In the past decade, technology has advanced far beyond what many would have predicted, and people have become more dependent on it than previous generations. The use of digital technology has led to quicker advancements across multiple industries, and the construction industry is slowly beginning to use technology to its advantage. In an industry that wants to bring in more efficient, quicker, greener methods of building for a sustainable tomorrow, digital transformation is a vital partner in paving the way forward.
Construction technology and digital transformation
While many other industries have modernized their processes, the construction industry remains behind, sometimes using the same methods that were being deployed decades ago. As recently as 2016, 70 percent of construction firms allocated around one percent or less of their revenue toward technology. Innovative construction methods like factory-made modular buildings have only been adopted in an increasingly bigger way the past few years.
Even in the more modernized method of modular construction where technology is nothing new, the shift toward adopting platforms leading to digital transformation has only been on the rise recently.
Benefits seen by the construction industry, with an increasing amount of projects being a mix of traditional and modular construction, are being enhanced with digital aspects that result in:
While prefabricated construction’s factory settings already ensure a greater deal of safety than completely traditional construction sites, when it comes to collaboration between the two, there is still a huge scope for increasing the efficient-safety strategy of projects.
Augmented and virtual reality, as well as wearable technology and other innovative new construction technology can help a construction site become safer. For example, AR and VR can be used in the planning and designing phase, in the actual construction-planning stage, and for employee training about onsite safety via simulations. Wearable tech such as smart vests can help workers identify hazard zones and give them access to emergency alert systems. Drones can survey construction sites, especially in potentially dangerous areas, so that workers don’t need to risk doing so during site assessments and inspections. They can also get a bird’s eye view of hard-to-access zones while continuing to work.
More efficient quality control
Quality control is at the heart of modular construction because of its factory-regulated atmosphere. However, developments like Building Information Modeling, or BIM, is a great way to build more information into the model, like site conditions and scheduling. BIM building technology models can be connected to devices on-site and real-time information sharing can lead to better productivity.
3D printing has been around for a while now and can make a capable partner when it comes to reducing delays in projects. 3D printing can be used at multiple stages of the construction process including creating prototypes and models, which aids in identifying issues before they arise in the actual building process.
Robots are another potential partner for construction projects, especially ones that can lift heavy objects in traditional construction or factory settings for prefabricated construction. Robots like Semi-Automated Mason, or SAM, are capable of laying about 3,000 bricks a day with extreme precision. These robots have the capability to do repetitive tasks quickly without slowing down, which helps in producing consistent, high-quality results without human error.
Cross-functional, integrated tools
Construction is an industry where several stakeholders work together simultaneously to get the required precision in order to progress to the next step. Stakeholders such as architects, engineers and foremen all need to touch base on certain changes or adjustments, which may seem minor but could increase timelines or costs if made too late.
An adoption of tech-based tools to handle this kind of real-time resolution has taken the construction industry to new levels of tracking, resolution and efficiency, which positively affects:
- Contract management: These tools can help update contract compliance and collect information about clients and contracts. This is especially useful when contracts are in the process of being renegotiated.
- Performance management: Stakeholders and managers can keep up to date with developments during different phases. Some of these tools can be updated directly with field data!
- Document and design management: Keeping track of changes to documents and even blueprints can be tiresome and time consuming. However, these tools allow you to track changes to documents, add comments, and access past versions and records, making documentation easier.
There is no doubt that construction has taken a step forward with its commitment to developing modern buildings, and digital construction technology is only helping speed its way toward the future.
Mobile Modular has been at the forefront of new technology in building construction. Ever since its humble beginnings more than four decades ago, it has been ahead of its time. Some of our energy-efficient modular education complexes and GSA-approved government buildings are examples of just how seriously we take innovation and transformation.
With us, innovation and affordability go hand-in-hand. Whether it’s the quicker returns on investment you get when you go modular or the great savings on rent that we offer, you can be sure you’ll be gaining something positive. If you would like to learn more about our buildings, request a quote today.