativity and innovation in design that might not otherwise be considered.
Automated drones make construction work safer. Drones can be remotely controlled to perform inspections that can be dangerous to human workers. They also have the ability to measure large areas much faster than local human surveyors could. Working efficiently shortens the length of construction projects, lowers costs and increases safety for workers.
General advantages of the technology
The construction industry is changing as it gradually introduces technology. These advances bring important benefits.
- Improved Security – From automated drones that inspect dangerous locations to portable sensors that can alert employees to dangerous situations, technology can make the industry safer.
- Greater efficiency – time is money in the construction industry. When companies keep to schedules and do quality work, everyone wins. The technology also improves operations within companies by enabling improved resource management.
- Better customer care – technology helps construction companies make their customers' business easier. You can offer digital signatures for documents, which keeps the job going. You can also respond faster to customer questions.
- More efficient options – In the construction industry, you need the right tools to do the job properly. The technology offers many new tools for the efficient handling of all parts of the process, from planning to printing to construction.
While technology has clear advantages for the construction industry, it also announces changes that affect individual workers.
Special changes to construction jobs
A search on popular construction sites shows that certain jobs in the construction industry adapt to technological changes. Titles such as "construction project engineer" and "construction management specialist" require that applicants have experience with various software programs and technologies.
Therefore, as in many other industries, construction workers have to adapt to these changes with new knowledge and skills. Those who are just entering the subject and taking professional courses have different curricula than the industry veterans originally. Experienced construction workers have to expand their knowledge with new systems and digital tools and processes that did not exist a decade ago. On-site work may also become more specialized as robots do some of the simpler tasks to get them done faster.
The basics of construction technology
The bottom line is that technological growth and use in the construction industry, along with some major changes, bring numerous benefits. Projects can be completed faster and more precisely than one dreamed of a few years ago. Skyscrapers can rise in less than a month. Low costs and quick results appeal to investors. However, these advances also bring many changes for the construction industry. New or experienced workers have to adapt to the emerging environment in this area. Navigating new waters is something that this industry has done well throughout history.