Imagine a world without power tools, hydraulic excavators, and self-priming water pumps. The picture that should come up in your head is likely nothing short of primitive.
The continuous development of technology has improved the industry time and time again. Some are better than others, but the goal behind every innovation is to improve productivity, efficiency, collaboration, and safety of construction.
In the most recent years, here are some of the best technologies reshaping the construction industry as we know it:
1. Self-priming pumps
Self-priming pumps are designed to pump large volumes of water (some types of pumps can even move solids), sewage, and wastewater from construction sites, quarries, and mines. They require no hoists or cranes to submerge itself, making it both safe and easy to use.
2. Worker safety
Safety is often one of the most significant issues in many trade industries, including construction. Fortunately, as more safety technologies are developed specifically for construction sites, companies are seeing fewer accidents and deaths among their workers.
Great examples of technology that improve safety are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or drones, which offer a more efficient way to conduct safety inspections and audits. Wearable technology, such as smartwatches and smart glasses, also helps managers monitor their workers and perform immediate action if there is an accident. Also, high-tech sensors are being added to workers’ PPE to keep track of their movements, helping ensure their safety and health.
3. 3D printing
3D printing can reduce construction time by more than 50%, depending on the application. It is known as the future of construction because of its many advantages, namely reduced injury risk, increased cost-effectiveness, and versatility of uses. For some countries, 3D printing is seen as an affordable solution to the housing crisis, as 3D printers can create parts of buildings for less cost and in half the time.
4. Site sensors
Back then, construction managers and inspectors had to patrol the site to see if there are changes in temperature, presence of volatile organic compounds, and increased noise levels, among other things. Today, there are site sensors available that will alert workers if there is a risk of excessive exposure according to OSHA regulations.
5. Autonomous heavy equipment
Autonomous heavy equipment uses sensors, GPS, and drones to do construction work with fewer workers. The results of excavation, grading, and other construction work can be just as precise as when a person is controlling the machine from the inside. Apart from reducing labor needs, this type of technology also reduces the need for exposing workers to risky tasks.
Nowadays, there are software and mobile applications that are designed to help construction managers handle every aspect of construction projects. These applications make it easier for managers to monitor plans, improve productivity, and streamline processes efficiently, all while working from their laptop or phone.
Without the technology that we have today, construction will likely take up more resources than necessary. Fortunately, technological development is not stopping any time soon, and we can expect even more innovations to come that will help construction companies maximize their labor, materials, and skills.