The age of technology has managed to seep into nearly every part of our lives.
The construction industry, despite being one of the oldest professions in the world (fun fact: the profession of “builder” dates back 10,000 – 15,000 years ago), has been heavily influenced by the technological boom.
While some may prefer to stick to the old-school way of doing things, technology has allowed the industry to grow in scope exponentially over the past decade.
Here are some ways technology is changing the construction industry:
Improved Safety Technology
Numerous innovations have improved on-site safety.
For heavy highway construction, documentation technology provides a paperless system for workers to enter safety chat surveys and record all necessary on-site precautions.
This is especially important during this pandemic as many states are requiring COVID-19 questionnaires to be filled out and person-to-person contact to be minimized.
On the vertical side, sensors allow companies to track water, fire, and mold risks inside buildings. These sensors give real-time alerts, such as rising temperatures, which could indicate a fire hazard. They also provide foreman, superintendents, and office management with an overall analysis of a site’s risk level.
Vertical workers also have access to technology that notifies management if they fall on the job and where their exact location is. The Spot-r clips to workers’ vests and ensures they will receive immediate medical attention if a fall occurs.
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Remote Operated Equipment
Heavy equipment operated remotely has increased 42 percent in the past year.
This new technology allows operators to navigate through dangerous projects without the risk of rollovers or missing blind spots.
“Being able to stand outside of the machine allows visibility of every angle,” Britta Kopp with Bobcat Company tells Curt Bennink with ForConstructionPros.com. “There is also the opportunity for enhanced operator comfort and a more inclusive working environment. If equipment operators are unable to sit in the cab of a loader for a full 8- to 10-hour shift for any reason, they can work outside of the cab without losing productivity.”
These machines improve safety, make it easier to work longer hours, and increase labor productivity through their automated features.
Faster and More Accurate Bidding
Long gone are the days of searching through worksheets to find historical pricing data.
There is now technology available that allows you to not only quickly search for historical prices, but also run a market analysis on pricing trends and what your competition is bidding.
Estimators can also now streamline their bidding process with estimating software. This technology increases bid accuracy by proving a standardized estimating method and highlighting any errors.
The construction industry is the fastest-growing commercial adopter of drones and has seen on-site drone usage increase by 239 percent in the past year.
So, how are drones being used in the field?
Their main use is for tracking productivity by providing an aerial view of the site’s progress. They also help with surveying and pre-construction planning.
“With a 15-minute flight, a drone pilot can gather the same visual data that it might take a surveyor working for a construction company half a day to collect by walking on foot,” says Zacc Dukowitz with UAV Coach. “The construction drone’s data will be more thorough and more accurate because the drone can capture visual footage constantly while in flight. This footage can later be processed automatically using software created just for this purpose into several different kinds of maps of the entire site.”
As you can see, construction may be one of the oldest professions, but it is one that continues to grow and adapt with the help of technological advances.
Let’s continue the age of innovation and keep the construction industry growing.