Technology has changed many different industries over the last few decades, and the adoption of new technologies isn’t slowing down anytime soon. While some are hesitant about using new digital tools on their construction jobs, a vast majority are willing to accept changes if it means increased productivity, reduced costs, and improved efficiency.
That being said, here are the top five technology trends to pay attention to in 2018.
3D printers are becoming the norm in manufacturing, and 3D printed products and components are starting to make their way onto construction sites around the nation. Components such as extruded concrete, plastics, and other materials are starting to become integral to projects and help save time and labor costs.
Sometimes years into the future, a majority of construction projects will be completely autonomous. Technology-wise, we aren’t there quite yet; however, robotics and other autonomous equipment are being used more and more and expected to be implemented by 24% of construction professionals in some form by 2020.
Robots don’t need to take all of the human jobs just yet, in fact, at the moment their best role is lending a helping hand and taking people out of dangerous situations. Many of the job-related fatalities occur in the construction industry so any chance where robots can be used to keep people safe, they should be used.
Although technically referred to as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), drones have more practical
functions that extend beyond the military or backyard fun. Drones equipped with cameras can be used to map out areas that humans can’t easily access. They are also becoming a go-to tool for survey crews that want to see the site from up above.
Drones have also been used to monitor logistics such as deliveries, and even the workforce at a job site. Expect to see the adoption of drones to increase this year with newer and better cameras, and
communication functionalities added.
When you need to assess a site or perform field measurements, laser scanning will soon be the tool of the future. Using laser scanners to perform field measurements, particular sites with as-built conditions, laser scanners will provide incredibly detailed and accurate measurements that show the true details and conditions of the space.
This is incredibly useful when transferring these measurements to CAD or BIM files which will help you save time and money by avoiding clashing designs. Expect to see innovations soon with the technology, mostly related to the speed of data incorporation and the design-build process.
Mobile devices are everywhere these days, and they have already played an important role in the
evolution of your construction firm. We can now get in touch with workers instantly, share or edit
documents from the cab of a pickup, and import project data directly from the job site. Expect to see even more mobile-friendly applications that will help automate and increase efficiencies in the future.
In addition to the applications and mobile platforms, you can also expect to see an increased investment from tech companies in construction-friendly, rugged smart devices. Laptops, tablets, phones, and more will become integral to the workflow of any construction crew.