Last Updated on September 14, 2023 by Admin
The construction industry is worth billions upon billions of dollars and is one of the fields that employs the most people globally. This is why, if there’s any chance to cut costs or increase productivity, you can bet that the people in charge will seize the opportunity.
The thing is that these opportunities often come through innovation, so here are the top five such examples that are reshaping the construction industry as we know it.
Table of Contents
There are so many advantages to prefabrication:
- Quality control: It’s much harder to assess the quality of the job done on the site. An item produced in a controlled environment can also be tested in a controlled environment and at a much higher accuracy rate.
- Cost savings: While the initial investment required to get the prefabrication technology is quite high, the reality is that, once you get going, the construction process will be a lot cheaper. The reduced labor and construction delay alone will save a fortune.
- Safety: Reducing the number of hours on a construction site already elevates safety quite drastically. In a controlled environment, the chance of injury is a lot lower. The bottom line is that prefabrication simplifies everything and reduces the number of occurrences in which you can get injured.
Generally speaking, prefabrication can solve too many problems of the construction world to count, and while it’s hardly an innovation, its increased use and methodology make a difference.
Improved document management
The construction industry always carries with itself a certain level of risk. This is why legal compliances regarding the construction industry are some of the oldest in the world (and we mean that quite literally). Even in The Code of Hammurabi, which is almost four thousand years old, there are laws and penalties for builders whose structures collapsed.
Project accountability is one of the most important things in the world, and effective documentation resolves this quite easily. This was always in use, but version control is a lot easier with today’s document management systems and document comparison tools. This means it’s harder to lose track of the original state of the files.
A higher use of templates for standardization also has to be considered. For instance, a QA or QC construction checklist may drastically improve your quality control. This will result in higher accountability and a much greater level of reliability.
Lastly, construction companies often communicate through documents, which means improved document management helps your collaboration.
Wearables and mobility
Wearables and PPE are the core of any construction site, but with the help of IoT-connected equipment, you can now have far greater protection. You can also get greater insight into your field teams and help improve their overall security. This can be just as important as any training or certification.
For instance, wearable sensors can track the vitals of your construction crews. While we know the stereotypes of construction workers as strong, indestructible, healthy individuals, this is not always the case. Add to this that these people work in extreme conditions (how else would you describe roofing in July), and you get the “not so great” outcomes.
When wearables track their heart rate, temperature, and more, you get to provide your staff with a new level of protection. You’re no longer just protecting them from the risk of falling. You’re also saving them from reckless behavior and warning them to sit down when their vitals show worrying signs.
Wearable cameras can also allow remote supervision and are useful in post-accident diagnostics.
The most important thing about augmented reality is a chance to see what an alteration or an alternative would look like without actually building it. The most time-consuming, expensive, and absolutely dangerous (most accidents happen during this process) is fixing mistakes that could have easily been avoided otherwise.
The reason why AR and AR apps are so great is that they don’t need any kind of expensive equipment to work. All you need is a smartphone, which every foreman and construction worker already has on them.
Needless to say, AR is useful for all sorts of assessments, as well as interior decoration. AR tape measure is also a useful tool that could save you time.
Then, there are the augmented reality wearables like smart safety glasses. Imagine a parking sensor that you wear on your head. It’s a display that warns you when you’re too close to the ledge or when you’re acting in an unsafe fashion. It also assesses the distance/height, which might be useful.
With a greater environmental concern, you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that there’s an increased interest in recycled, reclaimed, and renewable materials.
Before we proceed, it’s important to mention that several traits will make a specific material “green.”
- Local material: Even if the material doesn’t logically belong on this list, if it’s a local material, the cost of transportation is lower, as well as the pollution caused by transportation. This would automatically make it greener.
- Renewable material: If the material is made in a way that doesn’t cause too much pollution (an industry with high chimneys, etc.), it automatically qualifies as green, regardless of its environmental impact.
- Environmental impact: The most important thing about the material is its environmental impact. Non-treated timber is completely safe to use and won’t pollute the surrounding in any way. This makes it incredibly green.
At the end of the day, it’s important to mention that recycled materials (like recycled metal) and reclaimed materials (like reclaimed wood) are textbook definitions of green materials. After all, they don’t have to be produced, just reworked.
At the end of the day, you could say that while it’s innovation, neither of these are “new” construction trends. What makes them relevant and innovative is that they were sometimes used in the past, and they’re becoming major trends. Since they’re saving money and labor, it’s safe to assume they’ll always keep the public interest. They’re also rapidly evolving the construction industry, paving the way for more innovation.