Construction…In The Future

The construction industry is undergoing a era of change like no other.  The industry itself plugs into so many different sectors that contribute to overall economic growth.  People are looking towards construction to address environmental issues, rebuild aging cities, while using technology to introduce efficient, green, and most importantly, safe practices.  So with the digital revolution underway, what will construction look like in the future?

Faster and Safer?

Construction is always about efficiency and speed when it comes to build deadlines and budgets.  However when you try to optimize for speed, you end up cutting corners and putting your health and safety at risk.  A job site is a dangerous place – there’s a lot of heavy machinery, moving parts, and high-dollar materials laying around.

In the future, we’ll see entire processes automated and replaced by robots and machines powered by artificial intelligence.  These machines can drive down costs, improve speed, and keep your valuable human assets safe when it comes to otherwise risky work.  Robots also don’t tire as quickly, don’t require lunch breaks, and don’t ask for raises.  A construction tech firm in Australia by the name of Fastbrick Robotic, has already has built and tested a bricklaying robot named Hadrian.  This autonomous bot built a 15,000 brick house in two days – faster and more accurately than any manual bricklaying process.

Plans in the Virtual Space

Let’s face it – countless copies of blueprints and site elevations are old school.  Why waste time making changes on paper, forcing slow and cumbersome re-drafts and reprints?  Building Information Modeling (BIM) is the digital solution that will change the construction landscape in the future.

Put the drone in the air for 30 minutes and survey the site – import the data into a modeling program – create specs and models on the fly – augment designs, materials, and layouts long before ground is broken.  This method drives collaboration between the contractor, architect, surveyors, and engineers, allowing them to make critical cost-saving decisions before, during, and after construction.

Big Data = Big Solutions

Now that we have arrays of sensors and computers monitoring everything from our work progress to our vehicles, data is being collected and amassed by the second.  “Big data” refers to the use of this information to predict, model, and test variables to drive efficient decision making.

We are now in a position in the construction world where we have tons of existing data collected about materials, workloads, equipment, staff, designs, etc.  Analyzing this data in the future through different frames (time, cost) while noting changes and trends gives the decision makers the ability to plan and process jobs accordingly.

Connectivity Wins

You might have read about the Internet of Things, also known as the IoT.  While the concept is in the early stages of development, the future implications in the construction world could be ground-breaking.  Imagine a world where your suppliers, installers, foremen, subcontractors, and even tools are connected on a central system where they can all talk to each other and alert you of changes, updates, successes, and setbacks.

In the future, the Internet of Things will improve job performance while keeping a sharp eye on cost.  Both workflows and maintenance can be adapted on the fly, meaning you’ll never be surprised when an asset goes down, seriously delaying production.  The future applications of IoT philosophy to the construction world are incredibly powerful for construction businesses big and small.

Based on these advances, construction as a whole will be more digital and connected as we progress into the future.  The drivers will always be efficiency and safety – but there are new ways to frame and manage these on the job with technology.  There’s no doubt that these advancements will drive innovation and ingenuity in the construction world in the very near future.

About CSLS:

CSLS is the largest contractor licensing school in California with over 25 locations throughout the state. We have the highest success rate of any school – 99% of our students pass their exam on the first try, and that’s guaranteed or your money back.

Our teaching process prepares you in a step by step manner for everything you need to know to pass the law, business and trade portion of your exam.  Our programs are designed for convenience. We have online programs, home study, crash-course and in-school options, making it easy and affordable for you to become a licensed contractor.