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Digital technologies have taken the construction industry by storm. The building process is under a substantial paradigm shift that in the long run will transform the way the industry designs, communicates and builds. 

Data has played a significant role in this ongoing transformation as it has introduced a brand new approach in the way the industry collaborates and collects information around the different project stages. Most importantly, data can function as a source of project wisdom which can help the sector unlock new investment opportunities and building techniques.  

And that’s only one part of the story, as the industry experiences some remarkable changes in terms of hardware technology, too. Self-operated equipment, innovative materials and smart wearable technology are some powerful examples to that direction. 

Given the high intensity of the change, it has become tough for many people in the field to follow the various technologies that have emerged and stay on top of the latest trends which have a direct impact on the perplexity and structure of construction projects. 

Here are 10 innovative technologies that are revolutionizing the construction industry.

1. BIM

Data can be the key to a more open construction process with emphasis on real-time collaboration and project intelligence. Through BIM technology, everybody involved in the building process can effortlessly access project information and based on it, make the best decision for the project. Optimization of information flow will eventually lead to increased on-site productivity, fewer delays and lower rework rates.

2. Construction Software

Software is an integral part of the construction process and its implementation has optimized many different aspects of it. Some of the ways construction software can be helpful for the building industry include:

  • real-time project management;
  • mobile field reporting;
  • remodeling;
  • accounting; and
  • estimating.

These are only a few of the needs that construction software can cover. With the help of data, the door for a more efficient and transparent building sector is now open.

3. Artificial Intelligence

AI is gradually taking over almost every area of today’s world. Construction is, of course, no exception. There are still many steps that need to be taken before artificial intelligence is a standard component of the industry, but there are already some very encouraging signs. 

Some good examples of AI applications in construction, as presented by McKinsey & Company, include:

  • project schedule optimizers can change the delivery process and improve the planning strategy on a continuous basis;
  • image recognition based on video data from construction sites, which could be used for future training of the personnel; and
  • rugged devices equipped with sensors that could collect project data based on which process patterns could be recognized and analyzed.
4. Robotics

As a natural continuation of the previous point, robotics is increasing its presence in construction day by day. Especially on site, robots could revolutionize the building process and accelerate significantly the task delivery time. More specifically, the implementation of robotics on site could provide workers with valuable help in regard to the completion of repetitive or dangerous tasks. 

5. Virtual and Augmented Reality

Thanks to VR, the building team can carry out virtual walkthroughs and prevent construction mistakes before they even emerge. That can help construction managers around the world to save great amounts of money and time. Furthermore, both VR and AR can help in the training of construction workers who will have the opportunity to learn everything they need before they appear on site in a fully protected environment. This can result in a substantial decrease of errors and a considerable increase of precision. 

6. Drones

If used correctly, drones can have multiple benefits for construction. For instance, drone technology can be used for mapping the working field, reporting project progress back to the office and sending updates to clients. As reported by Jdsupra, the global market value of the drone industry is anticipated to reach up to $10 billion in the next decade. That is a remarkable number which proves that drone technology is here to stay. 

7. Modular Construction 

Modular construction has been around for a while now but during the last years, it has really gained momentum. The need for higher productivity rates and fewer project delays has played an essential role in that. Up to 80 percent of the construction process can be transferred to the factories through modular construction. By investing in modular construction, project completion can be accelerated by up to 65 percent. 

8. 3D Printed Structures

3D printing is another revolutionary technology that has attracted a lot of attention in the last 10 years. According to The Guardian, one Chinese construction firm uses an extremely large 3D printer that sprays cement and construction waste to build homes. The cost for each home is less than $5,000 USD, and up to 10 homes can be built in just one day. 

9. Smart Roads   

What if a road could charge electric cars? That day may not be that far away. A company from New Zealand has created a ‘power pad’ which can wirelessly charge a parked electric vehicle. The next challenge, of course, is coming up with a surface that will charge electric cars while they are moving. This is a remarkable breakthrough which could change the infrastructure construction market as well as the vehicle industry.  

10. Innovative Materials

Whether it’s bricks made out of cigarette butts, Martian concrete or light generating cement, the way things are built is rapidly changing. New materials enter the sector on a continuous basis. The majority of them are related to sustainable construction and open the way for a building process with lower environmental footprint and better conditions both for workers and occupants of new structures.

The construction industry is under a crucial paradigm shift due to the advent of new revolutionary technologies. A smarter and more digitized building process is just around the corner. 

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