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The Construction Site of Tomorrow – Technology that is Changing the Industry

20th May 2016

There’s no doubt that advancing technology is opening up many opportunities in day to day life. The way we go about our daily activities has changed a great deal in the last decade or so, all with the development of modern technology. This is the same for the construction industry, as technological progression has kick started opportunities that, until recently, many thought would have been impossible.

It may seem farfetched, but technology could even see us wave goodbye to hard hats and hi-vis jackets, one day there may not even be people on construction sites (buts let’s hope that doesn’t happen too quickly or we’ll all be out of a job!) Just imagine, there could be drones flying overhead acting as the eyes for un-manned, remote controlled bulldozers. Sounds crazy, right? But small steps towards this are already being taken; drones are already being used on some construction sites in the US as a simple and cost-effective way of having a high-quality, birds-eye view of the project. They’re even being used to see those hard to reach places on a site which otherwise would be virtually impossible to have a full view of.

Other kinds of technology have also been put into play within the construction industry, with at least some use of BIM being mandatory for all centrally procured public sector projects since April 4th 2016. The use of augmented reality is now creeping its way into the construction industry as well, opening up many opportunities along with it. Around 10 years ago, augmented reality would have only appeared in low budget Sci-fi films with laughable acting and even more laughable CGI, but now top firms are utilising it as a cost-effective way to make changes to projects at any stage in the process.

I’m sure you’ve all heard the hype surrounding 3D printers in recent years as well. They have also started to become more and more common in the industry with its uses being adjusted to suit the construction of homes and offices. So far we’ve seen this being done in a few ways, including printing out the full building as one object or printing out separate parts of the structure that are then put together. Both of these methods are far quicker than traditional house-building methods, saving time and reducing the amount of waste created – crazy to think the next house you buy could have been printed out!

All of these innovative technologies are quickly becoming more common practice rather than futuristic ideas, changing the way the industry works. There are some obvious advantages to these technologies being used within the construction industry, saving time, money and reducing the risk of injuries on site. Keep your eyes peeled for the next big change in the industry!

Lynsey Mason
Managing Consultant

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