No doubt you and your construction business highly value technology and its many benefits. With the current rise in the national and regional construction markets, it becomes easy to place construction technology on the back burner while giving way to other stresses caused by growth, such as labor shortages. However, technology that can help lead to better productivity and profits cannot be forgotten.
As companies seek to prepare for the rest of 2018 and beyond, there are a number of technology trends shaping the construction industry that may have been overlooked. If you can capitalize on these trends now, you may be able to set your company up for success for many years to come.
Wearable Construction Technology
While cloud technology and smartphones have improved the way companies keep track of projects and workers, wearable technology is only going to gain popularity in helping keep workers safe. Equipment such as GPS-enabled safety vests, glasses and hard hats can monitor staff whereabouts and increase productivity. Features include alerting managers or sending a signal for equipment to slow down or stop working when employees enter high-risk workspaces.
As an extra perk, some of these new technologies may help to decrease insurance costs. Advances in wearable tech can help alert insurance companies of increased safety, therefore decreasing premiums. Also, filing claims, in theory, should be smoother since these gadgets can accurately record when and where an incident happened.
While this technology has been around for a few years now, we’re only starting to see its applications in the real world. Plastics and extruded concrete are being used to create parts or entire buildings. For example, robotic arms and drones are being combined with 3D printers to create materials on a much larger scale.
Embracing 3D printing has so far helped companies to rapidly prototype and create components, possibly as a replacement for traditional homes and offices. If the world’s first 3D printed office in Dubai is any indication, this construction technology could help companies gain a greater degree of efficiency and innovation.
Construction starts with materials, so when teams want to change their work, they’ll need to look at the types of resources needed to improve their projects. This has led to companies revolutionizing building materials that are more cost-efficient and kinder to the environment. Instead of materials like solar panels and recycled materials, innovators are working towards self-sustainability.
For example, researchers are working towards creating and testing self-healing concrete, where concrete infrastructures can reseal after a break, much like how human bones fuse together after a fracture. Engineers at the RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia are experimenting with using cigarette butts in brick and paving materials. Others, like BioMason, are working on growing bricks like coral within four days.
BIM continues to be a big trend and you may already know of its many uses. Currently, 3D modeling capabilities have advanced enough to be able to take these plans into a virtual reality experience. This application will be most useful for those who are in the business of planning complex industrial projects. Implementing VR technology will help managers and workers better predict safety protocols and the type of tools they’ll need to complete a project.
While construction technology continues to evolve, investing in these types of changes is crucial for the next stages of any construction business. Although costs can be a deterrent, investing in equipment and materials that can help recover lost time, resources and prevent employee injuries will add up to huge savings and major company growth.
Meet the Author
Gary Alongi, CPA, CCIFP®
Aldrich CPAs + Advisors
Gary brings over two decades of experience helping his clients reach their highest level of success. His extensive knowledge of the construction industry allows him to provide value-added services that save clients money, helps them comply with regulations and requirements, and take advantage of opportunities helping them grow their business. American Institute of Certified Public…
- Audit and assurance services
- Certified Public Accountant
- Overhead rate (FAR 31) audits and compliance
- Certified Construction Industry Financial Professional (CCIFP®)