The next wave of construction transformation will not be attributed to one element of the building, or one type of forward-looking technology. It will be a unified approach to upending traditional means of construction, combining multiple aspects of the building process to deliver the most efficient means possible of construction. Think of it this way: automobile manufacturers aren’t just improving the braking system of a car; no, they are looking at how the braking system can help generate electricity for a hybrid drivetrain while integrating tires with low rolling resistance and braking components with less harmful byproducts.
In a similar fashion, technology experts are examining the traditional building process and pushing for integration of technology and prefabricated construction methods to revolutionize the entire built structure, not just one floor or system. The desire to integrate more prefab components has been alive and well in the industry for some time, but it is taking on new meaning as construction companies wake up to the fact that it can deliver more speed and more advanced features, oftentimes without a cost penalty – or potentially, even realize cost savings due to the increased efficiency.
This new awakening captures perfectly what construction technology consultants have been championing for years, which is that of a fully integrated project management software platform that combines multiple aspects of a construction company’s business, from accounting to equipment management, to deliver significant gains in productivity, profitability, and collaboration. How else can the construction industry benefit from a truly unified approach in everything it does?
Prefabrication promises to offer greater flexibility in construction, not to mention more possibilities when it comes to designing buildings with features that may have previously been off limits. Entire rooms can be constructed off site, such as bathrooms or kitchens, then transported to the site and lifted by crane into a framed unit that will become an apartment suite or college dormitory. Furnishings could even be integrated, and meanwhile, the building’s utilities are already installed allowing for a plug-and-play type installation wherein the rooms are simply plugged in and turned on. The technology devices held in every consumer’s pockets operate under the same premise of ease of start-up and updating – why shouldn’t modern living spaces?
3-D printing could play a role here, too, with smaller, simpler building types effectively built off site and then transported to wherever they are needed. A structure infinitely less complex than a skyscraper can still benefit from the same type of advanced building technology. Similarly, a small outfit can utilize cutting edge cloud-based construction project management software just as much as a multi-national firm can.
Of course, within all this building transformation will come a continued advancement in the environmental quality of the materials used and the sensors that help to monitor a building’s performance. Unlike green building and building control tech of the past, however, new materials and solutions will be hidden or at least far less obvious than the previous generation’s green building and design, with laminates becoming more widely used and wireless devices that monitor building performance hidden out of sight.
This captures the spirit of the technological shifts coming to the construction industry: new platforms and approaches that blend into the background yet have the potential to revolutionize the industry from top to bottom. Construction software is much the same, as it is in a state of continual advancement yet its presence on the jobsite is muted compared to the likes of drones and robotics.
On that note, robots and flying drones will certainly continue to appear with increasing regularity on jobsites everywhere, as their impact on worker safety and intelligence gathering cannot be ignored. Given that manpower shortages continue to impact the industry at large, robotics could help shore up resources for performing manual labor in the field. Machinery in general will become more sophisticated by virtue of greater connectivity, sharing data in real-time, both on jobsite conditions and the performance of the equipment itself.
Construction project management software has advanced tenfold in recent years, integrating more and more capabilities, from mobile field tools that tackle jobsite to-dos in real time to cloud-based project collaboration tools that remove the obstruction of having to meet in a centralized office simply to share updates. United Solutions is prepared to lead your construction firm into the next realm of integrated solutions that keep your teams more connected to the work than ever before, all the while keeping pace with the rapid advancements in technology-enabled building strategies.
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United Solutions provides unmatched software solutions and support for more than 3,000 clients in the construction, real estate industries. We enable our clients to operate at peak efficiency and maximize their profits.Read More
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