Construction Industry Technology Trends to Watch Out for in 2017

As the construction industry has grown over the years, we have seen new technologies emerge supporting the industry.  After a couple of years of growth and a promising foreseeable future, we’re once again seeing an uptick in new supportive technologies emerge in the world of construction. Technology is helping in this revitalization in  the construction industry by way of 3D Visualization, Virtual Reality and drones, which all work together to improve the experience for both clients and contractors.

Drones Unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly referred to as drones, outfitted with mapping capabilities are being utilized more and more in the construction industry. These flying robots are able to capture data and produce a 3D model of a construction site, which is exponentially helpful. The best part about drones is that they are much cheaper than using a helicopter for aerial footage. We predict that in 2017 drones will become much more common based upon their low cost and capability.

3D Visualization or building information modeling (BIM) isn’t exactly new to the building industry. However, with the implementation of new technology, 3D and even 4D Visualizations are being created.  3D visualization is often created with the help of drones. The 3D model can help contractors fully understand jobsite dangers because they have an actual model, which will show more than a simple rendering or blueprint. By examining the model before they get started, risk management is more thorough, and problems can be eliminated before they arise.

3D visualization is an excellent addition to the design phase of a construction project because it can assist both the client and contractor see the final project before work gets started. Clients are able to see how the work will be completed without having to set foot on the jobsite.

Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality is even more effective than a 3D model.   With the help of projection technology and 3D glasses, clients can tour (virtually) their project before construction begins, which can be a huge cost-saver. It’s the new form of a walk-through for clients and cam save time and money in changes up front rather than later in the building process.   While the technology might sound intimidating to those unfamiliar, virtual reality in construction is actually really simple to use. And the benefits are

A recent article in the New York Times cited virtual reality as an exceptional tool to problem-solve before construction begins.  For example, on the original plans for a corporate headquarters there was a large skylight included; virtual reality allowed the client to see it would flood the workspace with too much light and create hotspots.   Essentially, virtual reality enabled the client to create a product without having to mitigate problems after moving in.

Overall, it’s clear that our entire society is becoming reliant upon new technology to get things accomplished in an efficient and cost effective manner.