How Technology Will Disrupt the Construction Industry
By Nathan | Posted on January 8th, 2015
"Disrupt" is a word that is often thought of negatively. After all, if you discover that the electricity's been "disrupted" at home, that doesn't mean all those appliances are blinking in joy because you've gotten a free upgrade. But disrupt has a more benevolent definition as well, one indicating significant change. That's what construction technology is.
And certainly, the construction industry has been changed in significant ways over the years by technology. There are some basic premises of building that originated with the first human beings that still work today. But if the ancient Babylonians building the Hanging Gardens had access to power tools, forklifts, pagers, and total station instruments, it's unlikely that they'd refuse them.
Some in the construction field have complained that the industry's ever greater reliance on technical tools have resulted in greater demands for quicker turn around time and less project "wriggle room". But there's no denying the benefits they've brought to projects as well. Greater safety. Greater accuracy. Better communications both in the field and elsewhere. More opportunity for creativity and innovation in projects. Projects that are completed more quickly, allowing firms to accept more of them.
Many of these technological improvements come in the form of software. While architectural models and blueprints are not yet extinct, Building Information Models (BIMS) are on their way to overtaking them on the evolutionary chain. BIMS allow workers at all levels of a project to view and manipulate 3-D building images, resulting in better communications and easier collaborative efforts.
And just as brick and mortar remain an essential part of construction, so do reports, especially various types of daily reporting. In the past, managers and supervisors had to take time to complete these reports in the field, taking valuable time from other duties. Or perhaps they sent handwritten notes to an office for transcription, running the risk of misinterpretation, and the loss of sensitive information. But with Raken's contractors software, professional looking, easy to read reports are easily composed from any location via devices. Information is digitally stored and protected for up to ten years, while being quickly accessible by users. With Raken, users can search for specific information, and locate old reports. This completely and compactly stored information has many applications, from time saving virtual meetings, to compiling litigation evidence, making Raken the leader in this area.
Will this new technological advances in construction “disrupt” the way firms have conducted business in the past? Undoubtedly, but if the correct disrupt definition is followed, these firms will have bigger, safer, and more projects, as well.