The construction industry is one of the last to embrace technology and take a more digital approach to things. While other sectors have been advancing for years, construction is only just starting to see the benefits of digital technology.
Nowadays, most professionals agree that digital in construction is a fantastic thing. Some developments have already changed the face of the industry, and we’ll continue seeing new ideas and technology as the years go by.
With all that in mind, one question appears; how is digital changing the face of construction – both now and in the future? Today, we explore the different things and developments that are taking this industry by storm and improving the way small construction companies go about their work.
Improving Health & Safety Through Digital in Construction
Health & Safety concerns are widespread throughout the construction industry. Many small business owners have to deal with people getting injured on the job. After all, accidents are likely to happen in a construction site environment!
But, the growing digital disruption in construction is trying to change things. Take something like drone technology. It may not seem like it, but drones are being used to improve health & safety on construction sites. You can send one up in the air to get a more accurate picture of the site and assess all the main risks. It can reduce the number of incidents as you cover more bases and are aware of more threats.
Likewise, a digital health & safety product for your business can help you save time managing any health & safety issues. The CDM 2015 regulations stipulate that all construction projects must comply with CDM 2015. In reality this means every job you do as a small builder needs a Construction Phase Plan. By using software such as Ohutu, you can quickly create the documentation you need and have access to a mobile app that allows you to manage your Health & Safety duties as the project progresses.
As digital in construction evolves, small builders may start using things like virtual reality to train employees. You put your workers in a virtual environment and help them learn how to operate equipment or maintain safety on a construction site. Something as simple as this could cut down on the number of construction site incidents every day.
Saving Time Through Digital Mobile Technology in Construction
Until fairly recently, a construction site really wasn’t that different from one that was around twenty years ago. In fact, little had been done to improve the overall productivity of a site. However, thanks to the emergence of digital in construction, solutions are being created to help small companies save hours and hours of time.
It all comes from the emergence of mobile and cloud technologies. Nowadays, you can manage projects from anywhere in the world. You might be in your office dealing with the back-end of your business, but you can track the progress of any ongoing projects. You can video call employees to see what’s going on and what jobs have been completed. There are even apps that allow builders to schedule work and receive reports from their employees on-site.
Even something as basic as a construction worker taking a photo of something and sending it to their manager will save hours of time. The whole idea of mobile technology in construction is that it stops you from needing to physically visit sites all the time. If someone has an issue, or if you need to check progress, then it can be done in an instant via mobile technology. In essence, this helps make your business far more time efficient.
BIM is Improving Efficiency & Accuracy
Building Information Modelling has really changed the face of construction. It’s made its way into mainstream construction in the last few years and is one of the leading examples of digital in building.
Essentially, this technology provides you with the ability to create complete 3D designs of buildings or construction projects. In doing so, this goes a long way to boost your overall efficiency and accuracy. 3D representations are a far better way of showing designs than typical blueprints. Clients can clearly see how something will turn out, and you even have the benefit of mapping out where things like electric sockets and water pipes will go.
Furthermore, this type of technology is always learning. It backs up data from previous projects and calls upon it to help with future ones. This speeds up the modelling process and can bring you digital designs in a very efficient way. You can show your clients these 3D designs much faster than if you had someone draw them up two-dimensionally.
Small builders are just starting to use BIM as it becomes more affordable. In the future, it’s believed that every construction company will need this technology!
Data Analytics Is Lowering Risks & Preventing Problems
An underrated aspect of digital in construction is the rise of data analytics. Small builders can call upon affordable software to analyse so many different areas of their company. In doing so, you can predict problems before they happen, minimising the risks you take.
For example, you could have a new project and look at the duration compared to the cost of materials/labour. Doing this will help you see if you can financially handle this project, or if there’ll be a point where you run out of money and can’t cope. Thanks to analytics, you spot any issues before they happen. So, you can adjust the way you approach the project to ensure you don’t run into these problems.
You could even use analytics to help improve your company website and boost your marketing performance as well. In the future, analytics will play a critical role in the construction industry, that’s for sure!
So, it’s evident that digital is changing the face of construction in so many ways. Technology helps tackle some of the key problem areas – such as health & safety. By using digital solutions, you can start reducing the number of incidents and conducting better risk assessments. Digital in construction also helps improve your overall productivity and efficiency – while giving you tools to make your company more accurate and predict any problems. Technology is the future, and it will only grow more important as the years go by.