Although the phrase “smart construction” is a bit ambiguous, it often refers to the creation and deployment of procedures and software that facilitate better project management and planning, potentially reducing construction costs.
Future project management in the construction industry will undoubtedly be more effective as a result of the increased implementation of collaboration tools (such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and WebEx) and other cloud-based technological solutions. The industry desperately needs these kinds of efficiency, especially as it struggles to recover from pandemic-related supply chain problems, lockdown difficulties, and social distance restrictions.
Smart construction, however, goes much beyond those fundamental corporate productivity and teamwork technologies. Drones, for instance, are frequently used in building projects to monitor site conditions, identify issues, and evaluate risks. Meanwhile, more and more advanced technology, like “programmable” cement, “self-healing” concrete, and robotic and autonomous equipment, are being used in building projects. However, as academics continue to hunt for new applications for machines and technology to address challenging engineering problems, these present technological solutions are but the tip of the iceberg.
Increasing Productivity And Improving Safety
According to the 2019 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction is still one of the deadliest professions, with over 1,000 deaths yearly.
Building information models (BIM), one of the cutting-edge cloud technologies, provide improved resource and safety visibility upgrades to digitally track and optimize resources and equipment (and maybe raise job site safety). BIM organizes and synthesizes project data using 3D modeling technology and delivers graphics for on-site examination. BIM eliminates the need for people to physically visit potentially hazardous project sites by enabling contractors, workers, and project participants to observe the details of a building and the structure’s design and construction utilizing drones, visual 3D representations, and environmental data. Workers may see the final project’s pipe arrangement, electrical wiring, or even possible foundation risks while they are physically at the site thanks to data integration.
The application of data analytics may also assist project managers in finding trends to identify when and where the majority of accidents happen as well as what factors influence those mishaps. This will provide contractors and project managers the ability to prioritize particular jobs at specific times in order to prevent hazardous situations and typical problems that cause accidents, thereby improving safety on their site.
Additionally, the focus on cooperation in BIM enables real-time views of project logistics. In reality, BIM can convey real-time lead times for the fabrication of building materials by utilising data from manufacturers. Augmented and virtual reality can be used in smart construction to boost efficiency without incurring large expenditures. Through augmented or virtual reality, architects, engineers, designers, and even renters may “see” the final result, giving them all the chance to make structural or architectural adjustments without having to reverse any of their prior work or pay additional fees. In the end, the use of data sourcing technologies like BIM and other smart construction methods will raise project safety, save money, and boost productivity and efficiency.
Recent studies, according to McKinsey, have shown that a digital transformation may boost productivity by 14 to 15% and save expenses by as much as 6%. A solution that is required and the key to stay up with the rapidly evolving world of engineering, construction, and operations is the value that “smart construction” can provide to the rebuilding and optimization of the construction sector.
More “sustainable” design and construction are now possible because to advancements in the building industry. A building project’s structure and use of resource- and environmentally-conscious practices are referred to as “green construction” or “sustainable design.” Examples of such innovations include the use of solar energy on buildings, the use of biodegradable materials in a building, the use of green insulation (using, for instance, recycled denim and newspaper instead of non-renewable materials), and the use of electrochromic smart glass, which uses tiny electric signals embedded in glass windows or facades to change the amount of solar radiation that can be reflected and thereby lower energy consumption.
Many builders, owners, property owners, and developers might discover creative methods to reduce the cost of construction projects and adhere to new legal requirements for building practices by embracing “smart construction” or “construction tech.” For instance, to make sure they are operating their site in an ecologically responsible manner, contractors may employ data analytics and detecting equipment to measure discharges of certain chemicals.
With the development of 3D printing, contractors may be able to produce everyday items from recycled materials to reduce their environmental impact and improve the sustainability of their project. Adopting smart building technology will no longer be a choice, but rather a must as the nation enters a new era of digital communication following the epidemic. Additionally, smart construction offers a straightforward answer for a sector seeking to preserve development while lawmakers seek to regulate sustainable building.