The construction industry one of the world’s largest industries—yet one of its least efficient. However, digital technology is redefining the way construction teams operate and changing the way the industry faces operations and management challenges.
8 Ways technology is changing the construction industry
Technology is having a big impact on construction in terms of completion time, quality and safety. Here we have compiled a list of the most outstanding benefits technology is bringing to this industry.
Mobile technology on the job site
Mobile technology has resulted very relevant for the construction industry. Instead of spending the majority of their days travelling in between remote job sites, contractors and project managers can monitor multiple locations their offices. Mobile technology allows you to stay connected wherever you are. This can save you countless trips from the jobsite back to the office.
Technology allows construction teams to better meet documentation and compliance regulations by allowing them to complete required documentation more accurately and in a timely manner. Digital technology can save a significant amount of time while reducing the potential for penalties, which can be expensive.
Collaboration technologies can help them overcome key business challenges such as maintaining effective communication channels among dispersed teams and keeping the team in touch with someone with deep institutional knowledge that not always will be available at the working site. Fast exchange of accurate and updated project information can make a big difference in the outcome.
Improved construction site safety
Construction is one of the deadliest occupations according to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In the past few years, this has been changing as companies realize that technology can also be used to better protect their workers. Site sensors, exoskeletons, drones and virtual reality are tools that can make construction sites safer. These tools can detect workers who are not wearing safety equipment and are operating in dangerous areas. They can also spot any potential hazards.
Keep track of your team’ daily work
When you are using manual or paper time cards, there is no way to determine exactly how much team members worked for the day. Tracking apps allow you to know exactly the volume of work each team member does and the amount of time they spend on specific tasks and projects.
Minimize mistakes and avoid errors
Technology such as business information modeling (BIM) provides valuable information about the project such as spatial dimensions and material planning which allow designers or engineers to detect any structural collisions early and take measures to ensure that the structure is well-built. This type of technology could be a great solution to avoid mistakes that can bring unwanted consequences in the future.
Mobile technology allows for real-time data collection and transmission between the jobsite and project managers in the back office. Cloud-based solutions enable on-site employees to submit timecards, expense reports, requests for information (RFIs), work records, and other relevant information. This technology can save companies hundreds of hours per year in data entry and automatically organizes important files. According to the World Economic Forum, “Wherever the new technologies have properly permeated this fragmented industry, the outlook is an almost 20 percent reduction in total life cycle costs of a project, as well as substantial improvements in completion time, quality and safety.”
With intelligent modeling, users can adjust the building model in real time in order to see how changes will affect cost and labor. This enables designers and contractors to better visualize how different design scenarios change the look of the building while also allowing them to consider the costs and time constraints. In the end, this technology helps project teams taking informed decisions quickly. It also increases the chances that the project will stay within the set budget and timeline.
Emerging construction technology is not just a new toy. There are real benefits to modernizing current processes. If your construction company wants to stay competitive, you need to find ways to integrate new approaches into your strategy and workflows.