Technology in Construction

While lumber, drywall, shingles, and concrete remain as the essential components of any home building project, the way a builder implements them is changing. Technology in construction continues to evolve — these days, “tools” such as tablets and electronic headgear are becoming as important as hammers and nails on the job site. In this post, we’ll explore five of the latest innovations in building technology and how they’re impacting the construction process.

Technology in Construction - using apps

1. Drones

The use of drones — those small, pilotless aircraft that started out strictly as military tools — is now common at many construction sites. You can equip a drone with cameras and sensors to get a better view and obtain more detailed information of a site before and during the construction phase. Drones can also enhance collaboration between designers, engineers, and contractors by collecting data at the site and distributing it among project team members. The day may soon come where you can send your drone to a nearby Lowe’s or Home Depot to bring supplies back to your job site.

2. Wearable Gear

Smart technology transforms the standard hard hat everyone wears at a construction site into an intuitive tool with cameras and sensors that can gather a host of valuable data. Another option is a safety vest equipped with GPS technology to track the movements of workers at the site and alert them when they’re approaching hazardous areas. Gesture-activated wristbands connected to digitally enabled devices enable workers to control their operation on a hands-free basis.

3. Building Information Modeling

Building Information Modeling (BIM) entails the generation and management of digital representations of the characteristics of a building project — think of it as an electronic blueprint, but with enhanced functionality. You can download various BIM apps to your smartphone or tablet that enable you to make precise calculations regarding the use of materials while at the job site. This can help you avoid unexpected material shortages that can halt production and lead to costly overruns.

4. Robotics

Scientists have developed robots that can form steel enforcement framework before the pouring of concrete. They work by pre-programming them with specific design model data, which supplies the information they need to construct the framework autonomously without human intervention. The robots include tracks similar to those found on construction equipment, such as bulldozers or track loaders, allowing them to navigate all types of job site terrain.

5. Building Materials

Building technology is even improving the materials you use to construct your homes. For example, “self-healing” concrete is now available — it contains calcite-precipitating bacteria that can delay the onset of the erosion of the steel reinforcement, resulting in enhanced durability and longevity. 4D-printed objects represent an enhancement over 3D printing by offering the ability to self-assemble or reshape themselves over time. The materials can grow to up to 200 percent of their original volume when they come into contact with water.

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