Four Major Construction Technology Trends in 2021
The construction industry has recently seen a number of challenges and changes, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although it impacted the business of most companies in this sector, the silver lining is that the pandemic accelerated several digital trends that are set to disrupt the industry for the better.
Technology is the driving force of these trends that we’ve seen last year and in the first half of this year. As with many other industries, challenges forced the sector to turn to technology for solutions.
Deploying digital solutions in construction is now the new normal, allowing construction work to continue despite obstacles caused by the pandemic – such as remote working and social distancing protocols.
Looking ahead as we emerge from the pandemic, adopting new and advanced technologies is becoming key for scaffolding companies and contractors to improve profitability and win more bids. Staying ahead of the digital curve and being innovative can set you apart from competitors, future-proof your business, and help you reach new heights.
Here are four of the major construction technology trends in 2021 and how you can leverage them to succeed this year and beyond.
Robots or robotic process automation (RPA) is becoming more and more popular in the construction sector. Rather than replacing human workers, these robots take on the more labor-intensive roles so that human employees can refocus their time and energy on other tasks.
The natural extension of the robotic arm is the robotic exoskeleton, which is a wearable machine suited with motorized joints that aim to minimize strain and injury by providing lift support, weight dispersion, and posture correction etc. Additionally, these exoskeletons are also able to enhance the natural strength of the user via a variety of methods including but not limited to structured functioning textiles, weight transfer, and spring-loaded technology.
Cartesian robots are also popular in the construction sector due to their ability to create 3D printing. Construction companies have been quick to see the benefits of 3D printing as it allows for faster and more accurate construction modelling of complex structures, while reducing labor costs and producing less waste.
It’s not surprising that drones are becoming more widely used in construction. Drones can access hard-to-reach locations that humans can’t, allowing for remote monitoring of site safety.
Drone mapping is also particularly useful to scaffolders. Drones can produce a detailed aerial map of a particular job site and adapt it to a 3D model. This can enable contractors to plan scaffolding based on potential challenges during the planning process.
This prevents costly overruns and reduces safety hazards during the project, while also enabling more accurate budget estimates.
Wearable innovations are becoming more and more commonplace on the job site. This technology is becoming more advanced every day with endless possibilities to improve worker health and safety on site.
Wearable innovations are smart devices that can transmit data in real-time using Wi-Fi. Smart boots can detect falls by construction workers and quickly alert others for assistance, and also track workers in remote locations via GPS. These boots are self-charging when the wearer walks, so that they can stay charged up during a complete shift on site.
Other examples of wearable innovations include helmets that can detect fatigue, alerting a tired worker to take a break, and sensors in heavy equipment and hard hats to prevent dangerous collisions and accidents.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (AR/VR)
Remote working became the norm during the pandemic and has changed the way many companies do businesses forever. AR/VR is beneficial in construction and scaffolding in more ways than one to cross geographical boundaries without needing to set foot on site.
Scaffolding companies can leverage AR/VR during the design process for site walkthroughs that they can hand over to clients virtually so that everyone is on the same page.
Any potential safety issues can be pointed out during the walkthroughs, allowing for quick and efficient design changes that eliminate safety hazards further down the line.
AR/VR can also be used to train workers in a real-life setting without putting them in harm’s way, so that they can learn safety protocols and how to act in certain scenarios.
Riding the Digital Wave
Taking advantage of these emerging technologies and staying abreast of the latest trends can help you take your business to the next level. At Avontus Software, we develop industry-leading software leveraging the latest technologies to help scaffolding companies improve profitability, create 3D designs, improve safety on site, and win more bids.