What technology trends will you adopt for your construction business this year? While the industry has a reputation for being resistant to technology, tech nevertheless continues to make headway. From improving safety and performance to boosting production and accuracy, tech in the construction industry is here to stay.
1. 3D PRINTING
The use of 3-D printing in construction has seen rising popularity over the past few years, and we can expect to see that trend continue. The global 3D printing building construction market is expected to grow from $10 million to $20 million in 2022, and to reach $870 million in 2026!
The industry has already made great strides in the field of 3D construction printing. In 2021, tenants of the first 3D printed concrete house in the Netherlands received their keys, and Italy built the first 3D building constructed with raw earth, a carbon-neutral material.
Using 3D printing increases versatility because companies can either fabricate components directly on-site or prefabricate them off-site. Labor, material costs, and waste are reduced using 3D printing.
2. PREFABRICATED AND MODULAR SOLUTIONS
Piggybacking on the previous trend is the growth of prefabricated and modular solutions. These prefabs aren't a new introduction to the construction industry, but they are seeing a resurgence in popularity. In fact, modular homes have potential as a way to relieve the nation's severe housing shortage -- a crisis that the pandemic has only exacerbated.
Improvements in both construction and design -- 3D printing is just one example -- make it easier for buildings and other components to be completed off-site before being moved. This allows buildings and projects to be completed more quickly.
3. NEW CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS
Supply chain issues that have haunted the construction industry throughout 2021 and into 2022 have made finding new alternatives to traditional materials or products especially pressing. Innovative new construction materials may offer a more sustainable choice. Examples include:
- Self-healing concrete
- Transparent aluminum
- Flexible aluminum
Robots are another trend that actually has a long history within a number of industries. Look for an explosion in the use of robots in a range of diverse construction industries including highway construction, bricklaying, and more. Using robots has been shown to increase the quality of the buildings and improve production times.
5. BUILDING INFORMATION MODELING
Building information modeling (BIM) is a model-based process that uses 3D and intelligent technology to both create the information needed for construction projects and manage it more efficiently. BIM is quickly becoming the standard that local municipalities insist on using because it allows them to efficiently design, plan and manage construction projects.
Many of the above-mentioned technologies can -- and do -- work together to provide the construction industry of today with the tools it needs to meet the challenges it faces. For example, using 3D modeling to create prefab buildings could help alleviate the housing shortages faced by many cities. Robots and other automation technology can help address labor shortages faced by the industry or complete those job elements that are deemed too risky for human beings. It's safe to say that the industry's reliance on technology is only going to grow in 2022 and beyond.
This article was updated in January 2022.