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AI in Construction

AI in Construction

How AI-based solutions are shaping the future of the construction industry?

The construction industry is faced with many challenges when it comes to technological advancements, which has led to the perception that it is one of the least digitized industries globally. This has caused a self-fulfilling and long-standing barrier in the path of growth for the construction sector. 

The lack of digitization and technological advancements has caused every operation in the entire construction project lifecycle to suffer low productivity levels, even compared to traditional industries such as agriculture and farming. The ability to effectively plan and execute construction projects has been hampered due to uninformed decision-making, inaccuracy in cost predictions, and overly manual operations. 

In recent years, leading companies and some dynamic emerging players in construction have started experimenting with technological adoption. The results look promising; a recent report predicts that AI in the construction market will grow with a CAGR of 33.87% from 2020 to 2027.

Adoption of artificial intelligence can help ease some of the operations in the complete construction project lifecycle, from design, bidding, procurement, finance planning, labor operations, building, handover, and maintenance.

Let’s take a brief look at some areas where AI-based solutions are working to transform the construction industry for the better.

1. AI for better modeling of buildings with generative design

While planning and modeling a structure, many entities like architects, engineers, construction experts & MEP planners get involved. Building information modeling (BIM) is a 3D modeling process used by these sub-teams to design their portions of scope. BIM makes it possible to check for any clashes between the various sub-disciplines semi-automatically. The AI-enabled generative design goes one step further in creating designs within certain parameters that are inherently devoid of clashes but also optimized for other design criteria. It can provide multiple potential solutions in a fraction of the time it typically takes for a human to produce one option and can achieve optimal outcomes suggest, saving hours in manual iterations.

2. Preventing cost overruns by accurate financial planning and cost predictions with AI

Construction projects tend to have timelines ranging from a few years to a decade, depending on the size and complexity of the model. In such an extended timeframe, costs for raw materials can change highly. The cost of raw materials and labor is affected for several reasons. Accounting for all the variables for financial planning and cost predictions manually is next to impossible. AI-powered algorithms take in historical data and analyze trends to predict the cost over the project timeline. This results in the outcome of more accurate cost predictions and a potential reduction in cost overruns.

3. Making construction sites safer with the adoption of AI

In an article by ILO (international labor organization), it is mentioned that construction laborers are 3 to 4 times more likely to die in an on-site accident than laborers in other industries. Safety issues are serious on construction sites. It is high time to take advanced protection measures to prevent accidents and hazards on construction sites. AI-enabled construction safety apps can facilitate the protection of on-site labor. Saifety.ai, for example, is an AI-enabled chatbot application that encourages every labor on-site to contribute to safety through features such as observation reporting and incident management.

4. AI-powered robots can substitute for repetitive manual tasks to avoid labor shortages

Shortage of skilled labor is a problem for many industries. Especially when it comes to building remote sites, sourcing and housing skilled labor is a challenge. Advanced robots, when trained with AI to work collaterally with other construction machinery, can augment the labor force. The cost of employing AI-powered robots is reducing all the time, and their abilities are going in the opposite direction. Thus unlocking the potential of robots with artificial intelligence can benefit a construction project on multiple fronts.

5. Better project management and informed decision-making with cloud connectivity and business intelligence

The operational model of any construction company has a vast information exchange gap between the decision-making team sitting in the corporate office and the project managers working on the construction site. Daily accurate progress checks and real-time information are almost impossible to obtain without advanced technology. With AI-based custom construction software that has cloud connectivity, anyone can access accurate, up-to-date information from any device with internet connectivity. Checking progress in real-time will also make decision-making more informed and precise.

6. Ease in the maintenance of infrastructure with digital twin post construction

A digital twin is an exact 3D digital replica of the physical asset. Competent neural engines can build digital twins of cities and groups of buildings. Building information modeling (BIM) shows the structure of sub-systems in the building or infrastructure asset. The digital twin takes things further by overlaying real-time data from a multitude of sources to allow you to visualize decision-making and optimization. Digital twins can also be helpful in finding faults in sub-systems or predicting preventative maintenance of the assets, amongst many other benefits. 

Above are some of the foremost areas where artificial intelligence-based solutions are already producing excellent results. 

The fusion of artificial intelligence with construction technologies will allow for unprecedented efficiency gains and more reliable output, which are key essentials in making sure the construction industry continues to grow.

As time passes, construction businesses will adapt more and more use cases of AI to the parts of their operations. AI will be a significant contributor to shaping the construction industry’s future and the idea of ‘Smart construction.’  

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