This is a common question. It is a good one and it is more widespread than you may think. Currently, construction technology is used for bidding, project management, advancements in equipment and tools, and the list goes on.
Construction technology is a broad bucket comprised of the assortment of innovative tools, equipment, machinery, hardware, software, building materials and a wide variety of resources that enables advancements in field operations and improves company processes.
While this seems like a relatively new thing, construction technology advancements have been going on since construction started.
5 Examples of Construction Technology
There are so many historical examples of construction technology evolving. However, for the purpose of this blog, I am going to stick to recent game changers for the construction industry that either help to solve some of the struggles around labor and safety or provide competitive advantages.
I am leading with robotics, as it is one that addresses a common problem amongst all contractors—labor shortage and construction waste footprint. With construction robotics, such as a brick laying robot. You can complete tasks on the job with fewer people, control your waste footprint and stay on schedule. While you still need skilled labor to run the various robotics, it requires a smaller crew to do so.
2. Wearable Technology
This construction technology boosts safety on site. There are a variety of these products available, such as the Smart Cap. This is essentially a hard hat that signals and alerts the wearer if they start to fall asleep. In addition, wearables are also monitoring productivity and helping alert when there is a safety issue, like Triax’s Spot-r.
3. Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality or AR is most commonly used with pre-planning tools and allows for a lot of benefits in modular construction as you can “see” a 3D model overlay on a plan. This technology is making significant headway in streamlining projects, preventing expensive reworking, keeping projects on schedule, enhancing safety training and improving collaboration across a company. While there are drawbacks and obstacles, with the speed that this is improving the benefits will far outweigh the drawbacks.
4. Construction Software
This runs the gamut from project planning to estimating with everything in-between. The biggest advancements are being made in equipment management and savings, which isn’t too surprising given the second largest cost to a construction company is tools and equipment.
5. Data Management
One thing all construction technologies have in common is data generation. While this is the result of many of the construction technology options, it is also an example that is an advancement on its own. Reporting functionalities in many technology solutions are helping businesses make more informed decisions, and others are supplying raw data. The challenge will be managing all the data and putting it to use, where data management software is currently making strides.
Hopefully this helped answer your question and gave you some relatable examples. You can also read more about the history of construction technology from this white paper: Construction Technology: Past, Present and Future.