This is one of the primary reasons why the basic construction process has remained the same since the Middle Ages and it is still done stick by stick and piece by piece. However, it is a fact that even this basic process is an important part of the world economy. It is a major segment of the overall economy because it includes both residential and commercial construction. The space shuttle launch facility, a neighborhood shopping center, a petrochemical plant, the Great Wall of China, a nuclear power plant, the Erie canal or a single-family home; these are all construction projects, but all require different technologies and skills. In a nutshell, they represent the different sectors of the construction industry.
In the last decade, the impact of technological advancement on the construction sector has varied as it depends on the type of construction being performed. There is a huge potential for significant developments as advancements are being driven by competitive pressures and technological innovation. Currently, the most significant changes and technological trends that have affected the growth of the construction industry are:
2.Construction Equipment and Methods
Generally, construction equipment is required for assembling and moving materials. There is more emphasis on moving material faster or simply moving larger pieces with greater accuracy and reliability. There has also been an increase in efficiency in the use of heavy construction equipment at job sites including conveyors, cranes and earth movers. Some specific machinery and equipment have also undergone dramatic improvements such as laser-based excavation equipment and also new tunneling equipment.
There is also a notable increase in the use of advanced materials like fiberglass fabric for doing repair tasks rapidly, polyester fiber for added durability and honeycomb foams and structures for increased strength and most importantly, the use of specialized material for undersea, arctic, radioactive, arid and extraterrestrial environments. There is still ongoing improvement in the qualities of these material. These trends in consumer methods, equipment and materials are affecting all kinds of construction.
4.Automation and Expert Systems
Another growing trend in the construction industry is the use of computerized expert systems like systems for diagnosing vibration issues in rotating machinery or systems for verifying weld performance qualifications. In the next decade, the use of expert systems is going to be the most significant application of techniques of artificial intelligence in the next decade. Technologies such as geodetic positioning and laser range-finding have also come in handy for automating storage areas on the job site, pinpointing accurate locations and for establishing tracks for remotely operated vehicles. Gradually, they will all be integrated into a coherent and smooth system for automated control of certain activities in the construction industry.
No doubt, all the mentioned above technologies may and will definitely improve construction process and optimize all related processes. The only thing that is lacking here is the backbone of the process - the structure, within which all these technologies could function at capacity. BitRent has recently announced building of an Investing Blockchain platform that is meant to unite all such technologies and control the whole construction process from the first sketch till exploitation and complete dismantling of the building project. Moreover, taking advantage of BIM and RFID tags, investors will be empowered to monitor the process down to a single piece of construction element.
Middle Age construction methods are long gone. The world becomes more digitized day after day, so why don’t we try the best of things the digital world offers us?