Construction technology helps augment inefficient and often tedious processes in construction. Any collection of innovative tools – software or machinery – can improve efficiency, including full- or semi-automation. Construction technology is not a silver bullet and can’t inherently fix all problems on the job site. However, certain options can provide support and development for team members to create more efficient processes. Commercial construction technology can aid the continuous improvement of the team’s actions in the future. Touchplan excels at offering commercial construction technology for teams.
How is technology being used in construction today?
While the internet boom originally occurred in the ’90s, the construction industry was slow to embrace it. This was once true. However, the construction industry is increasingly influenced by technology. Let’s look at some of the trends in the industry that are growing at exponential rates.
Prefabrication: With prefabrication, construction takes place offsite in a controlled environment. The elements then transfer to the job site and assembled there. This technology increases the efficiency and speed of a construction operation. It also focuses on the ability to prefabricate without compromising the prefabricated structures and getting a quality digital replica.
Machine Learning/AI: The applications of machine learning and artificial intelligence are vast. Machine Learning is an emerging technology that helps to find the inconsistencies or risks of a project. It further helps to improve the work by automatically selecting new ways to work on the project.
Augmented and Virtual Reality: The technology uses artificial intelligence to replicate the real world through data. Augmented reality allows real building scenarios to come to life. These technologies can help to improve worker safety as well as equipment training.
Wearable Technology: Wearable technology shows great promise for the construction industry. This tech can improve safety, minimize injury, and increase efficiency. Workers wear these devices to inform them of fatigue, danger zones proximity, moving equipment, and edges.
Drones: Also called Unmanned Aerial Vehicales (UAV), drones can be used to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of a job site through overhead images and videos. Drones can assist with logistics planning, progress monitoring, and safety enhancements. They can also help with dangerous tasks such as bridge inspections.
3D Printing: This is an emerging technology in the construction industry to show a real-world component recreated via 3D models.
Building Information Modeling (BIM): Building Information Modeling is one of the best tools used to optimize the construction process and avoid a self-destructive structure. BIM involves creating a 3D Digital model of buildings to facilitate communication between all members on a construction project. BIM combines with virtual reality technology to enhance collaboration as well as efficiency on job sites.
Innovation and Civil Engineering
Because it encompasses everything from design to construction to maintenance, innovation in civil engineering is just as important as innovation in construction. The engineering and construction realms are so intertwined, technology organizations are equally motivated to ensure innovative models in civil engineering as they are with construction. As a 2017 McKinsey report suggests, we are in a new age of engineering and construction technology.
Discoveries in the field of civil engineering aren’t that far from those in construction. Things like virtual, augmented, and mixed reality, building information modeling, and the area Touchplan excels in – data information and sharing. These capabilities help civil engineers and construction crew members anticipate, measure and improve processes for current and future jobs.
Advanced technology in civil engineering is heavily favoring robots, automation, and connected job site. Touchplan specifically helps teams of all sizes and crew members maintain a deep, immediate understanding of project-level planning and efficiency. With autonomy, efficiency, and quality at the epicenter of future builds, managers must implement technology well in advance. Additionally, migrating tech to the job site allows paths of growth for the improvement of the project and crew members. Ownership and a deep understanding of the software and tools used will be helpful to attract and maintain talent.
Construction Technology Education
It might feel like the acceleration of technology in the construction industry has a steep learning curve. While building construction technology degree programs are crucial to attracting new professionals and keeping the construction industry newcomers engaged, there are many educational opportunities that can help catapult an established career in construction.
Courses and education can go beyond the generalized construction topic with technology courses. Specialized degree programs (online and in-person), or construction technology certificates are available at a variety of institutions around the globe. Both professionals and future professionals are experiencing first-hand how valuable these additional opportunities outside of the job site can be. In many of these programs, hands-on training is available.
Touchplan is a valued partner to higher education institutions that want to share and learn the value of digitized pull planning and data collection early on. Outside of formal education, Touchplan also offers creative ways of promoting success stories and sharing information to help the industry progress. Touchplan is also working on other specific certifications to help users advance their knowledge base for other construction-related work opportunities.
Touchplan currently offers a variety of continuing education choices – including the usage and knowledge of the Touchplan software. There are some well-respected construction technology degree programs with many offering online courses. Before you make the choice to move forward with any program, be sure to check out the details of the course, or request the construction technology syllabus or outlines upfront. That way, you’re able to review the topics covered to ensure it’s clear and what you’re interested in learning.
Construction Jobs and Salary
Construction technology jobs are becoming more apparent and popular with new titles emerging daily. As construction technology has improved the job, knowledge, and practice have also advanced careers. It’s no wonder that a construction technology and manager salary have mimicked the addition of titles and the adoption of a contech boom.
Be on the lookout for job titles that include terms like ‘innovation’ and ‘data’; those titles and folks are part of the new wave of construction’s future-facing leadership. In the past, data was difficult to come by, but construction technology has made that information not only available but exceptionally powerful both on the job site and for creating careers that previously weren’t possible.
For those with a construction technology degree, jobs are ever-present. A waning workforce and demand for return on investments favor those with credentials that demonstrate the ability to use and lead contech efforts. The mastery of tech can ignite standard compensation that aligns with historical jobs like electrician, welder, and even building inspector salary. Not only will tech awareness and adoption add value to your net worth, but it also helps future job seekers and crew members catch up faster. Touchplan can collect historical information that for training purposes, helping shape tomorrow’s construction leaders (and their salaries and job opportunities as well).
The Construction Process and Industry of the Future
The sharing of ideas in community forums and mastering skills in educational courses and training gives purpose for construction technology ideators to keep creating. The reason construction tech is more than a fleeting fad is that the benefits and advancements of technology in construction are simply undeniable. Stakeholders can receive data and updates across all levels of an organization, instantly. Getting these insights in real-time and company-wide directly impacts timely, well-informed decision-making.
Construction technology today is just the beginning of what’s possible, and the question is no longer, “how technology is changing the construction industry”, but rather, “what are the future benefits that remain to be seen from starting early on”? We are just starting to uncover the impact of technological advancements in construction and the importance of construction technology, and we’re excited to be at the forefront of digital construction technology discovery.