The construction technology market has seen a huge amount of growth in recent years, with leaders in the field exploring the use of high-level technologies in creating effective and sustainable solutions for today’s commercial construction challenges. This work is changing how building projects are approached from the ground up.
Whilst the construction industry remains one of the predominant areas of our infrastructure, with continuing demand as our population and need for connectivity increases, its productivity is low compared to other areas of the global economy. In the two decades up until 2017, an increase of just 1% per year was seen, compared to 3.6% for manufacturing, according to the McKinsey consultancy.
Serious incorporation of newer construction technology has already helped other sectors advance, and can help optimise the construction industry. From increased safety to fewer errors, better environmental sustainability, and solutions for staff shortages and costly overheads across the space, construction technology incorporation answers many problems.
Of these new areas within construction technology, certain companies are already making great strides in the utilisation of this new tech, focusing on big data centre projects and complex construction developments. Who are the leaders in this space and how are they helping shape the future of construction technology? I took a deeper dive into just that.
In the augmented reality space, XYZ Reality is making exciting steps ahead. Their engineering-grade augmented reality headset - Atom - allows a comprehensive 3D model of building sites, plugging directly into workers’ hardhats. It uses laser-based track technology, meaning workers can walk through their construction sites live, viewing a hologram layout of their building site with models positioned within construction tolerances.
When it comes to virtual reality, solutions from Resolve are setting the way. Resolve’s Wellington Engine makes the most of cutting-edge techniques across occlusion culling, virtualised geometry, and adaptive partitioning to render virtual models. With capability across all model sizes and no need for PC tethering, Resolve’s tech is trusted by construction technology leaders with compatibility across countless VR headsets, minimising build problems and saving money at all project levels.
The development of exoskeleton solutions has been incredibly exciting in recent years. The wearable full-body exoskeleton from Sarcos offers an increased quality of life for industrial workers, helping them lift heavy loads and perform repetitive tasks without injury.
Guardian XO combines robotics, sensors, and high-level software to help industrial workers move up to 200lbs (90kg) safely, as well as hold materials in place and enable further construction efforts with greater efficiency and worker comfort.
Safety wearables are finding their hold in the industrial space, alongside first responder and defence spaces. Smartboots from Solepower are revolutionising the workspace; reducing worker injury, increasing efficiency, and offering valuable data into workflow patterns.
This construction technology solution offers an immediate improvement to worker experience and safety in a comfortable wearable. Smartboots offer real-time location tracking, as well as environmental and user alerts such as temperature sensing, alerts for falls and fatigue, and SOS alert capability. Using embedded GPS, RFID, and IMUs, data is relayed to a dashboard via Cloud technology.
In the robotics construction technology space, the FieldPrinter robot from Dusty Robotics enables project teams to reduce their schedule time dramatically and rework costs through accurate, full-scale 1:1 floor layouts with 1/16” (1mm) accuracy.
The FieldPrinter’s smart technology prints autonomously onto a construction surface in a fraction of the time it would take a manual layout crew with a chalk line - whilst eliminating the possibility of human error and time wasted in correcting layouts.
Across a broad cross-section of the construction technology sector, it’s evident that the future of sustainable construction will rely heavily upon technological advancements to ensure a thriving, safe, and efficient sector. From robotics to augmented reality, construction technology will be an exciting and lucrative space to watch for the years to come.
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