As technology advances, so does the construction industry. There are now many software programs and apps that make it easier for construction companies to manage projects and progress, as well as increase transparency when collaborating with teams. By using digital tools, construction companies can not only save time and money but also improve safety conditions for their workers.
There are numerous advantages that come along with implementing digital solutions in construction companies. Some of those benefits include more effective communication and project transparency. However, when choosing a digital solution for your company, you should first consider what specific needs the software would address. Some key factors to consider include project management features, collaboration tools, cost tracking capabilities and integration with other software applications.
By utilizing digital construction technologies, businesses can avoid potential risks, disruptions and delays while also improving job site productivity. Here are eight industry-led best practices for digital-assisted construction:
1. Use construction software to streamline project management and coordination
Construction software can help streamline project management and coordination. By digitizing construction processes and workflows, construction software can help improve communication and collaboration among team members. Construction software can also help track progress and ensure that tasks are completed on time. In addition, construction software can help create a comprehensive digital record of construction projects (saving time spent on manual data entry and back office admin), which can be used for reference or analysis in the future.
2. Implement Building Information Modeling (BIM) to improve construction planning, execution, and documentation
Building Information Modeling, or BIM, is a digital approach to construction that can improve the planning, execution, and documentation of construction projects. BIM allows for a more collaborative and efficient construction process by creating a digital model of the project that can be accessed and updated by all relevant members of the construction team. There are many benefits to using BIM in construction, including improved coordination between disciplines, better clash detection, and reduced rework. Additionally, BIM can help improve construction safety by identifying potential hazards during the planning phase of a project.
3. Use drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for surveying, mapping, and inspection tasks
Construction managers and surveyors are increasingly turning to drones (unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs) to help with surveying, mapping, and inspection tasks. Drones offer a number of advantages for these applications, including the ability to cover large areas quickly, access hard-to-reach places, and capture high-quality data.
There are a few things to keep in mind when using drones for construction purposes. First, make sure you have the proper permissions in place. Depending on your location, you may need to obtain a permit from the local authorities before flying a drone. Second, it is important to choose the right drone for the job. There are many different types of drones available on the market, so it is important to select one that is well-suited for construction applications. Finally, be sure to follow all safety guidelines when operating a drone.
When used properly, drones can be a valuable tool for construction professionals. By following the tips above, you can make sure that your drone surveying, mapping, and inspection tasks are carried out safely and efficiently.
4. Take advantage of mobile apps to improve communication and coordination among workers on the jobsite
Construction teams can use collaboration tools to improve communication and coordination among workers on the jobsite. By using digital collaboration tools, construction teams can share information more easily and effectively manage construction projects.
Mobile apps offer a number of advantages for construction teams. First, they allow construction teams to access project information from anywhere at any time. This is especially helpful for tasks that need to be completed off-site, such as ordering materials or scheduling inspections. Second, mobile apps can help construction teams track progress, identify defects on the spot and avoid potential delays by communicating in real-time. By tracking team progress and having the ability to raise requests as soon as they are needed, construction teams can stay on schedule and avoid costly delays.
5. Use 3D printing technology for prototyping, fabrication, and on-site construction tasks
3D printing technology is becoming increasingly popular in the construction industry, as it offers a versatile and cost-effective solution for prototyping, fabrication, and on-site construction tasks. While 3D printers have been used in construction for some time now, the technology is constantly evolving, making it more accessible and affordable for construction professionals of all levels.
If you’re considering using 3D printing technology for construction tasks, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Plan ahead: As with any construction project, it’s important to plan ahead and consider all of the potential applications of 3D printing. Will you be using it for prototyping, fabricating custom parts, or on-site construction? Knowing the answer to this question will help you choose the right 3D printer and materials for your needs.
- Choose the right printer: Not all 3D printers are created equal. When choosing a printer for construction purposes, it’s important to consider factors such as build volume, resolution, material compatibility, and durability.
- Use durable materials: Since construction projects can be tough on equipment, it’s important to use durable materials that can withstand the rigors of construction. Some common 3D printing materials used in construction include ABS plastic, polycarbonate, and nylon.
- Follow safety guidelines: When working with any type of construction equipment, it’s important to follow all safety guidelines to avoid accidents. This is especially true when working with 3D printers, as they can generate high temperatures and sharp objects. Be sure to read the safety instructions that come with your printer and follow all local laws and regulations.
With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to successfully using 3D printing technology for construction tasks.
6. Utilize virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) for training, safety, and quality control purposes
Digital construction technologies like VR and AR can be extremely helpful for training, safety, and quality control purposes on construction sites. By using VR and AR, construction workers can gain the skills and knowledge they need to work safely and efficiently. Additionally, VR and AR can help ensure that construction projects meet all quality standards.
- For training, VR and AR can be used to create realistic simulations of construction environments. This can help workers learn how to safely operate equipment or navigate hazardous situations.
- For safety, VR and AR can be used to create real-time visualizations of construction sites. This can help workers identify potential hazards and avoid potential accidents.
- For quality control, VR and AR can be used to inspect construction sites for errors or defects. This can help ensure that the final product meets all quality standards.
7. Use sensors and other data-gathering technologies to improve construction site monitoring and safety
Construction sites are inherently dangerous places. Workers are often exposed to potential hazards like falling objects, electrical shocks, and slips and trips.
Digital construction technologies can help improve safety on construction sites by providing real-time data that can be used to identify potential risks. For example, sensors can be used to monitor environmental conditions like air quality and temperature. This data can be used to improve working conditions and prevent potential accidents.
Construction software can also be used to track workers’ movements and location. This data can be used to create evacuation plans in the event of an emergency. Digital construction technologies can help make construction sites safer places to work. By providing real-time data, they can help identify potential risks and take steps to mitigate them.
8. Implement prefabrication and modular construction techniques to improve efficiency and reduce waste
Prefabrication and modular construction are becoming increasingly popular in the construction industry as a way to improve efficiency and reduce waste. However, these techniques can be difficult to implement without the right tools and knowledge.
- Prefabrication or ‘prefab’ construction is the process of manufacturing components of a structure in a factory setting, before assembling them on-site. This approach can speed up construction time and reduce waste, as prefabricated components are often made to tighter tolerances than those built on-site.
- Modular construction is a type of prefabrication that involves assembling individual modules in a factory setting, before delivering them to the construction site. This approach can be used for both residential and commercial construction projects.
Unlike traditional site-built construction, factory fabrication can overlap the site development and foundation phases, resulting in projects that are completed at least 30% faster. Furthermore, the majority of the construction process takes place inside a factory, which can significantly reduce delays caused by bad weather, theft, or site vandalism. Tighter construction schedules also allow for faster project completion, resulting in a quicker return on client investment.
Prefab component production takes place in a factory setting, which is a more controlled environment than a site. This increased control enables better material planning, reducing material surplus while also improving cost control and predictability.
Construction companies can make the most of digital tools and technologies to transform their construction site operations, increase productivity and project quality and enhance team collaboration for seamless, high-quality finished builds by following these eight innovative best practices.