The global construction market is growing rapidly. In fact, economists project it will reach $15.5 trillion by 2030. This growth in the volume of construction output inspires innovations that change the way businesses run, workers work, and bids are won. From wearable tech to 3D-printed structures, technology is pushing the boundaries of what many people in the industry ever thought possible.
For construction companies looking to maximize output for minimal cost, integrating these new innovations into daily business will become essential. Leaning into automation and advanced technologies will help businesses ensure quality, meet customer budget and timeline goals, and ultimately be a boon to any company’s bottom line.
In this post, Join, an industry leader in preconstruction planning software, covers some of the top construction industry trends and innovations that you can expect to see in 2022.
Cross-sector innovations in technology are changing how we interact with the world around us. As companies such as The Wild, Arvizio, Microsoft, and Meta augment reality–and even invent virtual realities–it’s clear the scope of possibility is broadening every day.
At its core, technological innovation refers to the improvement or creation of new products and processes that make it possible to do more work at a maximum level of efficiency. What’s more, innovations typically solve long-standing problems quickly, freeing up time, money, and energy so that people can focus on idea generation and profitability. Advanced tech also keeps businesses competitive and relevant, allowing them to approach clients and customers as forward-thinking thought leaders.
In an industry like construction, where human power has traditionally been the dominating force of labor, adopting technological innovations might not come so naturally. But these advances are specially designed to increase output, decrease worker strain, and advance the overall ability of the construction field.
While 3D printing has been around since the 1980s, recent advances have brought it to the forefront of many industries. Originally used to create small-scale prototypes of varying designs, 3D printing capabilities now span from specialty parts for machine use to printing entire buildings within just a few weeks.
3D printing can save construction companies roughly 60 percent of the time spent on projects and an impressive 80 percent of the labor. And, in a field where nearly one billion tons of waste accumulates each year, the ability to print exact specifications for any part or project can save businesses a worthwhile amount of money. Of course, the cost of these large-scale printers is more than many companies can currently take on. Still, even a small 3D printer added to your team’s available resources can drastically improve your overall output.
Construction robots are automated machines designed to aid in specific tasks. Though these robots don’t typically look like metal-made humans walking around a job site, they do carry out a range of duties that previously had to be performed by people, such as parts assembly and construction vehicle operations.
Drones are perhaps the most commonly used construction robot because they are readily available, relatively inexpensive, and user-friendly. Most often, drones are used as an added measure of job site security. Their ability to quickly gain an aerial view of an entire site allows operators to check in on worker safety and remotely monitor the otherwise hard-to-see spaces.
Depending on the drone’s technological capabilities, they can be used to scan a project’s landscape prior to the build and create a topographic map of the area. This kind of advanced site screening can help construction developers avoid any unanticipated slow-downs when they arrive on location, improving the chances of completing projects on time without going over budget.
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a collaborative process that allows architects, engineers, real estate developers, contractors, manufacturers, and other construction and design professionals to create scalable 3D models of projects before the build process begins. Unlike traditional blueprint models, BIM merges internal and external functioning into one picture, allowing each stakeholder to make changes to design and functionality elements and see how those changes impact the entire project.
At the highest level, BIM breaks down each project component from materials needed to begin work to handing the keys to the client. It helps ensure resources are acquired according to the timeline, state and local building codes are being met, and labor hours are being appropriately distributed. Anyone with access to a project’s BIM can update it in real-time, giving all stakeholders a current picture of completion status.
Wearable technology is one of the simplest solutions to workplace safety for construction workers. With falls and collisions being an everyday hazard, coming up with creative ways to keep employees safe is crucial for the industry overall.
Smart boots come equipped with a variety of sensors, including collision and temperature indicators that can help workers avoid painful collisions or step around extremely hot areas. Similarly, smart hard hats alert workers to potential injury from falling objects and even detect when a person is moving their head too vigorously to avoid whiplash injuries.
To aid in the kind of heavy lifting that is always present around job sites, exoskeletons for construction workers come equipped with elaborate systems specifically designed for back support, crouch support, and shoulder support. This wearable tool ensures even the largest loads are picked up in a way that prevents injury and bodily strain.
Automation frees construction teams to take on more creative work and allocate more time to critical projects. For businesses burning up valuable hours manually collecting and updating data, embracing technology that does it for you is essential.
Collaborative decision-making preconstruction software reduces costs, removes bottlenecks, and empowers stakeholders to make smarter decisions. Furthermore, in a remote-working post-pandemic world, businesses are starting to realize just how critical it is to leverage the power of cloud-based preconstruction platforms.
Construction businesses need to embrace technology and integrate it into their processes wherever possible to stay competitive in the global economy. When it comes to preconstruction, it’s vital to find a platform that allows for streamlined collaboration, communication, and data consolidation to integrate cloud-based technology into their processes.
If you’re ready to start improving your business’s preconstruction process, reach out to Join for a free demo of our collaborative project management software.