At every opportunity, construction firms large and small are looking at how 3D technology levels the playing field and help them become more efficient, streamline processes and improve sustainability.
From an article in Construction Equipment Guide by Patricia O’Brien.
Technological trends in large firms include building information modeling (BIM), the use of advanced building materials and construction robotics. Small to mid-size firms are embracing a variety of technologies, including drones, 360-degree photography and project management software to improve their efficiency. Safety continues to be at the forefront of the industry no matter the size of the firm, with technological advances in tools such as construction wearables to keep workers safe.
In the view of Michael Zeppieri, vice president, Skanska USA’s Emerging Technology Team, some of the more common aspects of technology that improve the function of a job site involve less about specific technologies, and more about understanding how to improve efficiencies among project teams. Technology has not scaled as quickly in construction as it has in other industries, such as automotive or aerospace, but it still has an impact.
“Buildings don’t come off assembly lines,” Zeppieri said. “You generally don’t have continuity from one job to the next. Locations change, teams change, the buildings change. To get to the futurism of technology that everyone is excited about, you must get people to adopt technology in a very pragmatic and real way.”
Technologies used to improve the build experience don’t have to be futuristic and expensive to have a positive effect. When visiting a job site, Zeppieri sees firsthand how relatively simple technologies, such as the use of QR codes, have a lasting impact on the user. Equally important is accessibility, with mobile-first and platform integration serving as the primary drivers for adoption in the field.
“When I go to a job site, and I see a superintendent get very excited because they can put a QR code on a room, scan it with their mobile device and it brings them to their punch list in one of our core platforms, that simplifies that process for them,” he said. “The technology is not that sophisticated, but they get excited about it because it solves a problem.”
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