The role of technology in the modern construction sector is irrefutable. The question for the AEC firms is no longer if they want to adopt a more digital outlook but more about when they will evolve. In fact, the drastic transformation brought on by COVID-19 will only propel this digital transformation. The emerging construction technology now must not just provide solutions to challenges of costs, building sustainability and project management but also address issues of social distancing and worker safety.
As the year 2020 inches to a closure we look at the trends which has affected the construction sector this year and are sure to play a major role in the coming decade.
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BIM will continue to grow:
With open and highly collaborative data ecosystem BIM Services has been nothing less of a revolution. By virtual construction the architects and engineers can figure out any design flaws in the preconstruction process and reduce wastage, increase construction speed and profit margins. The information rich 3D model also makes it possible for improved planning and facilities better decision making. Moreover, there are constant innovations taking place in BIM itself like Revit Server and BIM 360 which goes a long way in increasing collaboration between various project teams even though they are located at different places.
There are different types of robots being used in the construction sector for enhanced speed and quality. A mobile robotic arm can be feed with specific instructions and it can be pre-programed to operate machinery. Construction robots like Semi-Automated Mason (SAM) can be used to do repetitive tasks like brick layering. In fact, a robot can lay upto six times the amount of bricks a human builder can hereby significantly increasing the construction speed. Robots can also be used at the end the of the building’s lifecycle to demolish concrete and other structural components of the building in a safe manner. Robots also go a long way in addressing the challenge of shortage of labour as well as reduced human contact.
Drones are being utilized in a variety of ways in the construction site. The project manager can examine the job site, monitor the laborers and ensure their well-being as well as track their progress. They can also be used to carry out dangerous tasks or for inspections like examining bridges or tall building components. Moreover, when the construction site is vast drones can be used to keep track of the equipment and in case any malfunction is detected drones can be instantly deployed to check out the issue.
Where BIM has made it possible to virtually construct and share the building model, VR has taken it a step further by allowing people to immerse themselves into the project environment and interact with it. Immersive walkthroughs allow the designers and architects to better pitch their ideas to the clients. It also makes it possible for the end user to completely visualize the final design and make any required changes. For example, by combing Architectural BIM Services and VR the architect can provide the clients an option to move furniture, change textures etc. VR can also be used to train workers to operate heavy machinery or effectively work in a high-risk environment.
Better Safety Equipment:
The prime concern of any industry always revolves around its people. The construction industry already has around 60,000 people every year who are suffer from accidents onsite. Thus, it is imperative that the issue of safety will be addressed in the new innovations. There are machines today which can identify common safety issue and eliminate onsite threats. For example, an innovation allows to connect work boots to Wi-Fi and alert everyone when any laborer has falls down. Similarly, exoskeletons are offers a lot of potential to increase speed and safety of workers. Exoskeletons are basically metal frameworks which have been fitted with motorized muscles that can multiply the wearer’s strength and also protect them.
These construction technologies are becoming more readily available and are gradually becoming crucial to make the construction process safer, more efficient and smarter. There are many construction firms which have introduced these technological innovations in their process and perhaps the coming years will see even more AEC firms adopt modern technology to achieve long term efficiency.