Technology and Construction: Working Hand in Hand
The construction industry is moving at a fast pace and is starting to take advantage of the many new technologies available to make projects quicker, safer and more cost effective.
It was recently reported that the company in charge of building the new Sacramento Kings stadium in California are making use of drones to monitor progress at the site. The article explains how the drones work: “Several camera-equipped drones operated by a company called ImageInFlight patrol the site to collect footage, which are then converted into 3D images. These images are run through software developed by a team from the University of Illinois, which compares them to architectural plans and previous images to measure progress”.
While using cameras to track the development of a construction site isn’t a new idea, what is interesting is the industry’s quick uptake of fledgling technology. More and more businesses are seeing the benefits of digitization, including increased efficiency, better manageability and accurate data.
3Squared Leading the Way
We wrote previously about the benefits of an industry shifting to use digital processes, and it’s great to see these new examples of industries embracing technology. At 3Squared we’ve been experimenting with how new technologies can benefit the construction industry. Some of our successful projects include the 3Squared SmartVest and the BIM 360 Field App. The SmartVest improves many processes put in place to improve health and safety in the workforce. We have helped take an established product with existing safety benefits into the 21st Century, turning the humble high visibility vest into a piece of wearable technology.
With so many new tools available, it becomes a task in itself to efficiently manage them and to ensure that processes are improved and built upon. Working with the construction industry, we developed Site Companion, a suite of powerful applications to view drawings, streamline workflows and exchange information. Apps in the suite include a Hub, Site Diary and Media Tagging (this app has the capability to link pictures to a project, works package, work item, contractor or other elements). These applications have many benefits including improved data capture quality in the field, time saving with reporting and compliance, and improved audit and compliance tracking.
As technology improves, so does the the number of possibilities to utilise it in the construction industry. Construction Global take a look at some other ways where new technology can be integrated into the industry. One idea which builds upon that of the 3Squared SmartVest is smart sensors in boots and other items: “Hard hat sensors can alert foreman if an impact takes place and wristwatch sensors can monitor body temperatures and ensure workers aren’t suffering from heat exhaustion. Likewise, boot sensors can monitor how long workers have been on their feet and track the amount of time between breaks. Harness sensors can monitor the number of workers on a structure and alert foreman if a sudden drop in height takes place.”
In the next few years as devices become smaller, more powerful and more adaptable, we may see a complete digital revolution in this once digitally-untouched industry.