For the First Time, Construction Technology Shows Signs of Life

Posted by Sudesh Jangalee on March 13, 2019

Construction isn't known for technology advances or innovation. Why would an industry not explore construction technology innovations that could lead to productivity gains and cost savings?

Entech lists three reasons for the stagnant construction technology:

  • Over half continue using pen and paper for estimation and bids.
  • Construction lacks the infrastructure to integrate mobile and desktop tech.
  • The industry relies on spreadsheets for project management.

Construction technology is showing signs of life as the industry realizes it can make a positive impact on the bottom line, efficiency, and productivity.

According to "Construction is falling behind in the innovation race," both the older and younger generations struggle to work together because of the divide in technology or rather the lack of it. With the wave of Baby Boomers retiring in the next few years, the industry expects to see younger, technology-savvy generations entering construction taking their place. This will further drive the need for innovation and advancement.

Construction Gains a Start-up Accelerator

One top company recognizes construction lags in technology and is taking steps to change that. You know something big is coming when a company like Virgin takes an interest in construction. Virgin StartUp wants to propel innovation in construction, prompting the launch of ConstruTech, the first construction technology accelerator program.

Start-ups apply for the six-week program. Virgin StartUp works with the selected companies to help fund and scale their businesses. They'll also provide mentoring, office space, and access to product validation and a go-to-market strategy.

ConstruTech wants startups that can solve three challenges:

  • People: Provide staff with tools and resources to do jobs effectively.
  • Smart materials: Improve productivity while reducing environmental impact.
  • Data: Capture data and learn from it.

The accelerator program runs from July to August, so it's possible they will introduce something this fall.

The Latest Construction Technology Advancements

The construction accelerator is one clue that construction technology is changing. The second is that researchers around the world have developed durable, cheaper, and more environment-friendly smart materials.

Here are seven new construction materials to give you an idea of how construction advancements will make a positive impact on companies, buildings, and the environment:

  • CABKOMA strand rod: Five times lighter than a metal rod and more durable.
  • Cigarette butts: Recycle a million tons into lighter, durable, and energy-efficient bricks.
  • Cooling bricks: Produces a cooling effect that cools down building interiors.
  • Light-generating cement: Traps sunlight and releases it at night to light up the road.
  • Breathing bricks: Absorbs polluted air and filters clean air.
  • Self-healing concrete: Repairs itself when heated to save millions of dollars yearly.
  • Translucent wood: Cheap wood that allows light to pass through.

You can explore "5 Construction Automation Technologies" for more innovations that will also have a positive effect on the industry. These include drones, robotics, Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, and remote video surveillance for added construction security.

The accelerator and these new technologies indicate the industry is finally moving the needle in construction technology. It will help companies be more efficient and build buildings that are cheaper and environment-friendly.

Although construction technology and innovations will increase efficiencies and save millions of dollars, construction security remains a high priority. However, it is possible to find additional cost savings with the right construction security investment and solution. If you'd like to learn more about intelligent monitoring security options available in construction, please contact us.

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