We can’t help but look to the future and wonder how technology will transform the construction industry. Throughout the last decade we saw general awareness and an appetite for leveraging digital technology but how will that manifest in the near future?
Digital transformation, modern methods of construction, infrastructure investment and the industries response to climate change are all emerging trends in the construction industry that will help align with the changing requirements of the workforce and modern world. Such a huge transformation could see companies from other sectors, such as automotive manufacturers, enter the market as an opportunity to diversify.
One thing’s for sure, the industry needs to keep up with emerging trends to continue to build extraordinary places for people to live, learn, work, play and create.
Here are 5 construction trends to keep your eye on:
BIM (Building Information Modelling)
BIM has the potential to be the most disruptive digital instrument in the industry. Allowing us to replicate buildings, roads and utilities through computer-generated images, it has so much potential and many benefits.
It helps architects and engineers to visualise a construction project before it’s built which not only helps to estimate how much of a specific material is needed but provides an insight into how a building may hold up over time but also reduces the amount of waste, promotes sustainable practices and optimises building efficiency.
Definitely not one to underestimate.
Technological advancements in the construction industry aren’t limited to just software. Using robotics on-site such as using drones is becoming increasingly popular for surveying and ensuring employee safety in potentially dangerous situations. Robotics can increase safety, accuracy and efficiency whilst having the added benefit of being able to gather information for survey data.
Technology is advancing all the time, from automated tiling robots to mechanical arms that can build the components for entire houses in a matter of hours. Watch out for the robotic revolution!
Virtual reality (VR)
Along with the increasing enthusiasm for augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) is becoming increasingly more popular in the construction industry. Engineers can now wear a pair of AR glasses that, in combination with 3D models, allows the user to visualise behind-the-wall piping or underground cables with an overlay of directions for how to fix the problem. Not only is this process much more efficient in terms of time and money, it mitigates mistakes or potentially dangerous scenarios.
Along with VR, wearable tech is set to become a big construction trend. Currently, on the market, there is innovative smart construction equipment that can provide engineers with critical information with new technologies being released all the time.
You can get your hands on a sensor-equipped helmet that enables fully automated data collection streamed straight from the site to your project management software, work boots that can connect to Wi-Fi sending GPS coordinates. Not to mention the wristbands that can tell users if you have fallen or are tired.
Whilst implementing wearable tech as standard on construction sites might seem a world away, we’re sure that in the coming years they will have a permanent place on the construction site and bring about a new era in construction safety.
Green Technology in Construction
Over the past year, there has, quite rightly, been a big focus on sustainability in the construction industry and with green construction now a growing trend, people looking for ways to incorporate sustainability into the construction process. An ever-growing population brings a clear need for more buildings however, a focus has now shifted on building more developments which, as well as being low-carbon, are great places to live and work.
The World Green Building Council’s Advancing Net Zero Campaign has said all new buildings will need to be net zero-carbon by 2030 and existing buildings by 2050. Given buildings are currently responsible for 25% of the UK’s emissions, this is a challenge none of us should take lightly.
With the advent of new technologies, the availability of data and new materials coming into play, the need to adapt and challenge traditional business models is more evident than ever in the construction industry.
Rhys Harris, Morson’s Director of Engineering, Process & Construction, gives an insight into what trends are developing in construction recruitment right now:
“Construction and engineering companies have always been interested in harnessing technology to either improve process, reduce costs or improve quality. The pace of technology advancements has been astonishing in the last decade and the pace of automation doesn’t look like slowing any time soon in all parts of our lives.
As Bill Gates once eluded to “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency” wise words I would suggest!”
What technology do you think will shake up the construction industry? Let us know on Twitter!