With the construction industry finally catching up with other sectors when it comes to utilising modern technology, we look at the top 10 Construction Trends in 2020. Construction technology has always come with strict standards as even the smallest error in this technology could cause catastrophic results.
New technology is always changing the construction sites across the world to increase efficiency, reduce costs and increase profit margins while ensuring safety to workers, visitors and overall construction quality.
1. Big Data
Data has been classed as the ‘oil’ of the digital industry. With over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data generated every single day, there certainly is a vast amount of this out there.
But this data is useless if we are unable to analyse and make sense of it. While humans can complete this task, the speed of the human brain can’t match a computer.
Big data can be digitally translated into comprehensible and actionable information in a fraction of the time it would take to do so manually making it a construction trends in 2020 to watch out for.
From this, patterns can be detected for the weather, traffic and environment to be able to assess the best time to begin construction and improve efficiency throughout the entire timeline of the construction process.
2. Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
AI intelligently mimics human behaviour while ML utilises the same process but learns from data and experience, much like the human brain.
Repetitive tasks can be completed by this automation, alleviating workers and allowing them to perform more complex tasks. Pouring concrete, bricklaying and welding can all be completed autonomously.
AI can aid in the design of the building, it can create solutions and design alternatives while considering other elements, such as plumbing and electronics, ensuring there are no clashes.
3. The Internet of Things (IOT)
You are most likely already using IOT at home, this is when devices, such as smartwatches, speakers and phones, all link to a central control hub.
Used to track footfall, it significantly reduces paperwork while also saving time and ensuring accuracy. Geolocation can be implemented to alert workers if they are entering danger sites, increasing safety.
Vehicles have this technology installed to help reduce carbon footprint, sensors can be installed to identify when they are not in use and automatically switch engines off.
More recently, wearable technology if proving useful during the pandemic, workers are alerted if they are less than 2m from each other, ensuring social distancing with ease.
4. Robotics & Drones
Once just for hobbyists, drones are showing their true potential over a myriad of sectors. Cameras on drones can be utilised to provide a quick overview of a site to identify any dangers that need to be addressed.
A site manager is not even required to be present as this footage can be shared in real-time across the world. They can also deliver materials to the site, reducing waiting times and delivery vehicles on our roads.
Robotics can be programmed for construction and demolition, including bricklaying with improved quality and speed. Demolition can be slower with robotics but is safer and cheaper.
5. 5G and Wi-Fi
It’s essential for any business to have a good internet connection nowadays. The absence of this can severely delay any proceedings as communication is not as smooth.
Installing fixed lines is costly, time-consuming and can be wasteful as they are often only used for a temporary period.
5G, the fifth generation of wireless internet, provides the fastest speeds. Wi-Fi 6 is the newest wi-fi innovation, it’s predecessors are certainly looking at some stiff competition.
Both secure and reliable, they are becoming a common asset to construction sites.
6. Building Information Technology (BIM)
This 3D modelling tool can intelligently support engineers, architects and other professionals during the design process.
It generates a simulation of the building and its lifecycle so designers can collaborate with each other, without needing expert knowledge in other areas. It detects clashes and can provide problem-solving solutions for these, ensuring that there are no surprises during construction.
This improves efficiency and costs as any problems are eradicated before the stages of implementation.
7. Virtual Reality (VR) Technologies/Augmented Reality (AR)
Gone are the days that VR and AR are reserved for the gaming industry. VR creates a fully immersive, virtual experience, while AR projects digital elements in a real-life view.
Both are proving to be a vital part of construction technology. Virtual tours can walkthroughs can be provided so all parties can see a visual of the finished and ongoing projects. Meaning there are no surprises upon completion and reducing visitors to the site.
Managers can complete risk assessments, without having to be physically present and use these projected designs to detect any potential risks before construction has commenced.
8. 3D Printing
3D printing is one of the fastest-growing technology trends, three-dimensional objects can be created to exact specifications at the click of a button.
These can be created on or off-site and are ready to use immediately. Waste is reduced, along with costs and energy consumption.
9. Mobile and Cloud Technologies
It is only in recent years that the construction industry has begun to make the change and become more digitalised.
Cloud technology has assisted in this greatly. By using the cloud, large amounts of data can be shared instantly, across the globe while remaining secure.
This provides better collaboration between departments and increasing efficiency.
10. Blockchain Technology
A common example of blockchain technology is Bitcoin. Payment is made to a secure, safe and trusted third party and is released upon completion of the contract.
All parties must be in agreement, meaning there is no more worry of unpaid work or builders not providing quality results.
This encourages transparency and provides secure peace of mind for both clients and businesses.