Construction has long relied on trusted methods for maneuvering equipment, training workers, and performing crucial tasks. In recent years, however, technological advancements have been reshaping many of these processes. By enabling construction companies and professionals to perform a series of improvements for their projects, these technologies improve efficiency in the industry while also reducing errors.
Although adopting new technologies may often require an initial investment, many of them can reduce the amount of time and money needed in the long run while also creating new business opportunities. To stay competitive in the industry and drive construction capabilities forward, construction businesses should stay up-to-date with the latest technology trends to determine which ones they can benefit from the most. In this article, we’ll elaborate on the four important ways technology can improve efficiency and positively affect a construction company’s bottom line.
Better Project Management
Nowadays, there are software and mobile app solutions that help manage virtually any aspect of a construction project. From preconstruction and scheduling to project management and reporting, there is a technology-driven solution that can streamline any process and improve efficiency. Most software solutions are also cloud-based, which allows for easy transfer of documents, schedules, and overall communication materials in real-time.
There are also numerous digital tools that help companies prepare these materials. Even construction bids can be written with the help of a bid proposal template, which saves a considerable amount of time and allows room for other tasks. In combination with mobile technology that allows for easy data collection and transmission, such tools help companies save hundreds of hours per year by automating the entry and organization of documents.
Construction firms are also using data to improve their decision-making processes, raise productivity, increase safety, and lower risks. With artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning programs, they can collect and analyze chunks of data that they then use to predict future outcomes and gain a competitive advantage for things like project biddings.
By reducing the amount of time spent retrieving tools, materials, and equipment, AI significantly improves the efficiency of tasks. So much so that it is expected to increase profits in the construction industry by 71% by 2035. Because sensors are installed on workers and equipment to track movement and collect data, AI can analyze the interactions to suggest reorganization tactics that make the materials more accessible to workers and reduce downtime.
Many construction firms are adopting Building Information Modeling (BIM), which uses digital representations of buildings in 3D models to streamline communication between stakeholders on a project. Since changes to the BIM model occur in real-time, any updates are instantly communicated to all team members once they’ve accessed the model. As such, BIM models ensure everyone is working with updated information at all times.
Since the schedule can be simulated with the help of virtual reality (VR) tools, team members can look at a visual representation of the construction process. This not only allows for improved communication and collaboration but leaves room for better planning at each stage of construction. Ultimately, BIM contributes to a more efficient construction process, a better design, and superior construction of buildings.
Training And Safety
With the use of VR, construction workers can get exposed to certain environments like confined spaces or working from tall equipment without being actually subjected to the conditions. VR simulators have already been used for years in other occupations like soldiers, pilots, and surgeons but are now used in construction as well to train workers for operating cranes, doing welding, or masonry work.
By being able to train in a controlled environment, workers can prepare better for real-life conditions and be more efficient at their jobs without being exposed to occupational hazards and risks. Technology like VR, wearables, or site sensors also improve safety on the construction site by allowing for the creation of a more detailed safety plan; they monitor exactly what the workers are experiencing and walk them through their tasks. Keeping an eye on workers ultimately helps them predict accidents and plan for a more efficient working process.
Construction firms that are researching and implementing technology are reaping the rewards of improved project management, decision-making, communication, training, and safety – resulting in higher overall efficiency. In fact, companies that undergo full-scale digitization in the following years could potentially save trillions of dollars in both construction and operations phases.
On the other hand, firms that don’t invest in technological solutions risk their competitiveness in the industry. As technology advances even further and the industry faces new challenges, adopting these solutions will enable companies to carry out even more complex projects with better efficiency and precision.