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The Future Opportunities in Construction Technology Ecosystem

The Future Opportunities in Construction Technology Ecosystem

The next chapters in Construction Industry

When we talk about the construction sector, we talk about one of the world’s largest industrial ecosystems. The construction sector accounts for almost 13% of the global GDP. However, a closer look at the industry makes us aware of the underlying challenges. 

The end product of the construction industry is impressive. The wide range of skyscrapers, state-of-the-art industrial facilities, iconic infrastructures for tourist attention, and sustainable buildings with innovative designs are all outcomes of excellent construction. Construction marvels do look stunning after they are finished. But we can’t say the same about the backend work processes in the industry. Take a high-level look at the current construction ecosystem below.

Current Construction Ecosystem

A highly complex, fragmented & project based system

Innovation within the construction sector has been a challenging yet thrilling journey. While productivity advancements have often moved at a pace different from other industries, the ongoing efforts and progress have been significant. The traditional approach has paved the way for creative transformations that are set to redefine the construction sector. The industry stands at the precipice of a bright new era, ready to welcome and harness these modern changes. Businesses quick to understand and implement these innovations are likely to emerge as pioneers in modern construction. Therefore, as a business owner, it is essential to grasp and participate actively in this transformative journey. Before exploring further, let’s first take a broad look at the dynamic future ecosystem of the construction industry.

Future of Construction Ecosystem

More consolidated & highly integrated system

Let’s look at exciting things coming up to disrupt and revolutionise the construction industry.

1. Virtual design & construction with BIM & Digital Twin

The construction sector has been inclining towards technological software integrations to modernise the traditional work approach. The primary part of this comprises construction management software and virtual construction software for visualisation and design. 

Whats new is Building Information Modelling (BIM). It is the most popular virtual design & construction (VDC) tool in the construction sector. 

Rework caused due to faulty construction can turn out to be expensive. VDC tools like BIM allows architects and construction engineers to design, experience, and test the infrastructure before building it in the real world. 

The metaverse is ushering in exciting possibilities for Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) in the construction sector. These advancements could transform project planning and design, enabling professionals to collaborate in a shared virtual space, thus improving efficiency and reducing conflicts in real-time.

Even more intriguing is the potential of digital twin technology, which creates a dynamic digital replica of physical infrastructure. This interactive model can be used for efficient post-construction building management. It enables real-time tracking of building performance, predictive maintenance, and operational optimization.

In summary, the fusion of BIM, VDC, and digital twin technology with the metaverse holds the promise of making construction smarter, more responsive, and sustainable, heralding a revolution in the industry.

2. Modular construction & 3D Printing

Have you encountered a construction site using prefabricated blocks and containers to stack the structure? This represents a part of modular construction. By definition, modular construction is a construction process in which at least 60% to 90% of the structure is built before bringing it to the construction site for assembly.

The modular construction market is predicted to reach $108.5 Billion by 2025. In some parts of the world like North America, China & Middle East, modular construction is already highly adopted for certain portions of the work.

Modular construction & 3D Printing Demo Image

One of the significant benefits of modular construction is its alignment with sustainable practices. As these structures are predominantly built in a factory-controlled setting, there is greater efficiency in material use and substantial waste reduction, thereby lessening the environmental impact. Modular buildings also allow for better energy efficiency, both in the construction phase and in their operational life, contributing to lower carbon emissions.

3D printing, a supporting technology for modular construction, is spreading widely and is a potent tool for improving sustainability. Its precise production process minimizes material waste and, interestingly, it can even utilize recycled materials, which bolsters the industry’s move towards a circular economy. Some 3D printing applications have successfully converted plastic waste into printable construction material.

In recent times, 3D printing use cases have been highly scaled. Architects and construction engineers have dared to build studio apartments, domes, and houses entirely with 3D-printed structures. The technology also allows the creation of designs that can increase a structure’s thermal efficiency, reducing the building’s carbon footprint in its operational phase.

Therefore, the modular construction approach, coupled with 3D printing, offers an exciting path to sustainable construction practices. The hopes are high as these methods can drastically reduce construction time, improve turnaround times, and play a pivotal role in the industry’s sustainability evolution. 

3. Technological solutions for improving safety

Construction safety is the top concern for professionals in the industry. The injury rate in the construction industry is among the highest compared to all sectors. We already have an article on best practices for safety management on construction sites which comprises why safety is important and how to improve safety. 

Need is the mother of innovation stands true as the rising need for construction safety has given birth to various technological solutions, including hardware, software & hybrid solutions. 

For instance, wearable IoT devices are starting to augment traditional PPE kits. A smart PPE device acts just like a smartwatch and helps site managers keep track of vital health information of on-site workers from construction management software. AI-enabled software like Saifety.ai messenger is also revolutionising how workersmental health & site incidents are managed.

4. Advanced construction robotics & automation

Robotics and engineering automation have already been widely used in manufacturing, Automobile & Electronics. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are fond of advanced & intelligent robots. Even in the construction industry, many organisations that have leveraged advanced construction robotics have seen drastic improvements in productivity and efficiency. 

The new generation construction robots integrate with CAD or BIM software to take inputs and act accordingly to construct the assigned part. The amalgamation of advanced robotics and trained workers can play a significant role in eradicating the productivity gap in the construction industry. 

On top of all the mentioned innovations, there will be more. Living/Self-repairing materials, Green buildings, Drones, Smart cities, other Construction Technology Trends will all become mainstream. The transition will take time but will be profound. The pandemic period has acted as a catalyst for this revolution. If you are in the construction business, it is time to start adopting these innovations and join the paradigm shift.

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