There promises to be a number of very innovative, trendy technology advances due to play their way into Construction during 2019. In this insight, we take key focus on the Construction trends which we think will take centre stage, including wearable technology, Exoskeleton vests, new BIM technology and drone advances.
Looking through the lens
Wearable technology is nothing short of a revolution within the Construction industry. As well as being seen as a social acceptance, wearable technology has massive benefits. The potential is unlimited. Hands-free and heads-up technology can massively reshape the way projects are delivered. Smart glasses provide new innovation by limiting using laptops, smartphones or tablets. Just image, on-site drivers using glasses to request help or instructions on how to resolve a technical problem. The case of using smart glasses is glowing. These benefits to put forward include healthcare, the ease of complex manufacturing, ease of accessibility in logistics and warehousing and strength of security.
The implementation of any technology into a business will create some difficulties. However, many of the challenges faced by wearable technology, such as security, privacy and integration, can be easily addressed with the right, smart solutions.
Global technology expert, Microsoft, has introduced the Hololens headset, providing a critical protection on a construction site. Otherwise known as Augmented Reality, the Hololens provides a superior development in the technology world of Construction. The Hololens can carry out far more advanced tasks, including Remote Support (Teleconferencing) in the construction field, where if construction workers spot an issue on site, they can connect with the Architecture and Design team to discuss the solution and proceed further. Also, a technician on a construction site can wear the Microsoft Hololens and collaborate with a support specialist, who uses a tablet and shares the view with the headset. The specialist leaves annotations that are visible in real world space, and the technician can quickly respond to them.
Augmented reality also allows to access wall and metal constructions – in the office or on construction site. Process modelling for equipment movement and relocations are easier with Augmented Reality, aswell.
Will new machinery fit into the space, or should we move it down the hallway? Do we need to remove the additional wall to accommodate the size of equipment? With Augmented Reality modelling and visualization, a construction team on site can see it in the real world space and make the right decision.
A brand-new tech that promises to take the Construction world by storm in 2019, is the Exoskeleton vest. With demand greater than ever before on turnaround times for projects and a greater importance played on time resource, there is demand for innovation. Already being trialled across the Construction industry, is the ‘Eksovest’, an upper body exoskeleton vest, is designed to support a worker’s arms during heavy lifting. Each vest costs around £5,500, with the benefit to make workers feel less exerted, resulting in improved wellbeing and productivity. Ford, uses the vest at around 15 plants around the world, aiming to reduce risk of injury for physically demanding and repetitive construction roles.
Similar to 2018, BIM (Building Information Modelling) Technology promises to be one of the hottest construction technology trends. BIM identifies as representing buildings, roads, and utilities. As well as a very effective tool for project management, visual representation and project focus, BIM Technology also predicts job costs, and most importantly tells the project manager if the job is achievable. Looking forward to 2019, BIM provides the fundamental change in how we manage, design and develop a construction project and will bring a greater detail of accuracy in the planning and building process. BIM Technology is being welcomed by globally recognised brands including Samsung C & T, who mainly focus on engineering and construction projects. The group constructed two of the world’s tallest and most famous skyscrapers, the Pertronas Towers in Malaysia and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Samsung C & T were the contractor for these projects. To overcome a number of serious issues, the decided to deploy BIM technology in all stages of the building process. Because of the complex structure of the building there were still some challenges, however the BIM technology made it possible for them to finish the project on time and within budget.
Drone utilisation is becoming more and more popular as they are becoming cheaper to source and utilise. Drones provide a completely different dynamical approach to a project, with different views and images which implement a more effective project output. Safety in drones around the job site which brings fantastic advancements. In the past, many companies were hesitant to use drones as they needed a controller, but today, technology is growing rapidly and companies are catching this as construction companies are more willing and openly embracing the technology. Drones are a reliable way forward for construction in 2019 as it is cost-effective, unobstrusive, environmentally friendly and responsive.
The success of drones within the construction sector is down to savvy early adoption by numerous high-profile companies, with several highly-recognised firms currently using drones as part of their offering. These companies include Kier, Balfour Beauty, Mitie, Interserve and Costain. These companies use drones in a variety of ways on their sites. A strong advantage of drones is that they provide easy access to large or difficult sites as complex or tall structures. They can gather aerial data, mapping information and images used for land surveys, building inspections, providing visual material for clients and staff, monitoring on-site activities, security surveillance and mapping data.