The construction industry, in general, suffers from a traditional hesitancy to embrace nascent technologies, caused partly because projects take years to plan and complete. Recently, however, progressive construction honchos have begun to harness and realise the potency of tech – whether it’s virtual reality, autonomous drones, artificial intelligence, concrete three-dimensional (3D) printing and much more.
Thanks to incredible tech advancements, great value is generated by optimising efficiency and productivity – at every stage, from planning to construction. Indeed, many within the industry predict that in a decade a building site will look very different. Here follows five of the most game-changing technologies in the construction world.
Autonomous drones are being used to map out – sometimes hazardous – construction sites digitally, and providing a higher level of accuracy. Errors cause delays and increase costs, making inexpensive drones a no-brainer, according to Shakti Shaligram of designers seymourpowell. “Drones can drastically improve the speed, accuracy, and safety standards of many parts of the construction cycle,” says the Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate. “Drones collect data by flying over a site and taking high-resolution photographs. Using photogrammetry, skilled technicians can extract high-quality point clouds and 3D models from the photographs. This results in fewer errors and a reduction in timeline from months to days – even hours, in some cases. With the advent of machine intelligence, drones are becoming smarter and more capable. Real-time obstacle avoidance, gesture recognition and fully automated flight used to be the realm of science fiction, but today they exist on £450 drones.”