7 Ways Technology Will Change Construction in the Next Decade

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Jim StephenAccount Executive for Construction Solutions at Microsol Resources

Monday, December 13, 2021

The field of construction has been rapidly changing over the past decade. Here are 7 new technologies that will help the industry transform in the next decade.

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7 Ways Technology Will Change Construction in the Next Decade
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Aadvancements in technology have transformed the construction industry considerably, with BIM software and autonomous machines being an integral part of modern construction. The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic only served as a catalyst for the digitalization process — remote work and reliance on collaboration software is now the new normal in the industry. However, the pace at which new tech is developing opens even more and better opportunities for construction professionals.

As a result, the construction industry is more dynamic than ever before. All stakeholders need to brace for what the next 10 years will bring in terms of trends and tech advancements. From project managers to engineers and on-site workers — the changes will affect everyone.

In this article, we will talk about the seven trends in design software and autonomous construction that will shape construction in the near future. While all of those are already making waves in the industry, their impact and relevance are only expected to increase in the coming years.

7 trends that will shape the future of construction

Tech advancements have an impact on pretty much all different aspects of the construction industry. From processes and workflows to modeling, logistics and on-site security — all areas benefit from digital tools, big data and developments in AI and automation. Let’s take a look at some specific examples of how construction will change in the following decade.

1. Collaboration software

Architecture software like AutoCAD revolutionized the field of construction, and has recently enhanced its offering of toolsets to include AutoCAD Architecture. However, the rise of building information modeling (BIM) software like Revit have changed the playing field entirely. They offer many perks, as they help manage all stages of a project. However, one of the greatest benefits of BIM software is that it enables collaboration between different teams and stakeholders.

BIM platforms allow multifunctional teams to work within the same environment and on the same models and data sets. With real-time updates, everyone works with the most accurate information. As a result, risks and human errors are reduced to a minimum. Also, effective communication and collaboration are enabled, leading to better productivity and overall performance.

2. Big data

BIM software goes beyond simple 3D models and PDFs. The platforms enable the collection and analysis of exceptional amounts of data in real-time. Decision-makers and project managers now have access to in-depth insights regarding all different aspects of a construction project. As technology evolves further, this information can be used for making smart, data-based decisions, process and workflow optimization and risk mitigation.

3. Site monitoring

Tracking the progress of a project and ensuring on-site safety is now easier than ever before. Standard security cameras are now a thing of the past, as mobile surveillance equipment, security apps and modern site management platforms take over. However, the evolution of surveillance tech will present even more and better site monitoring solutions for the construction industry.

We’re not talking just about HD cameras. Autonomous robots and sophisticated site surveillance tools will soon be commercially available. On top of that, advancements in network infrastructure (such as 5G) will lead to exceptional connectivity between devices, allowing for enhanced security protocols and live streaming solutions.

4. 3D printing

Even though 3D printing initially emerged as a technology for quick manufacturing of prototypes for other industries, it’s now making a huge impact in construction. Also known as additive manufacturing, it allows the creation of building components — or even entire structures — in a fast and optimized way. With the technology behind 3D printing becoming more advanced, it can be used to print entire houses and massive structures like bridges.

On top of that, 3D printing generates less waste and is quicker and safer than traditional construction methods. It also presents unique opportunities in terms of creative design. However, the concept faces certain challenges when it comes to costs and state regulation. Nevertheless, we’re certain that 3D printing will soon be an even more integral part of modern construction.

5. Automation

One of the most important advancements in construction is automation. It’s essentially the use of machines to perform repetitive, mundane, time-consuming, and dangerous tasks. Effective use of automation results in optimized schedules, risk mitigation and increased performance. Robots are currently widely used on construction projects, performing simple tasks and boosting on- and off-site productivity.

Keep in mind that automation helps on all stages of the project — from pre-planning and design to construction and maintenance. Semi- and fully autonomous robots are certain to become more widely used in construction overall. Also, they aren’t expected to replace humans, but rather to boost their performance and productivity.

6. Autonomous vehicles

Another great technological achievement used in construction are autonomous vehicles. Those machines use AI, cameras and sensors to navigate and carry out tasks without any human intervention. Given the fact that construction sites are heavily controlled areas, autonomous vehicles can effectively carry out a variety of tasks. You can currently see autonomous trucks, excavators and dozers being used on many projects.

Autonomous vehicles have many benefits in terms of productivity and safety. The lack of human operators means they can remain active for longer working hours. On top of that, they can enter hazardous environments without any risk.

7. Remote work

The COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses from all industries to embrace remote work. What’s more, it led to the rapid development of effective long-distance collaboration tools and methods. The same goes for the construction industry, as remote work ensured that projects continued on schedule. In addition to construction software like BIM platforms, chat apps, video conference solutions and task management tools are extensively used.

As the construction industry adapts to “the new normal,” it becomes obvious that remote work has a lot of benefits, especially for certain job roles. It’s safe to say that this new method of working will become the norm in the near future, even if COVID-19 becomes a thing of the past.

Final thoughts

Those were some of the construction trends that are expected to evolve even further in the years to come. As you can see, modern technology influences all aspects of the industry for the better. With increased productivity, security, and collaboration opportunities, the construction industry is set to achieve even greater things in the very near future.

Jim Stephen

Account Executive for Construction Solutions at Microsol Resources

microsolresources.com/

Jim is an Account Executive for Construction Solutions at Microsol Resources based in New York. He is focused on delivering the Autodesk Construction Cloud portfolio to help general contractors, subcontractors, and construction management firms across the U.S. help refine their workflows, reduce risks, and maximize their profit margins. He has over five years of experience delivering software solutions to international and award-winning architecture, engineering and construction firms. He is an avid reader, a lifelong learner, and is passionate about the built environments

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