Jobsites are seeing a surge in technological advancements—not for replacing manual labour but improving its efficiency.
Technology arrives fast; gets adopted much later—a veritable reality of today’s construction industry as it prepares to enter a more connected world.
Investing in con-tech is a multi-pronged executive decision, one that sparks cyber-privacy concerns while increasing odds for quashing errors. The idea of embracing technology should accompany a vision of future-readiness despite evolving risks across the construction spectrum.
Regarded as one of the more traditional industries with a rising baby boomer workforce, the construction sector has invariably grown accustomed to manual methods that nullify a technological shift—an existential limbo shoving them behind the curve.
This post suggests technologies helping construction companies scale revenues, in hopes that it would encourage those in the consideration phase to take the leap.
Let’s review the top con-tech choices in the present market.
CON-TECH CHOICE #1: THE SERIAL CROWD PLEASER – BUSINESS INFORMATION MODELLING (BIM)
A widely apprised and acclaimed software, business information modelling enables you to create a digital form of the end product. It consolidates project histories and avails real-time insights for on-site conditions and workflows. An expanding range of BIM models cater to dynamic jobsite demands in that team members are saved downtime of information gathering, alongside improving objectivity in viewing data to make better decisions.
Project managers routinely request for information that hasn’t featured in the construction plan—read more about how an RFI request gets processed and handled in a blog by Procore technologies.
Companies that train workers to use BIM are training to become future leaders in an age where complex data sets hold the key to business advancement.
CON-TECH CHOICE #2: THE SITE DETECTIVE – LASER SCANNERS
Site assessment is a routine activity with routinely frustrated contractors struggling their way through cost savings. Owners and contractors need accurate data to strategize project resources for meeting daily goals. Laser scanners catch every geometric detail about your site, capturing all activities, people, and as-built conditions across working hours. This is recorded in the form of “point cloud” data which shows as a large set of points on a coordinate system. Reading it gives a project manager a near-accurate picture of the facility, allowing greater consensus between contractors to resolve potential risks. The data can be integrated with BIM, in turn, helping efficiency targets and streamlining the design-build process. Findings of a laser scan can also be combined with queries raised by construction managers to architects—improving consensus in managing project expectations.
CON-TECH CHOICE #3: THE PROJECT SPY – DRONES
Drones come built with cameras and sensors that inspect areas out of human reach. Photos produced by drones facilitate clear understanding of ongoing site activity while serving as evidence in problem situations. It monitors team logistics, deliveries, and workforce and converts it into 3-D photos readily comparable with design plans. Companies often use aerial survey data for preventive maintenance and precision monitoring to manage safety compliance and conflict resolution.
CON-TECH CHOICE #4: THE EFFICIENCY PADDLER – GPS TRACKERS
GPS tracking increases pinpoint accuracy in project specifications. Until they were on the market, contractors would have to bet on their best man for fleet and equipment maintenance—that is bolstered by the incredible inter-connected facility availed by GPS devices.
GPS devices become the eyes of a project manager that follow real-time use of commercial fleet, delivery, and equipment, helping in accurate estimations of project hours, budgeted hours, and remaining hours. Readily available data reflecting field conditions in a centralized dashboard smoothens operations.
CON-TECH CHOICE #5: THE REALITY CONJURER – 3D PRINTERS AND ROBOTIC CONSTRUCTORS
Building designs are realistically mapped using 3D printers. Construction material like concrete, plastics, cement, and other materials are used in designs. Paired with robotic arms, these building components are constructed for a variety of architectural forms. Robots don’t get exhausted by laying bricks and fulfilling physical requirements of monotonous tasks—but their work still needs to be polished by human hands to ensure material is set in motion properly. Frequently, contractors need structures demolished, coursed through with heavy equipment, and excavated to enhance task agility and scalability.
CON-TECH CHOICE #6: THE JOBSITE GUARDIAN – WEARABLES
Wearables are embedded in personal protective equipment (PPE) gear to analyze a number of factors: worker health, safety, movement, site temperature, and danger areas workers shouldn’t inadvertently step into.
Smart glasses and hardhats outfitted with environmental and biometric sensors alert workers to potential risks while tracking if they are in good shape to perform assigned tasks. These devices are improved versions of the worker safety gear since most accidents occur as a result of errors in human judgment and neglect.
CON-TECH CHOICE #7: THE BIG IDEA CONNECTOR – BIG DATA AND INTERNET OF THINGS
Companies optimize designs using big data-driven models. It helps generate digital representations of infrastructure being built—that is, it patches the distinct parts of a structure and aids a combined outlook of cost and schedule data alongside this digital prototype. As the work of designers, contractors, and workers takes shape, they can assess performance standards and quality parameters. This historical data gleaned from digital prototypes inform a range of jobsite decisions that have to be made speedily and accurately.
Combining these technologies will transform many human-posed risks into opportunities for construction companies. The prospect of pulling these levers together may seem daunting, but they will dismiss perennial problems holding back productivity and efficiency.
In the present market, investing in technology is a no-brainer decision as businesses race to improve jobsite output and substantially grow their consumer mindshare.
Build a technology strategy for 2019 to accelerate your jobsite performance.
Which jobsite tech innovation has got you thinking?