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The impact of technology on construction in 2020
In the past decade, we saw technology advancing at breakneck speed, and our dependence on technology in every area of our lives and business is growing rapidly. These trends are only going to carry on into the 2020s and beyond, as technology will continue to make our lives and business safer, more efficient, more convenient and better overall.
While many of the biggest industries have embraced technology – and thrived for it – some have been more hesitant to take advantage of all that modern technological advances have to offer. Although advances in automation, wearables, augmented and virtual reality, mobile applications and countless other tools can make construction more efficient and profitable, many in the industry are slow to accept new things.
However, as we move into a new year and a new decade, the most successful people in the industry will be those who are willing to embrace new technologies. If you are uncertain about the potential impact of technology on construction and how it can be beneficial in the coming year, below are just a few aspects in which we can expect to see even more advances in 2020.
Perhaps the holiest of words in modern (and near-future) business are efficiency and productivity. Nothing has a more positive impact on these aspects of construction than advanced technology.
Lasers have become the standard tool for accurate and efficient measurement, and according to LaserLevelHub.net, that trend is only going to continue in 2020. Laser measurements are fast and accurate, and advanced laser tools can immediately incorporate measurements into a cloud-based construction database.
AI and machine learning will also play a larger role in the efficiency of future construction, as builders take advantage of data and analytics to reduce waste, improve productivity and find better ways of working.
The use of robots in anything from brick-laying to rebar-tying and more will also grow in frequency and efficiency in the coming decade. Similarly, drones will play a bigger role in conducting worksite inspections and providing data in real time. They can also be used to access dangerous, hard-to-reach areas, reducing the potential for injuries.
Speaking of worksite injuries, one big impact of technology will be a substantial decrease in injury frequency going forward. Automated site sensors that measure things like temperature, dust particles, potentially hazardous organic compounds, and other variables are already being implemented in many construction sites to help improve safety while also providing additional data for builders.
Wearables also hold the potential to improve safety conditions while collecting more analytical data in 2020. Wearable tech can be implanted in worker PPE (personal protective equipment) to acquire information on movement, moisture, posture, potential falls and other elements of construction work. Smartwatches and other wearable technology can also provide information on how to increase worker efficiency throughout the day.
In addition to on-the-job safety improvements, the impact of technology on training techniques will grow in the near future. Virtual reality has been an effective training tool for soldiers, pilots, and other high-risk professions for years, and its greater implementation in construction teaching is in the pipeline. Similarly, augmented reality can be used to provide training with simulated hazards or changes on a real worksite.
The more people involved in a project, the more crucial proper communication becomes for its success. Engineers, workers, project managers and others all need to be able to communicate and collaborate effectively to do a good job in a timely manner.
For this reason, mobile technology is going to be used more and more on construction sites in 2020. There is an app for just about anything out there, and this includes every potential need in construction. In addition to efficient communication, integrated mobile solutions will allow builders to make necessary changes quickly and effectively.
Many of the tools and advances mentioned above are already in use in advanced worksites, training facilities, and manufacturing plants. Those who utilize modern technology and remain open to new advances in the future are those who will be the most successful in the construction industry for years to come.