For decades now, the construction industry has resisted adopting new technology. Construction technology is expensive, and construction companies do not feel that investing in advanced technology would be a good return on investment.
Despite the construction industry’s claims to efficiency, the fact is that worker productivity has fallen off over the
course of the last 40 years. Throughout the world, the construction industry accounts for six percent of all gross domestic product revenues. This gives the industry an important prominence in global economics. It is time for the industry to embrace technology.
What Kind Of Technology Needs To Be Embraced?
In Amsterdam, a company is using robots to print and build bridges. It takes these robots years to print and construct a simple bridge. However, the data being gathered from each project is making it possible to do these types of projects faster than ever before.
When a construction project is ready to get underway, there are several ground tests that need to be done before construction can begin. These tests take time, but they can be sped up through the use of drones and other technology.
As a building is being constructed, the pace of worker productivity is affected by necessary inspections done at various milestones of the project. Right now, human inspectors are used to monitor the progress of tall buildings, and the process is extremely dangerous. Drones can do the job with high-definition cameras faster and safer than humans. This speeds up productivity and gets projects done quicker.
What Improvements Would We See With Technology?
Perhaps the biggest reason the construction industry has been so resistant to technology could be that new technology means less need for basic laborers. When robots can print and fashion together the pieces of a building faster and less costly than humans, then it is hard for companies to justify keeping workers on the payroll.
Each year, slowing worker productivity is costing companies money. It is getting more and more difficult for companies to find investors to help make larger projects a reality.
With the adoption of new technologies, projects can get done on time and within budget, which would generate a profit for the company and investors. It will be easier to attract investors to help make construction projects a reality when there is a better than average chance that they will see a positive return on investment. Instead of projects languishing in the planning stages, they could be completed in record times and investors could be inspired to invest in new projects.
Improving Safety On Projects
Safety would also be improved with the use of technology. Robots could be sent in to do dangerous construction tasks that humans currently do. Furthermore, drones could be used as the eyes of inspectors in dangerous situations. Accident response times would speed up, and workers could get the emergency care they need almost immediately with new technology.
New construction technology could also help project management during the planning and execution stages. Software 3D modeling could allow engineers and architects to see how issues found during construction would affect a project, and they could take the appropriate action immediately. The use of 3D printers to create construction models would allow planners to investigate every detail of a project before it even began.
New Technology Developments Underway
Companies around the globe are developing new construction technology that is slowly making its way into the field. If you look at a new construction site today, you may see robots carrying materials into confined areas, and you may see drones monitoring construction process.
The machines operated by people are also changing to meet new laws and guidelines throughout the world. Cranes are being equipment with wind speed gauges that let them know when wind gusts are creating unsafe conditions. Testing equipment is becoming more advanced, and the entire industry is starting to see advanced technology creep into common processes.
Once construction company owners understand the return on investment they will get with construction technology, the floodgates will open on adopting these new methods. It may not be long before we see entire buildings printed and constructed by robots, while human engineers watch the progress from the safety of a construction trailer.