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3 Ways Technology is Transforming the Construction Industry

From digital marketing, to mobile apps, to cloud computing and robotics, technology is transforming every industry — not the least of which is Construction.

Firms are seeing operational efficiencies, lower costs and better collaboration by integrating technology into everything they do, from jobsite management and supervision, materials assembly and transfer, stakeholder communication and risk prevention.

And it’s not Sci-Fi anymore — what was once impossible is now becoming commonplace on the job site. Drones are becoming commonplace on construction projects, helping to survey and inspect job sites before and after work begins, and capturing and transferring images and video to keep everyone updated throughout the project lifecycle.

Wearables and sensors transmit data to project management software, helping to track work and equipment usage, and eliminating human error associated with paperwork.

3D modeling is helping firms visualize construction before it begins, reducing material costs and error with more accurate calculations and forecasting.

These technologies are just the tip of the iceberg — we can expect construction to become increasingly high-tech, adopting things like virtual and augmented reality and 3D modeling to improve precision and help reduce waste.

These changes will result in serious transformation, particularly in the following three areas:

1. Safety
Construction is one of the deadliest occupations. In 2015 alone, there were nearly 1000 deaths associated with construction projects, according to the most recent Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). But fortunately, technology is poised to change that.

Drones can be deployed to conduct jobsite inspections and identify potential hazards, keeping workers away from danger. Jobsite cameras – both fixed and PTZ — can be mounted across job sites to monitor crews throughout the day, ensuring adherence to safety procedures. Virtual reality solutions can be leveraged for safety training, helping workers to learn how to operation equipment in environments such as confined spaces, and preventing injuries or errors that could result from inexperience.

Technology is even wearable. Smart clothing can monitor workers’ vital signs including respiration, body temperature and heart rate to help determine if they’re suffering from fatigue or are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This information can help prevent exhaustion or injuries, minimize mistakes and keep other workers safe, as well.

These are just some of the examples of how technology is improving jobsite safety, and there will be many more to come.

2. Productivity
Improving worker productivity is essential to staying on-time and on-budget. Any delays on the jobsite reduce productivity, impacting profits and in some cases, a firm’s reputation. To keep crews productive, surveillance is necessary — and the most efficient way to constantly and consistently monitor a jobsite is via construction cameras.

New camera solutions are being introduced by leaders such as TrueLook, to enable fast, easy mounting of cameras on the jobsite, on drones and at remote modular construction facilities. Immediate access to video and still shots in the cloud enables project managers and stakeholders to keep a close watch, regardless of where they are, via mobile or a browser interface back at headquarters.

With footage documenting project progress, managers can make rapid, informed decisions. Project management software that tracks various aspects of a project all in one place — from schedules to deliveries to materials and costs — reduces manual administrative tasks, as well.

Cameras also have the added benefit of improving worker productivity on the jobsite. According to a known phenomenon called the Hawthorne effect, productivity increases when employees think they’re being watched or observed.

3. Cost
With increased productivity comes cost savings. Helping crews work efficiently and according to safety procedures reduces costs related to project delays, safety violations, injuries and sick time. Constant vigilance via cameras and sensors reduces theft — of equipment and hours — helping curb loss and waste. Keeping a tight schedule and avoiding costly delays shaves time of the project lifecycle, enabling higher profits.

Further, by accomplishing some of the work that used to require headcount with technology — inspections and surveys, safety surveillance, and project monitoring and reporting — firms reduce travel expenses and can keep crews working, not waiting. Add to that the power of new technologies like 3D modeling and printing — both of which will enable greater precision in planning and reduced materials cost — and firms will save millions.

Learn more

Try a live TrueLook demo to see how our technology can help you improve safety, increase productivity and reduce costs throughout your project lifecycle.