It’s fair to say the construction industry has been somewhat hesitant when it comes to digital adoption. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen a noticeable change. Once reluctant contractors are now tentatively exploring existing technology solutions to adapt to the new working landscape.
Drawn to Digital
BIM (Building Information Modelling) is nothing new, but it is only in the last couple of years that its potential has been truly appreciated. BIM is an intelligent 3D modelling system, supporting everyone involved in the construction journey, from design to build through to operation and maintenance.
Each expert works off the same model, able to review the project evolution and incorporate changes in real time. Fundamentally it enables better collaboration, vital in an industry which has had a long-standing reputation for being disjointed.
3D printing is becoming indispensable. It pushes the boundaries beyond the designer’s table by creating a fully-formed object from a computer designed model.
There are myriad benefits to construction, from the potential to prefabricate offsite, ensuring consistent, standardised components through to reducing material waste.
Technology is also improving construction worker safety. For example, health & safety software provider, One.site, has researched a number of emerging solutions fast-becoming available.
These range from remote induction, surveying and sales platforms to emerging PPE detection systems. This latter innovation is an AI supported software harnessing CCTV to pinpoint personnel not wearing the correct protective gear on site. Its emergence has the potential to drastically reduce risks and accidents.
I’ve got 5(G) on it
As construction technology evolves, strong, reliable connectivity will be essential. 5G offers the solution and will no doubt accelerate digital adoption within construction.
5G will boast faster speeds, better traffic handling and less network congestion, enabling users to communicate more efficiently, harness the true power of big data and run resource-heavy applications without compromise on performance.
The Future of Construction
Tech is revolutionising what was once just brick and mortar (literally). The new tools available are helping the construction sector enter a new era. This promises a more worksite efficiency, greater level of safety and can even help combat labour shortages.
As PJ Farr, founder of Construction communications specialist UK Connect, concludes, “Overall, it’s set to be an exciting few years for construction, even if an element of apprehension to change persists. There are many more interesting innovations and useful systems coming online in construction. One thing’s for certain, as more tech-backed products and services become readily available, and adopted by contractors on a sector-wide scale, we will soon see a safer, more efficient and smarter working environment.”