Changing the Construction Landscape: How Technology is Improving Workflows
COVID-19 changed priorities on construction sites in ways that accelerated adoption of BIM, drones, virtual reality and artificial intelligence. Here’s how proliferation of those techs is raising the stakes in construction.
The architecture, engineering, and construction industry (AEC) is not a sector known to adopt new technologies quickly. When change does come, it moves at a glacial pace. One area where innovation has lagged is technology enhancing design, quality control or project management. Some of these tools, like Microsoft Hololens and BIM, have been around for several years but most construction companies used them sparingly, if at all. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed this on construction sites across the globe.
When contractors were allowed to return to job sites after the initial shut-downs, companies had to impose strict guidelines on who could enter a job site and how they could work there. New protective measures designed to keep workers safe and prevent outbreaks discouraged or prevented clients from touring construction sites in person. This sent many construction firms scrambling to find ways to show clients in real-time, or close to real-time, progress on their projects.
There has been a surge in use of remotely piloted drones, augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), virtual reality (VR) technology, and building information modeling (BIM) systems. These established and cutting edge technologies are facilitating a digital transformation that will bring a lasting change to construction.