5 technology trends that are transforming the construction industry

Rebekah Valero-Lee Building, Construction and Infrastructure


Over the past decade, the construction industry has seen significant advancements in its operations, which have mirrored an increase in technology. But what does this mean for a construction engineer?

With a demand for longer standing, better quality products at a faster rate, construction companies are investing heavily in technology. Adopting new processes and purchasing state-of-the-art machinery has enabled workers in infrastructure to increase efficiency, subsequently shortening the duration of projects and lowering cost.

For workers, these construction technology trends are bringing opportunities to develop their knowledge, acquire new skills and progress in their career, while understanding these developments will give construction workers the edge over other candidates.

To help you to further understand the new capabilities this industry can offer, here are 5 technology trends that are transforming the construction industry

1) 3D, 4D and 5D BIM

As an innovative piece of construction technology, Building Information Modelling (BIM) has been acknowledged as an industry-changing process, transforming how projects are designed and built. Previously, construction companies would rely on detailed 2D drawings; now however, 3D BIM offers extensive 3D modelling combined with the use of intelligent data. Data is embedded into the model and managed, which allows workers to run multiple scenarios, change processes and input functions to view the implications of these on the project.

Alongside 3D BIM modelling, which is considered an imperative level, there is also 4D and 5D BIM, depending on the types of data incorporated. 4D BIM embeds time-related information into the model, while 5D BIM incorporates schedule and costs.

2) 3D laser scanning

Innovative 3D laser scanning digitally captures the exact measurements of a building to provide point-cloud data. This data can then be embedded into BIM software to establish the exact size and shape of a structure. Understanding the exact dimensions of a project using this form of construction technology means there is no reliance on human measurements, and so reducing human error.

3) Automated technology

With the many repetitive, routine tasks associated with construction, many companies are turning to automated technology to carry out certain roles and processes. Prefabrication has paved the way for automated technology, as mechanical machinery, including robotics, cannot always be contained onsite. Brickwork and demolition has seen the introduction of robotic automation, as this type of technology increases worker safety and efficiency.

4) Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)

Drones, otherwise known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), can be used in construction to help create a 3D model of a construction site. UAVs can be flown above a project, providing a scanned bird’s eye view of its location which help to identify the site’s dangers. Alternatively, UAVs can sit static and live stream from hard-to-reach areas, as well as capture a project’s progression through imagery or film.

5) Project management apps

Smartphones have helped to increase the productivity of construction projects by minimising the processes of communication. Although this is nothing new, more construction companies are turning to apps to make it easier to manage projects. A number of apps have been specially created for the construction industry, offering extensive specialist services such as logging blueprints, assigning tasks and real time collaboration.

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