The engineering and construction industry accounts for around 6% of the global GDP. A 1% savings in the sector globally can result in a $100 billion cost reduction.
With such high-cost stakes in play, it’s vital to keep uncovering process efficiencies. Using the newest construction technology makes that possible.
Here’s a look at six construction technologies to help improve your operations.
1. Self-Healing Concrete
One of the most significant challenges with concrete is that it deteriorates before it’s service life. Concrete can withstand compressive, but not tensile forces and cracks when under tension. That’s why it’s reinforced with steel.
Self-healing concrete is a nascent technology created to produce limestone biologically. That process then promotes the healing of cracks. When mixing concrete, you add nitrogen phosphorus, calcium lactate. Additionally, you also add in a specific type of bacteria. These self-healing agents can remain inactive for up to 200 years if there’s no damage to the concrete.
When concrete cracks or is otherwise damaged, water seeps in. The present water is what activates these self-healing agents.
The seeping water gets absorbed by the bacteria and triggers their germination. The termination then initiates feeding on the calcium lactate. During feeding, the calcium lactate’s converted to insoluble limestone. As the limestone solidifies, it fills in the cracks.
Since this process requires oxygen for the bacteria to germinate, it helps extend the reinforcing steel’s life cycle.
Although it seems logical to have wearables on-site, they’re glossed over.
One of the biggest wins for wearable technology is its tracking ability. No matter what kind of connected wearable tech workers have on, it acts as a beacon. In case of an accident or injury, it can be easy to pinpoint their locations.
Wearing boots connected to the internet is critical in helping track a worker’s fatigue. Such smart boots also communicate with connected on-site heavy equipment to reduce accidents.
As a worker uses the boots, the steps they generate power the RFID-equipment. Thus, the technology can identify them as they arrive on-site. The site manager then has an easier time assigning tasks over mobile devices.
Another critical wearable that’s catching on fast is the connected hard hat. Such equipment is designed to detect motion, temperature, location, and heart rate. When a worker becomes overheated or lightheaded, the hard hat can signal the distress.
Furthermore, connected hard hats can detect when a worker falls. During such instances, they can initiate an emergency call to first responders for quick action.
The precise data that such wearables collect on-site is potent. You can unearth trends and insights concerning site accidents with it. That then makes it easier to predict future catastrophic scenarios and reduce accidents.
3. Information Technology Support
Construction companies rely on a wide array of information technology (IT) tools to run daily operations. Overseeing these IT tools can quickly feel like a full-time job, and if you’re not careful, that can eat into the project’s progress time.
To operate optimally, you need to tap IT support companies to shoulder the weight of overseeing these functions as you focus on your key deliverables. In practice, these companies end up acting as your IT department and smooth over any problems to help you make the most of operation tech.
Issues such as computer network downtimes, malfunctioning software tools, etc. that eat into your billable hours can be taken care of at the earliest instance by an IT support partner focusing on your backend.
4. Augmented and Virtual Reality
Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that superimposes computer-generated images onto a user’s view. Virtual reality (VR), on the other hand, creates a simulated environment that replaces a user’s real-world view. The two intertwined technologies are making inroads in construction for high-quality end products.
VR plays a critical role in visualizing a project at its very infancy in a more detailed manner. For example, you can overlay a finished project at a vacant site using VR to help clients better perceive what you can deliver, which adds value to your pitch.
During construction, you can use AR to alert other workers of surfaces that are electrically charged or have a high temperature. AR can also be vital in detecting design and coordination errors early on in the project to avoid expensive rectification when a project is in its advanced stages.
5. Building Information Modelling
Building information modeling (BIM) is a 3D (and now 5D) based intelligent modeling process offering tools and insights to better plan, design, build and oversee buildings and infrastructure.
Developing BIM helps the architects, engineers, and construction teams to optimize their efforts and build an asset with a longer life. As each person working on the building inputs their data, the 3D and 5D models help you visualize not just the drawings but all design outputs, including material schedules.
When anyone creates changes to the dimensional models along the way, BIM renders these same changes to keep everyone on the same page. As a result, you can inspect the unfolding design with more granular control and at a much earlier stage, making for a higher quality end design.
You can also present BIM data using AR to better inform decisions being made in advance of the project. For example, the maintenance team can ‘walk through’ the building design generated by BIM data via AR to determine whether it’ll be easy to access all maintainable equipment in the future.
As construction labor issues continue persisting, you’ll inevitably witness the adoption of more robotics on-site. Robots are more precise than humans, can have a higher physical capacity, which can only improve site efficiency. As costs come down, it will be less expensive to deploy robotic swarms designed to work as a more efficient army in carrying out duties.
Invest in the Newest Construction Technology for Better Operations
Achieving a degree of improved construction efficiency is crucial in managing your costs and improving the end product. Stay on the bleeding edge of the newest construction technology to uncover novel ways to improve your operations and bottom line.
Change is the only constant in business, and adopting new construction technology to stay ahead is a proactive growth effort. Our website features content to help you be the game-changer your industry needs. Check out more of our material for business, travel, health, and lifestyle insights that keep you ahead of the pack.