While digital transformations are by no means a new concept, the construction industry has been particularly slow to adopt any technological innovations over the years. But as the sector evolves, consumer demands change, and disruptive global events affect the industry in quite unprecedented ways, construction finally has to leverage technology in order to make site processes and management operations more sustainable and efficient. Modern technologies are reshaping the entire industry, and here are just some of the most important construction trends that will have the biggest impact in 2022 and beyond:
Construction is still among the most labor-intensive sectors. It includes a number of lengthy, tedious, and repetitive tasks which can be completed much more quickly with the use of automation and robotics. Robots used in construction could also minimize human error and potential losses caused by fatigue. For instance, collaborative robots are already widely used in the industry, helping to automate welding, bricklaying, painting, and similar tasks with greater precision. In some cases, robotics could also streamline heavy equipment used for demolition, excavation, concrete works, load lifting, etc. This drastically lowers operational times and increases employee safety, while reducing labor costs and boosting productivity and efficiency in the process.
Building Information Modeling
Building designing and planning is a collaborative task that includes working with clients, architects, engineers, and builders, among other stakeholders. Following conventional processes, it can be quite challenging to visualize real-time changes while everyone works on their own tasks, which often causes confusion and results in the creation of several versions of identical plans. Building Information Modeling (BIM) tools can resolve this issue by offering a centralized database and allowing everyone involved in the project to work on one shared model. 5D BIM solutions account for time and cost overlays, while 6D BIM includes energy budgeting as well. These solutions are crucial for identifying problems early on and streamlining construction.
Fleet management software
With the construction industry experiencing a widespread digital transformation, new solutions are being implemented along with robotics and BIM tools. Among these beneficial solutions is efficient construction equipment fleet management software, a tool aiming to truly transform the sector. By leveraging automation and seamless IoT integration, these management software solutions can digitally evolve processes. The data ingestion, analysis, and processing operations this software uses are at the cutting-edge of technology, providing a number of unique advantages to construction firms, including reduced costs, minimized risks, higher control, and better client and team outcomes.
The use of 3D printing
Often referred to as additive construction, 3D printing in building is an incredibly effective form of construction. This is a robotic operation that prints construction designs one layer at a time, either only prefabricated components or even entire buildings. Although 3D-printed buildings are most commonly made with concrete, printing can also be done with sand, fiber, geopolymers, and similar materials. Regardless of the methods used, 3D printing has proved to offer various advantages to construction firms, including faster completion times, higher design flexibility, less waste, and fewer labor resources compared to conventional construction methods. At the moment, this technology is being used for small- and large-scale projects alike, but it might prove to be the ideal solution to the growing housing crisis as well.
An increased focus on safety
As companies aim to reduce labor costs, employee safety, unfortunately, remains among the most commonly overlooked aspects in the construction sector. But that is set to change as modern building aims to comply with safety rules and regulations much more strictly. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is still the most important factor, with new solutions now being available for the increasing number of women in the industry as well. PPE is also being equipped with smart sensors that can detect heart rates, temperature changes, and vibrations, while virtual reality (VR) technology is being used in immersive training for hazardous environments and dangerous tasks. These new safety products can benefit both companies and workers by reducing financial and physical losses.
A greater need for sustainability
Whether it’s part of other emerging trends or an important consideration on its own, sustainability has quickly become the main focus in the construction industry. Green building is the most prominent concept aiming to implement more environmentally-friendly features into every process, from pre-construction planning to project closures. These measures often include energy optimization, waste reduction, better resource utilization, and net-zero carbon emissions, among others. In turn, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification now represents the norm in the industry, and many sustainable solutions are appearing on the market, such as recycled, repurposed, and other green building materials. It seems like sustainable building truly is the future of construction.
Evidently, the construction sector is going through great technological transformation and growth. The top industry trends for 2022 mentioned above will push construction into the future with sophisticated tools and building methods, safer working environments, and more sustainable projects.