Three Technological Advances in the Construction Industry

By Haley Bass | 02/09/2018

There’s no denying that technology has impacted our lives and our jobs, often for the better. In nearly every industry, technology has helped businesses find new, innovative ways to complete tasks, improving productivity and reducing costs. The construction industry is no exception.

From intelligent modeling systems to cloud-based reporting, technology has allowed construction companies to plan more effectively and work more efficiently. The work hasn’t really changed, but these new tools have enhanced the ability to collaborate across teams, analyze data, and streamline processes.

Here are three technological advances that have improved the construction industry.

Business Information Modeling (BIM)

Business Information Modeling (BIM) is an intelligent 3D model-based process for creating and managing project information. BIM can benefit companies before, after, and during construction. 

Construction organizations have used 3D modeling systems for years, but BIM creates more than just a visually appealing model of your building. It condenses every detail of a project into a single, workable format. From prices to performance ratings and predicted lifelines, the information stored in BIM helps builders make better design decisions.

BIM can be used to model architectural structure, engineering, ductwork, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, and more. This ensures that systems won’t interfere with each other, and keeps all team members on the same page.

Using BIM helps construction professionals create better plans, produce faster results, and stay within budget. It streamlines design and build by keeping information accurate, accessible, and actionable.

Prefabrication

Prefabrication uses project elements that are built ahead of time, like exterior walls or plumbing systems. Instead of having to wait until certain aspects of a build are complete before moving on to the next stage, multiple project elements can be completed at once. This creates a faster, safer, less expensive construction project.

Although prefabrication has been used for years, higher-quality materials and modern technology (like BIM) have enhanced its abilities, making it a key tool for improving productivity on construction sites. Prefabrication also helps address the skilled labor shortage. Instead of needing a large group of people to complete a project quickly so the next one can start, subcontractors can complete separate projects at the same time.

In a SmartMarket Report surveying hundreds of architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) professionals, 92% said they used prefabrication to improve productivity. Another 70% said it generates a greater ROI. In the same survey, AEC professionals reported their success with prefabrication:

  • 66% reported that project schedules are decreased, with 35% saying by four weeks or more
  • 65% reported that project budgets are decreased, with 41% saying by 6% or more
  • 77% reported that construction site waste is decreased, with 44% saying by 5% or more

Mobile Sharing

Smartphones and tablets have increased communication on job sites. Construction teams can use their devices to file reports, share updates, and ask questions without having to leave the site. The ability to see real-time data and get instant answers streamlines the construction process and increases efficiency.

Construction workers can take pictures and videos of job site progress and include them with reports, improving quality assurance and the reliability of documentation. Cloud-based storage allows field workers to access the same data as their managers and supervisors, keeping everyone on the same page. This means jobs can be completed more safely and efficiently.

 

Whether you’re working on the construction site or in the office, technology allows all of your team members to work faster and more effectively.

And when the technology isn’t enough to keep workers safe, an occupational health provider has your back. At Concentra, we have our own advanced approaches. Our early intervention and active treatment model helps injured employees experience a faster, fuller recovery, getting them back to work as soon as safely possible. Talk to one of our work health experts to get protection for your workforce.