Over the years, the construction process has undergone great changes; we have the technology-driven modern world to thank for this. Building design is constantly being improved, and the essentials of the construction process are slowly, but surely changing. Despite all the benefits that these advancements have brought, even an experienced construction pro needs to go a long way in order to keep up with frequent updates that are only getting more frequent. This list of five futuristic construction technologies will help you keep up the pace with the latest trends.
Smart-phones linked to sim card mobile phone plans, smart cars, smart TVs – it was only a matter of time until someone came up with a smart building. These constructions, however, are far from a vulgar piece of trend abuse; a smart building is the one that uses information technology for connecting to, well, almost everything and anything – from various building systems and environment, to actual people. Why is this so awesome? Well, imagine the processes such as ventilation, heating, air conditioning, lighting and security being controlled by an actual building that you live in, automatically. Pretty neat, huh?
But how does this work? Simply put, it’s the preinstalled microchips and sensors that give the smart building the “smart” title – these little technological pieces of wonder collect all the necessary data and manage it. Smart buildings bring a ton of benefits to the table, ranging from energy wasting reduction and space optimization, to relieving the negative effects on our environment.
Speaking of “smart”, let’s consider just how necessary items such as smartphones, tablets, and even smart watches are in the modern world. The answer is simple: very. They are no longer a thing of prestige, but a matter of necessity, and the first two devices are definitely the leaders in smart technology, for the simple fact of their widespread use.
Widely applicable in construction, the smartphone and tablet complete each other on a construction site, but they both do come with their own downsides. While a smartphone is perfect in size for ease of communication, its screen size isn’t really something to write home about. On the other hand, if communication is the goal, tablets won’t deliver satisfying results. Fortunately, these two awesome pieces of technology have met their match – they’re called phablets and they are a perfect combination of the two (at least for construction needs and purposes).
Detailed 3D BIM modeling
Detailed 3D building information modeling (BIM) has perhaps brought the largest number of changes into the modern construction world. Essentially, this is a 3D modeling process applied for coming up with and managing project information. Useful for all stages of the construction process, this technology essentially gives the expert a detailed digital description of all aspects of the build.
The objects that are found in the digital model are linked to manuals, specifications, photos. So, what’s so cool about this? Faster, quicker and much more precise and better results – link the BIM info to a quality laser level and you’ll quickly start seeing the benefits.
20% of all U.S. energy is linked to commercial buildings, making this a pretty big issue. Energy-saving construction and building design is the most logical answer here, which sounds easy, but actually presents quite a challenge. In order to make sure that a building functions at the top of its capacity, without being wasteful, a whole-building design approach needs to be taken. To put it simply, this is essentially what Apple does with their devices (and the results are uncanny) – everything inside an iPhone is compatible with everything else inside that particular iPhone.
Likewise, if this approach was applied to construction, the structure efficiency would likely go through a 70% increase, which is absolutely incredible!
Here’s how it works: a module is built in a factory or in offsite conditions and is, therefore, of better build (and design) quality than the ones built onsite, because weather conditions and tight schedules lead to bad QC.
In factory conditions, this module is approached with a ton of care and dedication, which leads to a better end product. Offsite construction isn’t exactly new, however, but has been going through a boom in popularity as of late.
The five mentioned construction concepts, ideas and technologies are all factors in the ever-changing landscape of the modern construction business. Smart buildings and smartphones, BIM and energy-saving buildings and offsite construction methods are all focused towards better, more quality, eco-friendlier buildings.