January 13, 2020
Author: Lorman Education
The construction industry is in a constant state of change. Builders, engineers and architects are improving methods, find efficiencies and reducing waste. With 2020 already here, it is crucial to explore the new and emerging trends in the industry. What should you look out for? Well, these four could be the most exciting.
For the longest time, the construction industry has been one of the least automated. Labor has been the primary source of productivity, and there is a good reason for this; construction is notoriously difficult to automate. However, there are a few robots poised to break into construction in 2020.
First, there is the combination of robotic arms and 3D printing. A robotic arm controls a 3D printer to build structurally safe buildings following preprogrammed instructions.
This might sound like the script of a sci-fi movie, but this technology is already in use with the first-ever 3D printed bridge in the Netherlands.
Other than 3D printing, demolition robots are breaking into mainstream applications. Yes, they are slower than demolition crews, but they are cheaper and safer.
We also expect other robots such as autonomous vehicles to make headways later in the year, but the above are the most prepared to function in the industry.
2. Virtual and Augmented Reality
Though VR and AR have gained traction in consumer markets, most professional markets have lagged on the uptake. Construction especially has been behind the curve, but we expect this to change in 2020.
With the increased demand for efficiency and diminished environmental impact, construction professionals have to rely on new technologies. And nothing holds as much potential as augmented and virtual reality.
AR interprets the external world in real-time, and projects images unto it, and it can eliminate the need for blueprints. Case in point is Microsoft HoloLens that can guide construction.
As for VR, it is excellent for rendering and planning. The immersive virtual world gives architects a better sense of space, and they can make informed decisions.
3. Prefabrication and Modular Construction Projects
The value proposition of prefabrication and modular construction is that it reduces cost while maximizing profits. But it holds more potential than that.
Prefabrication involves building materials off site, after which they are then transported to the construction site for assembly.
Other than reduced cost, it is a green construction tech that reduces waste as excess materials can be recycled in the factory. Furthermore, there is higher quality control as materials are produced in a controlled environment.
Finally, you eliminate the risks of traditional construction sites. Workers no longer have to work at heights and around weather conditions.
4. Green Technology
Green technology involves constructing environmentally friendly buildings. It is the result of increased regulations and pressure from people for sustainability in construction.
But what's most remarkable is that companies that incorporate green technology are more efficient, and the current harsh economic times demand efficiency and innovation.
One green technology that is breaking into construction is cool roofs. These roofs trap the hot or cold air inside the home better than shingles or standard roofing. According to the Department of Energy, they can cut down the temperature in summer by about 50°C. Furthermore, they reduce the strain on your HVAC
Other technologies include green insulation, using biodegradable materials, and rammed earth brick technique.
The construction industry has been quite hesitant to adopt new technologies but increased regulations, and desire for improved efficiency is resulting in change.
It still has a long way to go, but it is moving in the right direction. With the technologies above, you can expect to stay ahead of the curve, and witness an improving bottom line. Also, you are welcome to contact us to learn how you can make the most of these emerging trends.