Keeping Up With The Software Revolution In Construction
With the number of speculative projects expected to decline in 2024, contractors need to find ways to control costs and drive efficiencies on job sites if they hope to win bids. Investing in contech and the mobile hardware necessary to access it in real time on job sites will be essential for general contractors in the year to come.
The construction industry is often characterized by its traditional methods and resistance to change.
However, with the rise of advanced software solutions, the construction landscape is slowly starting to evolve, leading to increased efficiency, improved safety, and enhanced profitability.
This article delves into how the wave of the software revolution is reshaping the construction industry and why it’s imperative for professionals in the field to keep pace with these changes.
Construction firms have historically been slow to adopt cutting-edge technologies. Developers may promise this new tech will streamline processes and boost productivity; however, the “technology owner” mentality often gets in the way of implementation.
As software systems become more diverse, robust, and flexible, they revolutionize construction companies’ operations. Companies that have fully embraced technology have experienced increased profitability and productivity.
As part of the software revolution, cloud computing is helping construction firms collaborate more efficiently. By storing their data in the cloud, teams can access it regardless of the location or hardware they use.
This saves costs by eliminating on-site hardware purchases. At the same time, pay-as-you-go cloud services allow companies to seamlessly scale IT infrastructure as their business expands or contracts, an area in which construction firms can see immediate productivity increases.
Autonomous heavy equipment
Autonomous technology isn’t limited to cars alone; autonomous heavy equipment like bulldozers and dump trucks can also bring tremendous benefits to construction sites. Like driverless cars, autonomous construction equipment, such as bulldozers and dump trucks, can dramatically increase energy efficiency, decrease emissions, and eliminate the risk of accidents on construction sites.
These systems utilize sensors and Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to enable equipment to operate within a predefined geofenced area on a job site, communicating with other autonomous equipment to coordinate operations and plans. Some fear this technology will eventually mean the demise of human heavy equipment operators; however, this is unlikely.
Skilled operators will still be needed to oversee and intervene if anything goes wrong – albeit in a command center (instead of being exposed to danger zones like dust, vibrations, and shocks).
As an extension of BIM, digital twins enable businesses to test and optimize their products and production processes before even one piece has been constructed. In manufacturing terms, this could include identifying bottlenecks that cause delays and cost overruns before they occur.
Digital twins offer more advantages than just being an effective planning tool. Digital twins allow engineers to quickly and accurately identify the source of a machine malfunction by looking at historical data, such as sensor output or system information from platforms and techniques, and help predict repair needs, reducing machine downtime.
Digital twins also enable real-time remote monitoring and improved team collaboration by allowing users to access and share information regardless of location – limiting the need for technicians to physically visit each site and cutting labor costs while shortening repair times.
Augmented reality (AR) is an exciting innovation to revolutionize construction companies’ operations. By seamlessly merging digital and physical environments, AR technology provides an effective tool for:
- Project documentation
- Structural analysis
- Safety training
- Client engagement
AR technology can detect potential errors before they manifest on actual building sites, helping reduce wasteful materials usage and construction delays.
Additionally, the system can assist with structural analysis by superimposing a physical map onto an actual environment, allowing construction engineers to visualize where future pipe routing will pass in real-world settings using AR headsets.
Finally, AR can boost maintenance and repair work efficiency by enabling workers to view manuals, instructions, and tips while moving mobile devices over equipment. Training drills provide workers with an immersive training and safety environment where they can safely address potentially risky situations without real-world risks.
Take your first step towards the software revolution in construction
In conclusion, integrating software technology in the construction industry is not optional; it’s the future. As the industry transitions towards digital operations, construction firms must adapt to these technological advancements or risk falling behind.
The shift towards cloud computing, autonomous heavy equipment, digital twins, and augmented reality offers significant benefits, including increased efficiency, improved safety, and substantial cost savings. Embracing these innovations allows construction firms to keep pace with the rapidly evolving industry, ensuring future success in an increasingly digital world.