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Construction Technology: Transforming the Industry

By Tim Rogers, updated 20 Oct 2023
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Technology is enabling rapid change in nearly every industry, and construction is poised to be a major beneficiary.

Why? It's simple, technology propels progress. It blazes trails, breaks barriers, and bolsters growth. In fast-moving industries that rely on velocity and momentum, equipping your teams with the right technology has never been more important.

Role of Technology in Transforming the Construction Industry

In the realm of construction, technology isn't merely another gimmick; it's an absolute game-changer. Today's tech landscape has introduced a range of tools that are reshaping and re-energising the industry.

Data collection apps, drones, and specialist software streamline tasks and improve efficiency. Meanwhile, virtual reality, wearables, 3D printing, and artificial intelligence are revolutionising how we interact with digital worlds, manufacture goods, and automate processes. These technologies collectively drive progress and continue to transform the world of construction.

Types of technology making waves in construction

Drones and Robotics

Two groundbreaking innovations that are reshaping the construction landscape. Drones and robots offer a faster and safer way to service construction sites, reduce human error, and provide precise data - catapulting project efficiency.

Examples of how this technology is being applied:

  • Robotic Exoskeletons: Wearable devices reduce strain and fatigue, aiding in heavy lifting and injury prevention for construction workers.
  • Drones: Equipped with cameras and sensors, drones survey sites, conduct inspections, and provide real-time data for decision-making in construction.
  • Autonomous Construction Equipment: Self-driving vehicles like bulldozers and excavators perform precise tasks in hazardous conditions.
  • Bricklaying Robots: These robots accelerate bricklaying with precision, particularly for repetitive masonry tasks.
  • 3D Printing Robots: Layer-by-layer construction of complex structures, including entire buildings, is cost-effective and time-efficient.
  • Robotic Demolition Equipment: These robots safely and precisely dismantle structures, reducing risks associated with traditional demolition.
  • Robotic Welding and Steel Fabrication: Robots ensure high-quality and consistent welding and fabrication in construction projects.
  • Robotic Surveying and Layout: Laser and GPS-equipped robots accurately measure distances and layout construction plans for precise positioning.
  • Autonomous Construction 3D Scanners: Scanning robots create 3D models of construction sites, aiding quality control and project documentation.

Procurement software

When you ponder your current trade procurement methods, you might envision handling Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, emails, and the laborious process of crafting scopes of work and subcontracts manually.

It often involves a lot of manual effort, outdated data, and time-consuming procedures that demand human intervention, assuming they are even completed at all.

Dedicated construction procurement software eliminates your dependence on inefficient procurement. It combines multiple fragmented and disconnected systems into one easy-to-use software, allowing for visibility, consistency and control never experienced before in procurement.

Procurement software centralises all of the necessary modules that streamline procurement:

  • Digital procurement schedules
  • Scope of works library
  • Tendering module
  • Comparison and recommendations
  • Vendor management
  • Contract creation/collaboration
  • Electronic Signature
  • Reporting & Analytics

Having complete visibility, and taking complete control, over your supply chain is a luxury builders have never had. Specialised procurement software now makes this possible, leading to quality projects delivered on time and on budget.

consturction technology

Sustainable and Green Construction Technology

The construction industry is ready to rewind the environmental clock, and sustainable and green construction technologies are playing a massive part.

Sustainable design, energy-efficient construction methods and the use of recycled materials are just some of the green building practices spearheading the change.

  • Solar Panels: Installing solar panels on roofs and facades generates renewable energy, reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
  • Green Roofs: These living roofs are covered with vegetation, providing natural insulation, reducing stormwater runoff, and improving air quality.
  • Passive Design: Building designs that maximize natural ventilation and daylight can reduce the need for heating and cooling.
  • Sustainable Materials: Using eco-friendly materials like reclaimed wood, recycled steel, and low-impact concrete reduces the environmental footprint.
  • Geothermal Heating and Cooling: Utilising the Earth's stable temperature for HVAC systems is energy-efficient and sustainable.
  • High-Efficiency Insulation: Installing insulation with a high R-value reduces energy waste and improves comfort.
  • Wind Turbines: In windy locations, small wind turbines can generate clean energy for on-site use.

Building Information Modeling (BIM) Software

BIM software is designed to improve the planning, design, construction, and operation of structures by providing a collaborative platform for project stakeholders. Instead of creating multiple 2D paper drawings, each person and their expertise area can collectively contribute to a single model.

This technology is proving extremely useful in the problem-solving and planning stages of projects. Potential clashes and risks can be identified and mitigated earlier, which can be absolutely crucial for a projects timeline and budget.

Such is the positive impact of BIM software, some countries, like the United Kingdom, require compliance with a BIM Framework for all public-funded projects.

Artificial Intelligence

There's been a huge buzz around Artificial Intelligence (AI) across all industries lately, and it's easy to see why.

AI can be applied to any of the previous categories spoken about to really take them to the next level - the possibilities are endless. It can predict project delays, and monitor safety with wearable devices. AI-equipped cameras and drones ensure inspections are meticulous, reducing the workload on people.

Building Information Modeling gets a boost through AI for smarter planning, while equipment maintenance, inventory management, and risk assessment become a breeze.

Humans will always play a primary role in construction projects, but automating some of the complexities with AI is a promising way of increasing efficiency and quality.

So what's next?

From digital design software to highly advanced machinery, we've taken a tour of the most groundbreaking technologies leading industry transformation.

The future promises even more radical innovations, with potential impacts that include safer work environments, cost-saving techniques and faster project timelines.

These trends are more than just fads. They're redefining construction, making it more efficient, more precise, and brilliantly innovative. The era of digital construction is here!

Tim Rogers

Tim Rogers

Tim Rogers is Co-Founder & Product Lead at ProcurePro. After nearly a decade working as a Contract Administrator and Project Manager in commercial construction, Tim now works with construction management professionals and builders globally to solve construction’s mission-critical challenge of procurement.

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