5 Ways Technology Is Changing Construction
By Nathan | Posted on March 17th, 2015
Is there any occupation that hasn't been profoundly transformed by technology within the last twenty years? Some of these changes have been ground breaking, some of them have been huge improvements, and some sadly have led to the loss of traditions and numerous livelihoods.
But for those industries able to weather and adapt to these technological storms, the resulting changes can bring great benefits. Take the construction industry, for example. Changes to the ways it does everything from reporting to installation have transformed it into a safer, better educated, and more efficient one. Below are a few of the advanced construction technology tricks that are helping them achieve this.
You can't have a building project without reporting. This used to be achieved by an individual scribbling notes that would (eventually) be transcribed onto an official report by someone else. That was replaced by an individual typing notes on a computer's hard drive or a disc, where it was often transcribed again (eventually) onto another report. Today, with apps like Raken for daily reporting, employees can quickly transcribe professional looking reports on any mobile device for others to view, add, and respond to in real time, making for more efficient reporting, and a reduction in the need for physical meetings.
BZZZZ! SQUAWK! Yes, those old site walkie-talkies were certainly loud. Pity you had such difficulty in hearing each other, too. But today's digital two-way radios not only allow for much clearer communication over the din of a site, the range of these devices is incredibly improved, and offer a variety of channel options and device types as well. Plus don't forget the lightning fast convenience of "a picture is worth a thousand words" of digital photography, either.
The aforementioned reporting and communication advances have certainly helped safety in construction sites better. And let's not forget "soft fall" air mats, rate capacity limiters (RCL) to make sure cranes are handling safe loads, and all terrain vehicles that can remove trash and debris from hard to reach places like roofs.
Software technologies like Building Information Models (BIM) and Raken allow project staff and clients to work on and have meetings on projects from various locations in real time, without having to physically meet or visit sites, saving time and money.
Modular construction! Better pre-fabrication techniques! Finding new uses for existing components, like building frames and flooring! And introducing new uses for standard features, like windows that are solar panels and gutters that water the lawn! By using smarter construction practices to make "smart" houses, firms are creating safer, more sustainable ones as well.