The future of construction is set to look different to the industry we know today. Smart technologies are simply and cost-effectively addressing many of the diverse challenges faced by business owners and managers. Many of the changes being implemented today will come to define the norms of tomorrow.
What will the construction of the future look like?
In this blog, we use a forward-facing view to give an outline of the sector in the years to come.
According to McKinsey, productivity in construction has been slow to progress, with very few changes being noted in the United States between 1947 and 2010, for instance. Automation takes many forms, from 3D printing advancements to physical processes. Another element of automation is digitisation, with the use of technology streamlining on- and off-site activity to achieve high-level efficiencies. Among other things, the move to machine-based processes removes the resource intensiveness and risk of human error associated with their manual counterparts.
Highly organised workforces
While automation often goes in-hand with the worry around job losses, the future of construction is likely to be defined rather by the efficiency of its workforces and shifting skills sets. The Government aspires to deliver 1.5 million houses per year in 2022 and 300 000 homes per year in the mid-2020s. To meet these benchmarks requires workers – plenty of them – but the clincher is productivity and efficient processes.
A green future of construction
According to the Construction Leadership Council, the construction industry accounts for 33% of waste and 45% of all CO2 emissions in the UK. Smart technologies empower all stakeholders to reduce environmental impact from the very start of the building lifecycle. Smart construction has the potential for reduced waste, reduced environmental impact of operations, and raised quality standards. These points are some of the factors that have a bearing on the overall sustainability of the building processes. Where a more modular and off-site approach to construction is enabled through smart construction, so too is waste reduced.
Using data for a digital representation of the physical world
Data can change how we do things far more expeditiously than the traditional approach of trial and error. A digital version of the physical world gives insights to refine supply chains, efficiencies, and workflows. It also has the potential to eliminate bottlenecks, wastage, and carbon emissions. By collecting and analysing data over the long term, construction managers can make strategic adjustments to save costs, improve safety, and enhance performance. Real-time alerts on unusual or undesirable activity also inspire reaction to prevent issues that would disrupt operations.
Through smart data sources, worker safety becomes a point of strategy in the future of construction. Being able to trace worker movements and lone worker support is but one component of this. Smart tags and sensors also monitor exposure to reduce the impact of noise, dust, vibration on individuals. Enhanced maintenance schedules and detailed equipment overviews also have the effect of minimised accidents.
On-site security breaches can have a dire effect on continuity of operations, meeting deliverables, and costs. Building sites are also notoriously a busy hub, making access a difficult thing to monitor. Firstly, smart construction has the potential to move many processes to off-site locations, which affects security. Furthermore, it provides a detailed, remotely accessible overview of the on-site comings and goings in real time. The smart construction solutions from Smarter Technologies Group also incorporates a system of notifications, which are both actionable in the instant and provide enhanced recoverability of assets.
THE FUTURE OF CONSTRUCTION WILL USE SMARTER TECHNOLOGIES
Smarter Technologies Group partners with members of the construction industry to provide simple, scalable, highly effective smart construction solutions. A system of tags, sensors, pressure pads, and gateways linked to the Orion Data Network becomes a powerful data source. These tools are a cost-effective tool for asset monitoring and security, workflow management, and to drive strategic progression and the future of construction.