There have been some amazing developments in construction technology over the past few years. Thanks to some recent innovations, construction sites are now safer, more efficient, and less expensive. Even better, these innovations are likely to continue to provide more benefits as they improve. Below are just some of the innovations that are making construction easier and faster.
3D printing is one of the most important construction innovations in recent years. 3D printing allows engineers to create their designs on a computer, then print them out in full 3D. While this technology started off with small applications, it has quickly grown in its number of uses. In fact, there is now the capability to print things in concrete, which can significantly reduce costs and the time it takes to complete projects. Nowhere is this more evident than in the new 3D-printed concrete bridges that are being made.
Vertical pumps allow us to move large amounts of water from underground up to the surface. And while the idea of vertical pumps has been around for a long time, they have recently become even more efficient and powerful. With a vertical turbine pump, construction sites can now quickly remove water from the location, using a motor that is mounted on ground-level. This means that if there are any issues with the motor, they can quickly be fixed, allowing the project to resume in a shorter amount of time.
Augmented and Virtual Reality
Two of the coolest innovations that are greatly benefiting construction are augmented and virtual reality. Virtual reality allows teams to work on construction projects from anywhere in the world, working in a virtual environment for better accuracy. Engineers can use virtual reality to get a better sense of what a project will look like and plan for the challenges it might present.
With augmented reality, information is overlayed on top of a live feed. Construction sites can use this by having essential information, like measurements and plans, overlayed on top of a live feed of the site. As the camera moves around, the information updates based on what the camera sees. When combined together, both augmented and virtual reality provide construction teams with amazing technology that will make collaboration and building easier than ever before.
It seems like it is only a matter of time before self-driving cars become a reality. We already have cars that can park themselves or guide themselves through traffic. As we wait for this technology to come to our consumer vehicles, it’s also making its way to construction vehicles. In fact, it’s likely these vehicles become prominent in construction before they do with consumers. With closed sites and limited pedestrians, construction sites are a safer location to test these autonomous vehicles. Once they are up and running, they are sure to speed up the construction process.
Mining has always been a dangerous profession, which is why it’s so great that remote-controlled mining is becoming more prominent. With remote-controlled mining, operators can control the mining equipment from a digital cockpit, without having to go into the mine themselves. And, thanks to recent developments in wireless technology, we can now operate the equipment miles below ground. As technology continues to develop, we should be able to mine further and further without risking lives by sending people underground.
Finally, there’s machine monitoring. One of the biggest challenges in any construction project is when a machine unexpectedly fails. When this happens, it can often shut down the entire project for an extended period of time, until replacement equipment comes in. This is where machine monitoring can help.
Machine monitoring keeps an eye on equipment, looking for signs that it is about to fail. By figuring out when a machine is on the verge of failing, construction sites can order the replacement equipment before the machine actually fails. If given enough warning, construction sites can continue operation without delays, significantly improving efficiency.
The Future of Construction Projects
It won’t be long before the innovations above are common-place at all construction sites. They provide so many benefits, from safety to costs, that it doesn’t make sense for construction managers to not make use of them. But by then, we’ll likely be talking about even newer innovations that we cannot even think of yet. In just a few years, we may look back on this time and wonder how we accepted using so much time on construction projects.
Author | Emily Forbes
An Entrepreneur, Mother & A passionate tech writer in the technology industry!