Time For a Technological Revolution
Recent years have seen the construction industry slowly starting to embrace smart technology. Although still one of the least digitised sectors, which could account for the shortage of young people wanting to enter the industry, the latest predictions suggest that the construction industry is on the verge of a technological revolution.
Some technology, such as Building Information Modelling (BIM) has been around in the industry for a while, allowing buildings to be assessed as 3D digital models. This technology encourages creative exchanges and provides a place where all the information about the build can be found, updated and shared — from design and planning to services and construction.
Some savvy site managers have even ditched paper time sheets in favour of digital ones, removing the need to duplicate information concerning working hours and wages owed, easing administration and saving time. But much more exciting technological trends would seem to be on the horizon.
It’s been suggested that the construction sites of tomorrow will be nothing like the typical building sites we see today — hard hats, steel toe cap boots and high visibility jackets are likely to be replaced with robotics, drones and 3D printing.
So exactly what technology looks set to be seen on construction sites in the not too distant future?
Virtual Reality (VR)
Virtual reality is already being used in the industry, but looks set to become commonplace in the future.
Through an environment created in a headset, both the aesthetics and practicalities of a new build can be fully explored with the aid of VR. And not just as a 3D model, but as a space you can enter and explore. There are many benefits to being able to do this, but perhaps the most important is the ability to see if the potential space actually works and is fit for purpose, before the build begins.
A virtual environment makes it easier for builders and architects alike to negotiate structural and aesthetic changes with clients. And allows the opportunity to test all aspects of the build process, ensuring all areas are easily accessible and suitable to work in.
Unmanned Ariel Vehicles (UAVs)
When we think about UAVs, or drones, we may think of futuristic home deliveries. But these flying machines are already being used in the building industry.
A firm favourite of some organisations, UAVs are becoming a popular tool for site surveying. Drones can quickly and easily cover large expanses, capturing data and preventing the need for surveyors to access potentially hazardous areas. UAVs are also used on site for progress reporting and safety inspections.
Commercial drones look set to become commonplace on sites around the UK very soon.
While a lot has been heard about the driverless car, it is in fact likely that autonomous vehicles will first be more commonly used on construction sites.
Prototypes have already been created for autonomous construction vehicles, such as tractors and excavators. And driverless bulldozers and cranes could soon be the norm on large building projects.
This technology would not only increase efficiency and productivity on site but could also help alleviate the construction industry skills shortage too.
So it really does look like the construction industry is on the cusp of a technological revolution. But how can you utilise today’s technology to increase the productivity and efficiency of your company?
By having a tracking system installed in your work vehicles, you’ll be able to track the whereabouts and working hours of your fleet, thanks to 24-hour GPS monitoring. You’ll also be able to ensure driver efficiency by keeping an eye on driving styles, routes taken and unauthorised usage. And you can easily access historical journey reports.
Tracking technology also reduces your insurance premium and helps to deter vehicle theft.
If you are looking for ways to incorporate technology into your company in order to improve productivity, call 0161 476 4050 to discuss how a Phantom tracking system can help you.