The construction industry is working on its flexibility to accommodate and benefit from innovations and emerging trends. Modern technologies have a multidimensional scope to augment the construction industry. The construction sector has yet to improve working conditions, as workers often experience accidental fractures, skin allergies, breathing problems, and fatigue while working in risky, challenging, and hazardous environments. But these challenges do not jeopardize workers’ health alone. Stakeholders also experience losses due to a lack of efficiency and productivity.
All in all, workers’ safety, well-being, efficiency, and productivity are a few focus areas of recent trends and innovations. In addition, construction techniques, materials, machinery, technologies, protocols, and standards also become obsolete and affect outcomes, performance, expenditure, and work duration. But more than that, the environment suffers the most due to unsustainable choices in the construction industry. Nonetheless, innovations and new trends address these gaps and aim to introduce cost-effective and sustainable solutions. But these are a handful of examples of emerging upgrades.
The following sections discuss how new trends and innovations transform the construction industry.
Sophisticated modeling and manufacturing technologies
The design and construction of an iconic infrastructure project are more than a conceptual framework. Construction projects go through several preliminary steps like blueprint design, site inspection, and material selection and procurement before the building activities begin. However, step-by-step completion of these activities can waste time and resources. So, it is a hard and fast rule to follow a sequential flow with modern modeling technologies and software. Builders, architects, engineers, and manufacturers can work simultaneously by leveraging these advanced solutions. It’s possible with Building Information Management software applications that help turn conceptual ideas into viable designs. Manufacturers and designers work in parallel and translate digital models into desired structures with precision tools. For instance, workers at FEM Ltd use plasma, water jets, and laser-cutting precision tools to manufacture customized steel frameworks that fit the blueprint design perfectly. So, if your construction project is in or nearby Sheffield, UK, you’re in luck. Look up “Steel Fabrication Sheffield” and employ bespoke steel fabrication services at an affordable cost.
Robotics in Construction
Robotics has transformed the construction industry. The scale, amount, and precision of work were unimaginable before these automatic and intelligent machines. Robots perform challenging and complex tasks that are beyond human capability and endurance. For instance, driverless automated vehicles and humanoid robots can work in scorching sunlight and extreme weather conditions for hours without breaks. Flying robots or drones are a quick and cost-effective alternative to surveying and monitoring a vast geographical area that would take days with a physical inspection.
Articulated robots are the perfect alternatives to perform a range of heavyweight and hazardous work. They can assemble, manufacture, wield, and move objects and components. In short, the construction industry is not complete without robots at present. These intelligent and sturdy machines complement humans, save time, improve productivity, and ensure precision.
The construction industry is one of the black horses for environmental damage and degradation. The stats of construction-related damage to the environment are alarming. Studies estimate that construction activities are responsible for nearly 50% of landfill waste, 40% of water pollution, 23% of air pollution, and 50% of climate change. It is also the chief culprit for massive scale cutting of trees for building frameworks, fuel, and furniture. Nonetheless, this damage and succeeding consequences are already hard to repair and undo. But the outcomes will lead to irreparable damages without sustainable and environment-friendly solutions.
Therefore, recent trends and innovations focus on minimizing the destructive impact of construction work on the environment. Manufacturers, contract engineers, and other stakeholders do not have another option but make environment-friendly choices. Hence, they are replacing natural resources with recyclable, non-hazardous, and eco-friendly materials for construction purposes.
Green building is a promising concept in this regard. These buildings minimize carbon footprint and emissions with renewable energy generation, rooftop plantations, and non-toxic construction materials. Green homes also reduce water wastage and recycle wastewater and rainwater for gardening and plantation.
Smart and automatic infrastructure
At present, technology is an inseparable part of everyday life. Its reliance is so addictive that people want such comforts, automation, and smartness in everything, not just their smart devices and vehicles. Affording strata of the population are willing to pay the price but live or adjust in unfriendly homes and apartments. They want sophistication in their lives and expect their homes to synchronize with their mood and way of living.
So, engineers, scientists, and construction workers translate these preferences and design their dream homes accordingly. Smart homes and infrastructure use sensors to create a suitable ambiance and environment. Owners can control their electronic appliances, interior temperature, lightning, doorbells, and home security system with just a few taps on their mobiles from anywhere. Smart homes also learn and keep track of their owner’s preferences and automate changes without any intentional input after some time. For instance, the entire house would light up once residents are home and go dark if no one is present.
Augmented exoskeletons for workers’ safety
Whether a construction project is residential or commercial, it is always demanding. Both have almost similar work complexity and nature. For instance, masonry, plumbing, carpeting, bricklaying, roofing, tiling, plastering, bridging, and cementing are all physically demanding activities. Workers also transport and move heavy loads, construction materials, and equipment at heights by hand. As a result, falls, slips, fractures, and injuries are frequent. Thus, construction companies have introduced exoskeletons to assist and augment manual work.
Safety gears like joint caps, metal body suits, and equipped helmets protect workers against accidental falls, injuries, and mishaps and help them manage challenging tasks and activities more safely. Some exoskeleton gears and body suits also have sensors that detect and respond to the wearer’s body movements and help them adjust their posture to prevent excessive strain on muscles and joints. In addition, these gears also help them manage workloads beyond their capacity. They can carry and move heavy loads with protective suits and iron arm lifters without injuring themselves.
Construction projects are so expensive that you cannot redo everything if things do not turn out as planned. Thus, virtual reality is a promising innovation to augment construction designs and work. Virtual reality technology uses 3D modeling and simulation software applications to observe how a model would turn out after construction. The technology helps visualize and walk through the makeup of a construction project. For instance, contractors use sophisticated goggles to help owners and stakeholders envision how their home renovation or construction would turn out.
Virtual reality-based modeling also helps save time and minimizes costly mishaps. Workers and engineers can modify blueprint designs however they want. They can detect and correct faults and errors in blueprint designs right during the modeling phases. They can also cross-check designs with stakeholders and make adjustments as per requirements.
As much as the construction industry is vital for the economy and its progress, it is equally ill-famed for its environmental damage, safety issues, and slow improvements. But thanks to innovations and technology, the construction industry is evolving rapidly. Emerging trends and innovations aim to improve working conditions and efficiency and minimize damage to workers and the environment. Hopefully, it will overcome the losses and improve its image if stakeholders facilitate and support innovative technologies.