Human beings have been in the business of construction for thousands of years, which makes it tempting to wonder how much things really change. After all, every building still has the same essential elements of floors, walls and roofs.
But to anyone who works in the industry, it’s clear that the pace of innovation is rapid. Building materials are always subject to review and new developments. Pioneers drive forward new best practices. More efficient usage of materials and more powerful new technology allow projects to be completed at a faster rate.
Taken together, these trends have a huge impact on the construction industry. Here are five construction industry innovations in particular that we’re paying attention to this year:
1. Construction Drones
Anyone who’s ever had a quiet moment at the beach ruined by a drone whizzing overhead understands how fast and agile they can be. These attributes make them a key part of the future of construction. Once upon a time, site surveyors used to have to hike to high vantage points like hilltops to get the lay of the land. Today, all that’s required to get a pristine image of a job site is a drone and a remote control.
2. Construction Blockchain
Everyone remembers the huge craze last year over the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. But while the debate rages on over the future of cryptos, the blockchain network they run on has real potential to be revolutionary – and it’s already in use across a number of organisations and industries.
In construction, the introduction of blockchain tech could create a stronger, more secure and more dependable way to keep track of things like confidentiality agreements, finance documentation and building blueprints. It could also be a big help in cutting down on issues like loss and theft, which can stall progress on a project.
3. All-in-One Project Management
A cheeky soul might say that, for an industry that’s daily in the business of building walls, it’s no surprise that our communication on projects could be better. But as anyone who’s ever stepped onto busy job sites during the middle of the day knows, they can be a madhouse.
Coordinating not only the job site but the comings and goings of all workers can be tough.
That’s why it’s exciting that innovative all-in-one project management technology like SiteSupervisor could make it far easier to keep track of documents, worker schedules and all the other admin details that go into running a tight ship on the site.
4. Green Equipment
The world is looking to go green right now, due to the potential impact of climate change. For a long time, construction equipment like bulldozers and tractors got by on using diesel only. Now that’s changing, thanks to the push towards electric vehicles. Sure, it may be a while away before we see a Tesla crane on a site, but it may not be that long either, given the growing demand for efficient technology.
5. Recycled Materials
It’s no secret recycling has copped a bit of a whack lately in Australia. While many Aussies commendably spend a few minutes on bin night ensuring a milk bottle or cardboard box hasn’t accidentally ended up in the waste-only bin, some councils around Aus have been caught out dumping recycled goods at the tip.
The good news is the construction industry is well-positioned to make good use of those materials, as newspaper wood, bottle bricks, and all sorts of other nifty recreations can be made from the materials generated through recycling.
Building an Innovation Culture
We live in an era when huge trends like the rise of the digital economy and greater globalisation are making the way in which we work each day more interconnected, more sophisticated and more reliant on consistent innovation to optimise practices and achieve stronger results.
These changes can bring with them a bit of turbulence, and they may require some time to adjust to. But they’re also incredibly exciting, promising to make the work we do in our industry each day more efficient, more powerful and more fun. That’s why the future of the field of construction looks fantastic.
What other construction innovations are you excited about? Let us know in the comments below: