The construction industry can be termed as a late adapter in terms of embracing cutting-edge technology. That is in contrast to industries like health and fitness, telecommunications, transport, and logistics, to mention but a few.
However, due to the continually worrying statistics on the safety of construction sites, industry leaders began looking for alternative means to protect the health and safety of workers in such sites.
That was just but the beginning. Technology has now been incorporated in virtually all aspects of the construction industry. From site surveillance methods to safeguarding the health of workers and even assessing the structural integrity of various buildings and other structures.
Traditional safety markers like orange cones will now be complemented by more innovative devices and equipment. In this post, we shall highlight the four areas where technology is revolutionizing the construction, so read on to find out.
As we have already indicated, one of the most common concerns among construction industry experts is site surveillance. And this is where drones find their use. Drones, also known as crewless aerial vehicles, have become an indispensable requirement in any construction site.
They are mainly used for site surveillance, especially in places where the general state of security may be a concern. With a drone, you can survey a building from all of its angles and record any possible breaches in real-time.
For instance, if there are sections of a building that appear not to be conforming to the expectations of the architects, drones can easily capture these for immediate attention.
It could be a poorly-welded metal joint or fissures developing in concrete structures. Whatever it is, you can use these aerial vehicles to get the information you need and act upon it before the construction work is complete. Apart from site surveillance, drones have also been used to monitor site workers even without their knowledge efficiently. You could also use a drone to capture pictures for promotional purposes. It doesn’t get better than that.
Ease Of Training Through VR Technology
VR simulators are not a new concept. They have mainly been used in military and aeronautical training programs. The construction industry can now also benefit from this transformative technology. With VR simulators, construction site workers are able to learn how to operate various machineries such as excavators and cranes.
Though this mostly happens in a virtual world, the skills and experience gained can easily be transferred into the real world.
It saves the time it would have otherwise taken to impart such skills on construction machine operators. And because much of the training happens virtually, accidents and incidents are significantly reduced. VR simulators also expose workers to some of the challenges they are likely to encounter in the course of their work, such as working in confined spaces or at high altitudes.
Smart Site Sensors For Detection Of Environmental Safety Hazards
Site sensors, as the name suggests, are gadgets mounted throughout a construction site to detect potential hazards. The most critical functions of site sensors are to test the air around construction sites to ensure it is free from toxic substances.
In most construction sites, there are usually poisonous gases and other toxic substances emitted in the process — these range from dust particles and other particulate matter, asbestos and toxic gases like carbon monoxide.
When inhaled, these substances can cause a broad spectrum of respiratory and cardiovascular infections. This is why their levels need to be checked continuously. By installing site sensors on construction sites, workers can be warned in the event toxic substances reach levels considered hazardous.
Smart site sensors, like drones, also collect and analyze data on other aspects of the site. They can detect changes in temperature, humidity, and other variables that affect the efficiency of construction works.
Cost Cutting Through Driverless Trucks
Again, the concept of driverless trucks, also known as self-driving trucks, may not be very new, but it is only recently that it became a center of focus in the construction industry. These driverless trucks work hand in hand with a lead vehicle.
The lead vehicle is fitted with a GPS that relays commands back to the driverless truck. In turn, the car will know when to speed, turn, or break. The concept of self-driving can also be incorporated into heavy construction machineries such as excavators and cranes.
With this technology, human injuries and fatalities in construction sites will be significantly reduced. A crane will now be able to quickly lift and lower building materials without worrying about possible damages to the operator, as there is actually none.
Some may look at it as a disruptive technology, arguing that it renders machine operators jobless. However, the focus is not to eliminate the workforce, but rather improve safety in construction sites.
And there goes our brief overview of the four areas where technology is transforming the construction industry.
With industry experts predicting even newer and better technologies in this sector, we can only say the sky is the limit.