Future Construction Trends – An Overview

Future Construction Trends – An Overview

“Change is the only constant” This proverb or saying is pretty much applicable in the construction industry today. Construction field is currently experiencing a growth spurt that is extremely fast and is bringing about high-level changes overall. Evolution of the construction industry is instrumental in strengthening the economy of the nation and newer technologies that help in improving profitability actually puts any country at a higher pedestal. Some developments are so progressive that they can actually impact the pollution level, control environmental hazards, counter carbon emissions, increase more utilization of the space in any building and the list is endless. Let us discuss the different and critical future altering trends that is going to have an enduring impression on mankind through the construction industry.

Virtual Construction Modeling:

Virtual Construction Modelling is one of the key developments to have taken the construction industry by storm. With BIM Implementation, construction companies, Architectural Firms, Contractors are on a collaborative platform where they are able to reduce wastage of resources, cost and accuracy of overall construction. A lot of countries like UK and Ireland are making BIM Modelling mandatory for construction these days. Not only before the construction process, Building Information Modeling is extremely useful during and post construction period too. Apart from 3D modeling we can create 4D construction sequencing, 5D BIM Modelling, Energy modeling and analysis (6D) and Facility Management (7D BIM). Decision making and identifying interferences along with a collaborative approach of resolution of each design issue is an extremely beneficial feature.  BIM Services is one of those trends that will certainly go places.

BIG Data

This is one of the booming area in today’s progressive construction environment. The concept as the name suggests involves interchange, analysis or storage of huge quantities of information that are updated to be used in future. This data can be anything, AutoCAD drawings, Building data, BIM Models etc. Since Building information modeling, CAD Drawings etc. they are very much a part of the BIG data boom. In the past when digitization had just knocked the doors, construction companies converted the manually drafted drawings into AutoCAD. This laid the foundation to the “BIG DATA” theory. Now this has actually developed and grown into a bigger perspective. This data can be stored, updated and has the potential to boost the construction prowess effectively. The source can be traced to computers, machines, software that is used for digitization etc.

When we talk about data in the construction industry it certainly point out the data present in the BIM Models, Drawings, Data pertaining to design calculations etc. would be impacted. Previously built infrastructure will also be updated according to latest standards, saved for future perspectives such as As-built modeling, Facility Management etc. The relentless addition of change in standards, environmental conditions, and material supply chains etc. make additions to the data already available. The idea of BIG data actually helps in building a standard document and analyzing old construction to improve and rationalize the decision making power. This technology helps in intercepting information and processes that need to change. This will help in developing new design based on the findings of the Old designs.

Updating of old building data, reconstructing the old buildings or monuments, using scan to BIM Modelling process or retrofit or renovation etc. all would add in to the BIG Data concept. This concept is going to emerge as a sure shot winner and help construction sites leading to major industry wide transformation. Recent emergence of big data has helped construction sites with plenty of information to transform the construction process.

Development of Robotics

This another trend that is slowly sinking in and is actually being touted as the next big thing after the big data and BIM Modelling boom. Construction technology is not using robots today but using such technology can actually bridge the gap between the human errors or delay and construction requirements. Robots can be fed with information or training which can result in reduction in labor cost and accelerating the speed of projects. A recent report by Bank of America stated that the total global market for robots and artificial intelligence is set to reach 99 billion dollars by 2020 and, construction is going to be a major sector influenced by this technology. (Source: https://www.bdcnetwork.com/artificial-intelligence-not-just-hysteria)

One such example of this is the Australian-designed robot by the name Hadrian. Hadrian reportedly brings a 15,000-bricked house to completion in two days. Using a robot like Hadrian is touted as a game-changer because of its efficiency at a lower cost and high-quality level than manual bricklaying methods (Source: https://www.bdcnetwork.com/artificial-intelligence-not-just-hysteria)

  1. Collaborative construction using the Internet

This concept is also popular as “Internet of Things”. Currently, we are seeing BIM 360, CAD 360, MS Outlook 360 etc. These inventions sow the importance of the internet. This technology indicates that the data is pretty much on the internet and can be used, updated and maintained easily on the World wide web. This expels the over dependency of a location-specific data access. One person or a company can work from different areas or locations but update the information that can be simultaneously accessed by another party. This technology can be efficiently used for monitoring and gauging the overall functioning of the assets or the utilities over a period of time.

This technology will make the construction process easier by allowing a collaborative and centralized approach to work. Drawings and BIM Models can be accessed centrally and improvise the speed of execution. This technology will help in speeding up the interference check and resolution process along with a common and healthy meeting platform. Past construction processes were not very effective as all the parties involved in the project did not have a platform to resolve issues across the table.  Internet of things provides a base for all the Architectural firms, Engineering Consultants, Construction Company’s ability to work with a centralized approach and accuracy. BIM coordination Modelling allows for proactive clash detection and interference checks that help in resolving them while in the development stage. This reduces cost and pitches in for cost-effective and fast construction. The model and drawings can be saved on a cloud platform which will lower your need for high end and expensive storage devices within our organization.

Conclusion: These are some of the technologies that growing currently at a steady pace.  With the advancement of these technologies, we can overcome a lot of barriers and implement advanced and high-end construction technologies. When we minimize the cost and increase ROI, a company grows and subsequently this positively impacts the growth of a nation too.

Written By:
Divya Dave
Divya Dave is a Senior Manager with Tesla Outsourcing Services. An engineer and management graduate, she has been working with the outsourcing industry now for more than a decade. With a passion for writing, she writes on topics that provide an insight into CAD, BIM, and 3D Visualization services for the Architectural, Structural, and MEP disciplines. Her focus is to enable architects and engineering professionals in the AEC industry to adopt the right technology so as to increase their efficiency and profitability.

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