8 Construction Technologies & Trends in 2023
Construction technology is a general term for technologies with particular applications in the construction sector. The construction sector can benefit from applying technologies like augmented reality, innovative design, smart contracts, and virtual reality to speed up and reduce the cost of a particular task or operation. These building technologies were developed and modified to help the construction sector improve working conditions, promote efficiency, advance health and safety, and many other advantages.
The following eight new technologies are transforming the construction industry:
1. Artificial Intelligence(AI) and Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence is a technique that gives computer systems the capacity to understand information, store it as knowledge, and apply it to decision-making and concept implementation. AI not only communicates with people in a natural way but also uses machine learning to simultaneously learn from these encounters. As it increases human skill sets and decreases the need for menial human effort, AI has the ability to increase productivity and speed up the pace of business. While machine learning enables AI technology to assimilate knowledge from previous experiences and learn from it, AI can make decisions independently of human efforts. For the construction business, where systematic and sensible decision-making can have amazing impacts on production and safety, AI technology with machine learning has enormous potential.
In the construction sector, AI is now utilised to identify dangerous worker behaviours through picture recognition, optimise project timelines using historical data, and organise signals and prototypes to apply real-time solutions. With the aid of more advanced scientific methods, these sub-processes enable AI to place a stronger emphasis on maintenance schedules. It is fair to claim that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will affect and shape every little aspect of a building project, from the planning stage through the closing phase.
2. Building Information Modeling(BIM) Technology
Building information modelling, which helps engineers, architects, and construction professionals successfully plan, design, model, and manage building structures, has emerged as the most sophisticated and widely utilised technology in the construction industry. In order to manage the physical aspects of a construction project, BIM is the process used to produce a digital representation of a structure before it is actually built. Everyone involved in the construction project is given access to an accurate representation of the building’s structure along with the necessary data, enabling them to anticipate obstacles, lower and eliminate risks, determine logistics, increase efficiency, and, ultimately, create a solid foundation for decision-making throughout the course of the project, from inception to demolition.
In order to define information in a more organised way, BIM can be used to generate 3D models together with other dimensions established throughout time, such as 4D including schedule, 5D including cost estimating, 6D including sustainability, and 7D including operations maintenance. Briefly put, BIM has many advantages, including better coordination, effective design, cost and time savings, higher accuracy, and a significant decrease in errors and additional work that helps reduce project costs.
3. 3D Printing
The process of building actual structures layer by layer from a digital design is known as additive manufacturing or 3D printing. Unlike conventional printers, 3D printers can create structural elements and even full building structures using a range of materials. Due to its consideration of the impact caused by the sourcing and procurement of materials, this construction technology is gradually growing into an essential component of the building industry. Technology has developed throughout time to help with more construction procedures by utilising a variety of acceptable materials and offering limitless design options. Merely from a computer-aided design model, 3D printing has the ability to build three-dimensional structures layer by layer beyond the designer’s aspirations. Additionally, 3D printing slightly lowers the expenses associated with building intricate structures and designs, freeing architects and designers from additional restrictions.
4. Blockchain Technology
Construction project management is aided by blockchain because it enables the recording of information throughout the construction supply chain, improving functionality, efficiency, and transparency. Owing to its openness and transparency, it has recently assumed more significance. Blockchain is a decentralised database that is accessible to everyone, where any kind of transaction is stored in virtual blocks. A network or chain of computers controls or verifies these blocks peer-to-peer. The blocks of the network chain contain all the transactions that have taken place in a specific blockchain network. Every link or chunk in the chain holds several types of information, including documentation of financial transactions, manifests for contracts, ownership documents, and testimony.
A central authority or middleman is not needed to mediate these transactions because the data recorded in a blockchain is shared among end users. Blockchain can also secure and safeguard crucial components in supply chains and building activities. All forms of contractual agreements, including smart contracts and electronic verifications, have the potential to be handled by blockchain. By taking into account scope creep, contract revisions, and waste reduction to cut costs, blockchain technology-enabled construction billing and transactions promote accountability and transparency in building projects.
