Construction innovations worldwide are advancing more rapidly than ever before, with 29% of construction companies reporting to the Construction Association that they are now investing in technology to help manage construction operations. True enough, these technological investments pay off significantly, as the United States Chamber of Commerce shared that almost 70% of contractors firmly believe that advanced technologies improve project scheduling, increase worker’s productivity, and enhance a company’s overall safety.
Knowing this, there is no more exciting time to be part of the construction industry, unlike today. As it continues to grow and change in an accelerated phase, innovations will further bring about more advancements and development than we could have ever imagined.
In today’s blog, we will explore and uncover all the innovations we believe will shape the construction industry’s future as we know it now.
1. AI for Workflows in Construction
Optimized construction workflows are critical to well running teams and operations in this industry. However, due to how extensive the project management is for construction, workflows tend to be manual and disconnected. The silos within these conventional workflows often lead to loss of critical data and unwanted inefficiencies due to the disconnect.
The three most essential areas within optimized construction workflows are data, communication, and transparency. With AI, it is incredibly easier to succeed in all these three areas, resulting in even greater productivity and profits for a company. The fact that Accenture had acknowledged AI to have the most potential to increase industry profits by up to 71% by the year 2035 is not something you shouldn’t take note of.
Some of the ways you could benefit from AI software for construction are as follows:
- Manage core construction documents
- Organize specification books and submittals
- Extract contract compliances items from drawings
- – No item left behind with its detailed programming
- Ensure safety protocols are met at job sites
- Identify potential safety hazards and risks
- Mitigate risks quickly
- Generate customizable reports on set benchmarks
2. Construction Crew Management Software
Managing workflows and resources is a massive expense for companies. Effective workflow management can help construction companies optimize resource allocations such as time and money, keep operations run effectively and smoothly, and avoid unexpected delays as well as expenses.
Today, more companies are transitioning to construction software platforms to bring more actionable analytics to their workforce, such as project task management, whether on-site, in the office, or in a remote setting.
Construction innovations in crew management include forecasting, predictive tracking, and mobile-friendly interfaces. These automated solutions help remove many of the conventional time-consuming processes that come with resource planning and management.
Below are some of the advantages that you can get once you incorporate workforce management software into your operations:
- Schedule tasks to any crew at once
- Track time of your whole company
- Handle office to field communication in the cloud
- Access all your company documents in real-time
- Manage multiple crews (and projects) simultaneously
3. The Next Level of 3D Printing
This might be the most predictable item in this list, as it has always been one of the most cited construction innovations for years. However, its future has even been brighter today as the technology moves from a mere optional construction tool to an emerging industry standard.
Some of the 3D Printing benefits are the following:
- Decrease building materials costs
- Reduce job site industry
- Shortens construction operation timeline
- Easier construction scheduling
- – Explore new market options
- Less-costly and can avoid unnecessary expenses
- Improved construction design structures
- Higher building durability
- Improved brand awareness
4. Immersive Reality = AR + VR
We’ve all heard about Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). Augmented Reality brings digital elements to our surroundings in real-time, while Virtual Reality immerses us into the digital world of construction. Immersive Reality combines these two separate realms into one world, and not just for consumers and clients.
Immersive Reality provides tangible benefits to construction companies, particularly those that highly rely on cross-departmental collaboration to get activities done. It makes sense that Immersive Reality is making big waves in the construction industry. With this modern construction tool, you can empower your architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) teams with the ability to work on projects remotely through an immersive design experience. Your team can easily jump inside design from any location, quickly iterate on concepts, share and report work on clients, and leave feedback and reviews for later reviews.
5. Predictive Machine and Analytics Learning
While we can’t predict the construction industry’s future just yet, with predictive analytics, we can get as close as possible to it. Predictive analytics is rapidly establishing its foothold in the industry’s core stack of technology tools. By enhancing current and leveraging historical data and machine learning, construction companies can make predictions about future outcomes of their operations and, eventually, the final output of their projects. These collective predictions can then be used to make more informed decisions and choices to strategize the next moves smartly.
Predictive machines and analytics and machine learning are essential in today’s world of complex and never seen before in construction projects that also require out-of-the-box operation processes. Companies need an accurate way to mitigate risks, prepare for unexpected challenges, and take advantage of all the opportunities available. This information also provides your construction teams with the freedom to focus on higher-level activities that are more likely to move the needle and make more significant improvements in your company.
6. Digital Twins
Digital twins are probably the most unfamiliar innovation you will see in this list, but does it have a real benefit in the construction industry? Generally, digital twins are the digital replica of physical structure, including its current assets and potentials inclusive of data, systems, processes, workflows, devices, resources, and devices. Through this construction perspective, digital twins gather data through sensors to better analyze a physical entity and then effectively create its duplicate.
If your company has a duplicate source of physical structure, you also allow your construction crew to understand, assess, manipulate, improve, and optimize any building structure regardless of its size. As your team analyzes through the lenses of the digital twin, they can uncover unlimited potential means of creating efficiencies, reducing risks, developing safety protocols, and improving output quality. The digital twin also enhances Building Information Modelling, or BIM, by serving as a digital thread connected directly to a physical structure.
The benefits of digital twins are considerably relevant during times of remote work, social distancing, and travel restrictions. Essential and critical information about a project is readily available and accessible with a digital twin, avoiding unnecessary traveling or the need to leave your home office.
7. All-In-One Construction Management Software
Simplicity in the construction industry? Well, that’s something we haven’t heard before. It might not be something we are accustomed to when discussing construction management, but we’d argue that simplicity is truly the lifeblood of the most powerful innovations. When data, technology, and workflows connect, they’re all the more powerful. One of the most prominent examples is Apple, as they integrated the same information flow seamlessly between all their products such as iWatch, iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks. These harmonious technological ecosystems keep things simple and effective. Good thing that this type of connection can also be incorporated into project management for construction.
We see the same information and concept play out in connected construction. Construction companies often have to deal with data silos and paper-dependent processes. These traditional and old challenges are exacerbated by the massive amount of information and resources that make up the industry. For construction stakeholders and crews to collaborate effectively on projects, they need a solid foundation, one established source of truth for all to use.
This core foundation can be built and maintained with connected construction using tools powered by technology, such as project management platforms. Connected construction means integrated and synced data, workflows, and technology. It enables information, systems, and people to work in one common environment. Through it, effective decision-making is more effortless, whether they occur during daily work operations or as a part of a long-term strategic blueprint. For construction companies that genuinely want to empower their team to make the most informed decisions possible, all-in-one construction management is the answer. If you’d like to learn more about connected construction technology and how it can help your business thrive, read more here.
Moving Forward with Construction Innovation
The construction industry is evolving now right in front of our eyes— whether we like it or not. It’s better to prepare and gear your companies with this knowledge so you won’t get left behind when it happens. We are confident that these construction innovations will prove valuable in construction today and in the years to come.