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Gone are the days when construction site offices were overflowing with documents and workers were reliant on hand tools to get the job done. The construction industry, off the back of strong growth in 2016, is currently going through a period of exciting development centered on the advancement of a number of technologies. That is all thanks to new technologies, which are helping the industry to explore new methods, maximise efficiency, and furthermore improve quality.
With the invention of drones, it has taken the construction industry to new heights. They’re not just high-flying robots that are fun to whizz around in your garden for a few minutes, but instead they are revolutionising how the construction sector operates. Although they aren’t yet the norm on a construction site, companies such as Identified Technologies use drones for large-scale projects. So, they are becoming a new option for surveying and mapping out specific areas.
The biggest advantage of using drones is that they are very efficient and incredibly accurate. They have opened a range of new possibilities for the construction industry. No longer will construction site workers use ladders and scaffoldings but instead fly and record data from drones. It’s not just on-site workers that may be able to utilise this technology but management, health and safety, and security sector workers.
Building Information Modelling (BIM)
In recent years, BIM is one of the major technologies transforming the construction industry. Hand-drawn designs are quickly becoming a thing of the past, as BIM provides detailed, digital 3D models of buildings. It benefits construction workers because it brings all the information about the project into one place, saving time, cutting costs and eliminating mistakes. It’s easy to see the growing importance of BIM because in both the UK and in New Zealand, there is a great demand for those with BIM skills. Developers and contractors are always looking to recruit professionals into BIM roles.
Mobile devices have become major players in the construction process. Building sites can be a hazardous place and mounds of jobsite paperwork don’t make things any easier. But now, paperwork has given way to blueprint applications on tablets and smartphones, giving contractors and foremen the ability to manage plans digitally. This allows for better communication between all members of staff working on the project, as builders can share design details via email. Also, blueprint applications have displaced the need to make multiple copies as you can back up the project to your device.
When you think of virtual reality, video games and movies may come to mind, but it can be used in all industries. Some construction companies are using virtual reality to manage, plan and construct their projects, allowing more opportunities for collaboration. With virtual reality, builders can get an immersive insight into the development of their projects, removing the need to document developments through photographs and on-site tours. Virtual reality allows clients to make changes before the construction has actually started. McCarthy Building Companies is one of the largest builders in the US, and have adopted virtual reality. It was crucial for the design of the Martin Luther King Jr. Outpatient centre in LA. So, VR is changing the way buildings are developed, improving the experience for clients and partners.
All these construction technologies are contributing to the ever-changing construction industry. We can only imagine where the construction sector will be in the next fifty years, as technology continues to develop, allowing for more innovative designs and projects.
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