How digital construction tech can future-proof your construction project

Posted by Marketing on 6 May 2019

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How digital construction tech can future-proof your construction project

Improving productivity and safety whilst reducing costs are the main reasons for adopting new technology into your construction projects. Yet a less often considered but equally as important reason for its implementation is to maintain an edge over competitors through future-proofing.

Future-proofing is one of the driving forces behind the UK government’s decision in 2013 to implement Construction 2025. It is a series of strategies set by the government which are designed to improve the competitiveness of the UK construction industry in a growing global market by mandating the adoption of new technology.

By undergoing a digital transformation that helps to improve efficiency, safety and productivity and reduce costs, you can ensure your construction project hits the construction 2025 industrial strategy deadline and ensure your company remains competitive going forward.

The Project BC common data environment software, made by GroupBC, in action.
 

Digital technology is innovating the construction sector. The types of innovation are infinite, as are their uses, but the following lists some of the ways construction is adapting into the future:
 

Common Data Environments

Common data environments (CDE) provide a solution to filing the huge amount of digital data a built environment has. They are a digital space where all the information and assets of a project are easily stored and shared and remain constantly up-to-date.

CDEs improve efficiency by building trust in the data so future decisions based on it can be made readily and easily. GroupBC are leaders in this technology and recently utilised their BC Projects software to coordinate Sainsbury’s asset data into an easily accessible information hub.
 

Digital Twins

Digital twin technology allows you to see into the future. It does this by creating an exact digital model copy – the “digital twin” – of an object in the physical world which can then be used as a prototype to be stress-tested. 

Digital twins keep a real-time eye on their real-world counterparts by providing invaluable insights that can be implemented in operations before the errors have even occurred.
 

Communication

Applications like Skype, Whatsapp, Slack and Google Hangouts are driving developments in collaboration. This has been made possible due to the uptake of smart devices and necessary due to the spread-out distance of teams those devices have permitted. Social platforms are inexpensive and efficient ways of providing the following benefits to construction projects:

  • Improves efficiency by allowing management to easily stay in contact with colleagues.
  • Helps the environment by reducing the need to travel to meetings.
  • Increases diversity by involving people in projects from a wider-range of places.
The social networks driving team-based collaboration.


Robotics

Robotics is innovating construction by the automation of processes. Automation simultaneously reduces costs and increases efficiency and productivity. It also improves safety by decreasing contact between workers and hazards which protects your workforce for the future. Here are some of the areas it’s innovating projects:

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence relies on machine learning to build insight and foresight into projects.
  • Improves efficiency by streamlining the design process by predictive design. Machines learn what needs a project has and how they can all be compensated for within the scope of the land available.
  • Improves efficiency and reduces cost by having buildings operate themselves in the most efficient way possible. 

Exoskeletons

Frameworks with motorised muscles that construction workers can wear on top of their workwear, or free-standing limbs that can assist workers with their tasks. 
  • Improve safety by helping workers to maintain a safer posture and gain strength when lifting to prevent injury.
  • Improve productivity by allowing workers to lift heavier and bulkier things.

Autonomous Vehicles

Autonomous vehicles use artificial intelligence to automate their processes. 
  • Increase productivity and safety because they can perform highly repetitive tasks without losing focus.
  • Increase productivity as they’re always available to do a job so there’s never a shortfall in labour.
  • Increase efficiency and safety as they’re able to perform precise movements which even highly-skilled drivers might be unable to.
  • Increase productivity as there’s no need for breaks.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Like autonomous ground vehicles, aerial drones automate processes using AI.
  • Increase safety because drones are able to perform safety inspections in unsafe environments.
  • Increase productivity because they can survey land precisely and quickly.
  • Increase productivity because they can be automated to work without a manual operator.
A drone flying through the air.

3-D Printing

Highly accurate sensors make 3-D printing possible. It helps to give you foresight into the construction process by knowing exactly the design you’ll end up with and the materials you’ll use.
  • Increase productivity and efficiency because robots can quickly and precisely create any shape from building materials.
  • Increase productivity because it allows for the construction of complex and atypical shapes.
  • Reduces costs of labour and by using exact quantities of materials.


Virtual Augmented Reality

Augmented reality software’s main purpose is to predict the future. It tries to build foresight into the construction process to make development and construction more efficient, faster and reduce cost. 

It does this by enabling developers, designers and management to see and walk through projects before they’re complete to diagnose issues and solve them before construction. It can also be used within the construction of a project by use of smart helmets. These compare the design of an item with its current reality to ensure any discrepancies are highlighted and solved.

 

How can you implement digital tech into your construction project?

By utilising any of this digital construction technology within your construction project, you can quickly help to bring it in line with the government’s 2025 construction targets and maintain your competitive edge into the future.

GroupBC can improve your digital information management by helping it conform to the UK BIM Framework. They can implement common data environments and build digital twins to improve the organisation, access and trust your supply chain and clients have in your digital documents.

View how GroupBC can improve your construction data management here.