While construction techniques have remained fairly stable over the last few decades, the future of our industry will undoubtedly be defined by new technology. According to a recent report by KPMG, the industry appears to be slow to adopt those new technologies, however. Over 200 construction executives and owners surveyed reported that they have yet to use advanced data analytics in their projects. Still, there's no doubt that new technology will make building commercial construction projects more efficient and effective. Here are a few ways we see new technology solving issues such as cost, scaling, safety and more.
Information can be shared quickly through the use of apps. Apps can keep the flow of information seamless between office and job sites by keeping the information in order and make sharing effortless. For example, Safety Meeting is an app that helps keep track of a business’ safety record.
In recent years, these productivity monitors can be seen taking flight around construction sites to provide useful information and facilitate safety on the ground. Drones are invaluable as they provide aerial photos, site monitoring, and progress updates. Fieldlens is one program that provides live construction drawings and can be viewed even from a mobile device.
Augmented Virtual Reality
Many believe that hard hats may soon be replaced with Smart Helmets, a new tool that will give wearers information like project instructions or hazards in the environment. The helmet will have a transparent visor, special lenses, and 4D augmented reality to give its users a heads-up display.
Trucks and other transport vehicles can now be driven remotely by a single user for higher efficiency or be completely autonomous. There are many projects utilizing this technology like the Rio Tinto Mining in Australia helping to transport ore with autonomous dump trucks outfitted with GPS. Auto crash attenuator trucks in Florida can use leader programming, GPS waypoint navigation, or remote control.
Smart Highways are a new option which can help with glow-in-the-dark lining, electric priority lanes, interactive lighting, or dynamic paint. Projects, such as SolaRoad, in Amsterdam have been proven to generate electricity from solar power at 3,000 kWh of power in the first 6 months. This could be a game changer for commercial construction projects.
Carbon fiber now offers a more durable material than Balsa wood, which can be expensive and have irregular grain patterns, for making items like turbine blades. The process of material recycling of concrete is often difficult but a newer process is being developed to make the process potentially less dangerous.
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