5. Augmented and Virtual Reality(VR)
With the use of digital components, augmented reality creates a fully immersive experience by blocking out the outside physical world and displaying a better representation of the real world. They have demonstrated that they are no longer just a component of the gaming industry, but have also unquestionably changed the game in the building sector. Construction companies can now visualise the various components of the design, build, and post-construction phases of building projects through technologies like AR and VR. A live, direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world scene with elements added with the aid of computer-generated sensory input is known as augmented reality. There are countless possibilities when combining VR and AR with BIM technology. BIM can be used to develop the building model, and then AR or VR can be used to virtually examine and navigate the proposed structural models.
6. Big Data
Big Data is referred to as the oil of the digital age because, unlike a century ago, when industry giants dealt with oil, today’s organisations work with data. The amount of data produced daily in the contemporary environment is astounding: 2.5 quintillion bytes. Big Data is how this data is analysed and stored. Big data is a term used to describe extraordinarily big data sets that can be utilised to find patterns, correlations, and hidden patterns to assist make better business decisions. It also serves as the foundation for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. The construction sector has advanced greatly owing in large part to big data. The information can be obtained from a variety of places, including social media sites, websites on mobile devices, digital photos, and other digital means of communication.
7. Internet of Things(IoT)
The Internet of Things, which enables connection between assets and big data analytics to offer new insights for project teams by securing enormous amounts of authentic data in real time, has already played a significant role in the construction sector. It is a network of spatially autonomous objects with embedded electronics, sensors, actuators, software, and network connectivity that can gather and exchange data over the Internet while being managed from a central platform. By offering a new, smarter, more effective, and safer platform to carry out various operations, IoTs have the potential to have a significant impact on the construction sector. IoT can be used to create preventative maintenance plans that enable effective features like automatically turning off unused systems when they are not in use and opening and closing structural components based on requirements.
8. Drones and Robots
Construction is the least mechanised sector of the economy, and it still relies heavily on all-encompassing manual labour as its primary source of production. The fact that robots have not yet been used to do necessary duties is just astounding. Robotic process automation (RPA) is a sort of automation or computer software that repeats operations in accordance with a predetermined procedure while emulating and combining human actions and interacting with a computer system’s user interface. RPA improves these repetitive job’s speed, accuracy, consistency, and cost-effectiveness.
Drones have been making a contribution to the construction sector and their use is expected to increase in the coming years. Simple flying drone configurations with teeny-tiny cameras put on top can accomplish astronomically expensive monitoring jobs for much more affordable prices. Drones can be used in the construction industry for a variety of tasks, including aerial mapping surveys, equipment tracking on-site, and keeping track of resources and products that are vulnerable to theft. In the construction industry, new technologies are always being developed, and competitors proclaim about using similar technology to enhance the reputation of their businesses. A leader among companies in the future can be found among those who move swiftly and decisively, accept upgrades, and work towards long-term stability as a result of the speedy and intelligent growth of construction technologies.
The ability to develop a wide range of buildings and structures has significantly increased due to the construction industry’s extended history of innovation. For instance, improvements in tower crane technology have pushed construction higher, enabling the construction of gigantic skyscrapers, and cofferdams and caissons have prepared the way for massive underwater constructions. With the improvement in capabilities, the construction sector has recently attained a degree of transparency, choice, and accessibility that has not previously been seen. As a result, demand for projects to be completed on time and with higher-than-average standards of quality, safety, and efficiency has skyrocketed.
New technological advancements have reduced risks and helped to streamline the construction process. The demand for the construction sector to be digitalized has been acknowledged, and software companies and information technology-based organisations have offered their services to provide customised solutions for numerous construction processes. Smarter structures are being built using sophisticated surveillance technologies, including sensors, cameras, and drones.