Through the changing times, architecture has grown to match the pace of the world. The construction and engineering field have also seen noticeable changes. This field has focused on being eco-friendly and less burden on the environment. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, construction has seen a rapid downfall. Now that it is back on track, construction companies are also trying to get ahead with the work.
Emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) have made communication between contractors and clients easier. Technological innovations have reduced the negative impact of construction. Building construction is an evolving process involving procurement, construction, monitoring, and communication.
Digitalisation in Construction
Construction digitalisation is also becoming popular recently since it is time-saving. Digital construction, when put in words, is the application of digital techniques to improve the construction process. It includes the digital model of the building shared by the people involved in the project. This building prototype is analysed to choose the appropriate construction type methods and materials. The advantage of digitalisation is that it is flexible and versatile. It can be used for all projects at any stage, existing, demolishing, or building a new project.
(BIM) Building Information Modelling is the most popular type of digital construction. It is a process where various tools and technologies are used to represent a project’s physical and functional characteristics. Using BIM, the designers and engineers can assess the structural work and plan and execute the construction process as required. Timely prediction is one of the main factors of BIM, reducing risk factors involved in the construction stage and thus avoiding loss.
Cloud Computing comes with data storing and real-time GPD coordination. Construction comes with a lot of data to be stored about the process or the materials. Monitoring the construction process and passing the progress between the stakeholders and those involved in the project becomes a smooth process with cloud computing due to the availability of online storage backup accessible anywhere at any time.
Reality Modeling or spatial modelling is done by advanced software giving proper solutions for the construction process. Visualizing, shaping, scaling, and 3D imaging are some of the features of reality modelling aiding construction.
Other than these, Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, 3D printing, etc are other popular digitalisation methods.
Site location may only sometimes be ideal for construction. Offsite construction is a solution for such projects, which require large spaces and where there is low material availability.
Prefabricated and Modular construction are familiar terms and have been practised for years. Currently, there are limitations to modular construction in terms of design complexity, availability of materials and equipment, the scope of usability, and so on.
With the evolving technology, there are chances that more projects will be modular. 3D-printed modular structures will reduce the number of factory-assembled parts, drastically reducing the construction time and labour and simultaneously being economical and eco-friendly.
Workers can have their construction exoskeleton, allowing them to lessen the physical strain exerted. Accidents occur in construction sites more often. It affects the workers’ personal lives, sometimes even being fatal. Exoskeletons are made with strong materials with machines or electronic systems attached. They can work with sensors or mechanically. It might be a little towards the expensive side, but it is a one-time investment and supports the worker’s weight, improves posture, load distribution, etc.
Industrial Robotics and Autonomous Vehicles
Robots increase the efficiency of construction. A lot of heavy machinery work could be replaced by the robotic mechanism. Robotics, paired with artificial intelligence
(AI) have infinite possibilities, calculating the precis work needed for any particular project. This waves off the heavy workload on human workers. While meeting the industry labour demands, it also roots for a greener environment. Surveying, excavation, masonry, painting, the scope of work tied to robotics is infinite.
Self-driven or automated vehicles will become popular in the future of construction since there is only a little working space. Automatic systems in procurement and building will reduce the traffic within the site and premises. It also features LiDAR sensors (Light Detection and Ranging) which enable the detection of any obstacles on the site, preventing accidents. They can also measure distances, analyze geographical features and visualise the surrounding in 3D. Automated vehicles are also a solution for the shortage of workers since there will be more white-collar workers in the future.
The automated system also confirms the safety of the constructed project since it ensures the safety and tightness of the joints during the process. Structures are guaranteed to be more durable while reducing operating costs.
Eco-Friendly and Innovative Materials
Contractors will lean towards more innovative materials aiding in a safer, quicker, and the healthy built environment. Synthetic, natural, and high-performance materials are manufactured and designed for easy engineering. Air Purifying facades, Zero Carbon Cement, Mushroom Insulation, self-healing concrete, carbon nanotubes, transparent aluminium, and aerogel insulation are some innovative materials transforming the construction industry. These materials are sustainable and durable, resulting in achieving the building standards. These materials are also produced such that even after demolishing the building, the debris wouldn’t cause too much damage to the environment.
Construction is an important phase of a building. It is necessary to have quality materials and follow safety standards to achieve favourable results. Architecture and engineering sectors, in the future, are expected to undergo drastic technological advances with high-end designs and workability. Construction of the coming age is no different and expected to present wonders to solve many issues with technological advances to outrun conventional construction methods, projecting a safer and more economical built environment.
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