For companies that want to succeed in business today, it is critical to keep up with industry trends. The construction industry is no exception. Technology trends would be expected, however they are not the only elements of change in construction. Everything from labor to materials to sustainability effect the industry today and must be embraced to thrive and grow.
Building information management (BIM) is a construction industry trending technology. It helps users to create models and representations of buildings and utilities via computer (for example, with Autodesk). These computer representations are easily managed and shared online and can help guide projects along faster as reference.
BIM isn’t the only software growing in technology advancements and usage – there is construction management software. This software can offer various options – whether budgeting, aggregating data for mobile sharing, payroll, inventory management, file storage and even project management.
Drones are growing in use in so many industries – and construction is no exception. Drones can give real-time data to reduce time of decisions and overall construction process. Drones can also do more and more of the work that places workers in jeopardy, such as height-related projects. On a basic level they are used for surveying and aerial photography to size up real estate, construction and repair needs. Drones are able to provide thermal and heat maps over across distances. Drones also reduce the potential for theft of equipment.
Mobile apps unsurprisingly are also a technology in growth for commercial construction industry trends. Mobile apps can apply to everything from measurement of areas via mobile camera, to site inspections – all in real-time.
Augmented reality (AR) is another technology in construction industry trends. AR today can be used for safety issues such as visualizing hazardous projections in advance. AR can also be applied to video, especially 360-degree video and 3D visualization of environments with future buildings. AR also allows for better measuring of structures and projects, and quick simulations of architectural changes.
Safety is always important, and there is continual growth in the safety of equipment in the construction industry. For example wearable technology, such as wi-fi-enabled boots, can send alerts if the user has fallen down on a job. 3D printing also is used to help alleviate the moving of dangerous objects. And of course there is more and more work, such as hazardous tasks, being done by robots.
Another option in industry trends is prefab and modular construction. Other construction costs are a driving factor puting prefab and modular construction in trending growth. These units can be created offsite and transported and installed into an overall construction site project. This approach is also growing in usage in green building projects.
Speaking of which, of course environmentally-friendly construction is a continually growing trend. Sustainable and renewable energy demands for buildings are requested more and more by customers. Sustainable construction can include everything from renewable energy consumption, after the building is complete, for tenants – to the actual materials and resources used in the construction itself.
There is an ongoing labor shortage in the construction industry and consequent higher cost of labor. Even though robots can be used somewhat, more technology-certified workers are in demand to work these machines growing in sophistication. Simultaneously, more women are working in construction to fill these gaps in a traditionally male-heavy industry.
Materials also continue to grow in cost as a construction industry trend. Some of the technologies mentioned here, such as 3D printing, might be used to help manage and reduce the rising costs of building materials. There are also innovative materials (which may not help with the rising costs of materials) such as invisible solar cells, transparent aluminum, self-healing concrete and light generating concrete.
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