No industry escapes the incessant evolution of technology, and for builders there are some pretty cool pieces of tech making their way onto construction sites. While some of the below items are still fairly expensive and contained to larger job sites and construction firms, others are already in regular use for independent contractors.
So if you’re a builder with an eye for the future and upskilling in tech, these are the five top developments to watch and get involved with!
1. Building Information Modeling & Digital Twins
BIM is a new process that uses a digital representation of a building to support communication and collaboration during the construction process. The BIM shows the structural and functional aspects of a building and can be used through the full construction process from pre-fabrication to planning and scheduling. The major draw card for BIM is it’s clash detection ability, where the software will simulate and flag potential faults or functionality clashes before construction is even close to beginning, saving time and money for all stakeholders.
2. Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality
If you haven’t come across virtual reality on your construction sites yet - you’re in for a treat. Much like BIM’s virtual reality provides a digital version of the building. However with VR it’s a fully immersive experience where you feel like you’re already IN the building instead of just looking at it on a screen. It’s gaining huge popularity for architects, builders, planners and designers who can use it to identify clashes and faults, and aid in eliminating change orders. It’s also being used more and more by construction owners to train the new generation of builders.
Take the smart watch and turn it into a construction hat - and that’s what we’re looking at with wearables in the construction industry! This technology is revolutionising safety on construction sites and is being developed for use in wearables such as hardhats, boots, gloves and safety vets. By tracking movements such as repetitive motions and posture as well as heart rates and temperature they can support physical safety, while also tracking and reporting on things like slips and falls.
These nifty pieces of tech are increasingly being used on construction sites to conduct site inspections. They can help to identify building faults, identify safety hazards and monitor progress. Whether you work for a big construction company or are a sole trader, drones will undoubtedly soon be part of your daily tool use.
And so it begins. Robots are now being used on some construction sites to complete simple, repetitive and labour-intensive tasks such as bricklaying and drywall construction. Some markets have embraced them as a solution to labour shortages, while others are exploring the cost benefits of robotics. Regardless of how they’re being used they still require a significant amount of supervision and operation - so if you want to add skills to your repertoire keep an eye out for opportunities to work with robotics.
Upskilling in new technology is a great way to advance your career! Find out how upskilling can help increase your earning potential in construction.