Major Technologies Every Construction Company Needs to Improve Efficiency

They say “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”… well, that makes sense in lots of different scenarios but they also say to “work smarter, not harder” so, which adage should you follow? Both are good but the latter is probably more efficient, especially in the world of construction.

Firms all over the world are pushing to find new ways new to beat out their competitors and innovations in construction technology are proving to be the best way to do it. Now, you, of course, still have construction companies that are still pretty reliant upon spreadsheets, paperwork, and manual data entry and it’s not necessarily because they’re anti-technology… it’s more so due to low budgets and not having enough time to train workers on the new technologies available but hey, if you want your construction company to grow, you’re going to have to start somewhere and adopting these new methods of technology is the way to do it.

Don’t think that construction technology is just some “here today, gone tomorrow” trend or fad either. Construction technology is something that’s been around for quite sometime… There’s hot riveting technology for when high strength and low weight are critical and there are construction site robots like bricklaying robots to increase productivity… the bottom line is that construction technology is a real thing with real applications and benefits to make processes more efficient.

If you want your company to remain in the competition and not get left behind by prehistoric methods, you’ll need to definitely find a way to integrate the new technologies into your construction company’s strategies and daily workflow. Take a look at these top technologies.

Drones

When people think of drones, the first thing that pops in people’s minds is toys. Some people use drones for entertainment purposes… they look at them as digital kites but the reality is that small businesses are using drones in new and exciting ways. In the world of construction, drones are one of the most used forms of technology. Drones have the ability to conduct site surveys faster and with more accuracy than a crew on the ground could do. On top of that, it’s also much cheaper than taking the route of aerial imaging.

According to Fortune, the construction industry isn’t one that’s known for its efficiency. In fact, the industry is believed to be the cause of $160 billion worth in building-related waste but the software company Autodesk has a nationwide goal to reclaim those wasted billions by having a drone on every construction site.

Another added benefit of drones is its ability to access places that aren’t as easily accessible. Things like bridges and tall buildings make drones an ideal piece of technology for construction companies, plus you can survey and inspect those hard to reach place in a safe way without putting any workers in danger.

Building Information Modeling

Building information modeling (BIM) is something that’s actually very similar to computer-aided design (CAD) but not entirely. BIM is software for 3D design that will give you a digital model of what you’re going to build. It not only gives you a 3D image of your building but it also creates multiple layers of metadata and provides it within a collaborative workflow… it just captures things in ways that paper would never be able to.

BIM is a great tool because it provides better collaboration for everyone working on a project; it allows every person and area of expertise to add their contributions to the same model instead of trying to add them to a 2D paper drawing. The more that people contribute to the model, you can watch it evolve and transform right before your eyes, which then streamlines the entire process, giving way to improved efficiency.

Virtual Reality and Wearables

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality (VR) isn’t just for movies and video games anymore… virtual reality has proven to be a huge asset to the construction industry. VR is typically used in conjunction with BIM to make better sense of more complex projects. Imagine being able to create a building design with BIM and then use VR to walk around in it and see all the dimensions of it. This is not only cool but it will also give your team or clients a better idea of what the building will look like once the project is complete.

Wearables

Wearables are more for safety concerns while on the construction site. A popular version of wearables is smart glasses. These types of wearables have augmented reality displays with a wide-angle camera and depth sensor. This allows them to see a collection of data based on their surrounding environment. It gives the workers the data and instructions they need to get a particular task or multiple tasks done right on the display, allowing them to get their jobs done faster, thus making work more efficient.

Adam Torkildson