Last year we saw businesses in the construction industry embracing digital technologies more than ever. The way businesses design, collaborate, and build is changing rapidly, and many new elements are being added to the construction process on a regular basis.
Going ahead, the year 2019 is set to be a year which takes complete advantage of technology to accelerate the construction processes. With the right technological platform, the company can stay competitive, increase their revenue, and offer a number of benefits to property owners, project planners, and investors.
Here are three major technology and digital trends that would impact the construction industry in the coming years.
1. Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality (AR) is a view of a real-world environment complemented by computer-generated inputs like videos or graphics. While AR is being used for different purposes, it is making a significant improvement in the construction industry.
All construction developments need employees with varying abilities and skills. Augmented Reality has the capability to transform how field teams utilize the information and related facts to make better decisions. With the easy availability of tablets and smartphones, businesses can benefit from AR quite easily.
One of the key benefits of AR has been in the form of walkthroughs of complex logistics plans and training processes. AR provides the details and exact measurements of the entire projects before it is executed. Engineers, project manager, and architects get adequate data to ensure speed and accuracy. One may also navigate each phase of the project and check errors before they surface.
Companies which can afford to start using it now would revolutionize how they build and project things. This trend would grow much bigger in the coming years.
2. Cloud Technology
With cloud technology emerging as a preferred option for business processes worldwide, many construction companies too, are boosting their business management and operations software systems with the cloud environment.
Today, virtually all mobile devices are capable of taking advantage of cloud computing, with the ability to operate cloud-based software from anywhere and anytime.
More and more businesses are getting out of office and construction operations are no exception. Gradually, construction companies have started to shed their costly on-premise IT infrastructure and access high processing power of the cloud servers – on demand as much as they need it.
With the help of cloud technology, construction companies can store their data securely and remotely, which is accessible on a 24/7 basis over any device with an internet connection.
Cloud also provides the vehicle for contractors to work on the same sets of data across the back office. Projects can be run in real-time with accurate data. Not only this, digitization would eliminate various manual tasks, save a lot of time, provides greater cost flexibility, mitigate risks and errors, thereby improving profitability and productivity.
Also, in a field where there are several project participants, teams are widely dispersed. This increases the project complexity, making project team collaboration vital to success. According to a survey report, 87% of the construction industry stated that they were open to using cloud technology for their processes.
Being able to collaborate with others, track inventory, share data, and focus on logistics are some things which cloud enables builders to do.
Giving engineers, site managers, architects the right tools and technology to connect empowers them digitally. This helps to increase your company’s overall productivity.
3. BIM (Building Information Modeling) Technology
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is another technology trend in the construction industry which will continue to flourish in 2019. BIM is the technique of generating and managing computer representations of the projects – roads, buildings, and utilities.
Models can be used by engineers and architects to show how building materials would hold up over time. These models are further shared among project workers at different levels, delivering a virtual sandbox to, for example, suggest how to make changes without even using a single hammer. BIM technology is much more than simple 3D modeling (height, width, and depth) and can include more dimensions like 4D (time), 5D (cost), and even 6D (as-built operation).
BIM offers a number of benefits to construction companies – making resource management easier, enabling enhanced collaboration and helping people stay in touch throughout the project. According to the National BIM report by the NBS, people are having a positive response to BIM technology. It was found that about 80% of people believed that BIM is the future of project management and 60% believed that it has the capability to make projects more effective.
BIM can help improve your company’s efficiency in many ways such as minimize chances of errors, accelerate the approval process, and even provide helpful insight into potential upcoming maintenance issues for a completed project.
Along with increasing collaboration, BIM also minimizes construction costs and ensures a faster and safer building process. The technology will soon be a need for the construction industry. Therefore, if your company isn’t BIM-ready, try to get a sub-contractor which can become your BIM expert.
All in all, it is evident that the construction industry is going through a paradigm shift. This shift would need changes to the industry mindset about reinvestment and the ability to increase profit margins. To capitalize on technological innovation, it is important for companies to select an all-in-one management system.
With all the data on one platform, increased efficiency and simplicity of increasing productivity would have stakeholders questioning why they didn’t digitize before.
These trends are guaranteed to affect every construction business, and it is important to understand them. Companies should try to stay on top of them to achieve what they want.
The list is likely to grow as safety, efficiency, timeliness, and the need for green technologies continue to become essential to the industry. Digital technologies are guiding the transformation, and more digitized and efficient construction industry is much close than one may think.
Did we miss any important trend? What other trends do you expect in 2019 and beyond? Tell in the comments section below!