The Most Important Emerging Technologies for Construction
The basic principles of architecture and construction may remain constant throughout the ages, but when it comes to the specifics of getting the job done, the emergence of new digital technologies has made a huge impact on the industry. These new tools will unquestionably have a major impact on construction in the months and years to come.
Global Positioning Systems (GPS)
GPS has been part of construction processes for years, but there are some exciting new trends that point the way forward for how construction businesses can make use of this tech. Construction jobsite security will continue to implement GPS tracking elements as a theft deterrent; expensive equipment that includes integrated GPS tech will be easier to retrieve, allowing law enforcement to track the equipment to its exact location and even potentially apprehend the thieves. If the promised future of driverless vehicles comes to fruition, GPS will play a major part in that technology as well, and construction crews will undoubtedly benefit from outsourcing mundane transport tasks to a self-driving car or truck.
Remote-controlled flying vehicles are already proving themselves useful beyond mere child’s play, and in the construction industry, drones may become invaluable at all stages of a project. From surveying and assessing the site to monitoring what goes on during and after work hours when construction begins, video, equipped drones can save money, make conditions safer and provide valuable oversight. And with companies like Amazon testing the concept of flying drones that can deliver material goods from place to place, the construction industry could further benefit by cutting humans out of certain mundane tool and supply delivery processes.
From generating new construction components on site to making scale models that print directly from CAD programs, 3D printing as it stands now already offers some potentially great benefits to the construction industry. As this technology takes hold and becomes more of a force to be reckoned with, we may even see the advent of supersized printers that can create portions of a structure on their own.
Computerized technology has been useful for showing clients a digital mockup of what their construction project will look like when it’s done, and that process is getting a major boost from emerging virtual reality tech. Soon, you may be able to hand your clients a VR headset and let them “walk through” the entire building as it will look when completed. Architects and project managers can make good use of VR technology before even showing the design to the client; exploring proposed designs in this way allows for faster discovery of potential flaws or unappealing elements. Overall, virtual reality is poised to boost planning and collaboration across different phases of the construction process.
As these and other technologies start to exert an increasingly strong influence on construction and architecture, efficiency, safety and overall quality of work are likely to improve. There’s a bright future ahead, and tech trends like the ones discussed here are lighting the way forward.