Technological innovations continue to spread each year, and there are no signs that it’s going to stop any time soon. It’s spreading like wildfire in different sectors, and those who are part of the construction, architecture, or engineering industry would agree to this.
There’s definitely a lot they can look forward to in every year. It could be something that would improve safety, such as smart traffic signs, or productivity like BIM. Whatever it is, the end result is really something for us to enjoy.
3D Printed Concrete Bridges
Although this may seem a little futuristic, believe it or not, additive-manufacturing concrete printers have been around since 2014. However, its major milestone happened somewhere around 2017. Bridges were constructed on-site through the use of a commercial printer.
That’s not all, the first-ever Gaudi-inspired pedestrian footbridge in Madrid was also made using a 3D printer, and the cyclist bridge in the Netherlands was also constructed the same way. Indeed, 3D printing offers a lot of advantages.
Through the use of it, structures only call for a small amount of cement, no formwork necessary, and it could also be created in various shapes with the help of CGI movie magic.
Back in the 1960s, the construction industry started using recycled rubber, such as the ones used in car tires, for asphalt admixture. It’s something that improved quality through time, lowered costs, and best of all, it reduces landfill waste. Recently, this practice continues to develop, and it has even extended to using single-use plastic, and recycled bottles in asphalt.
In some cities, they even proposed the idea of building a new bike path made from recycled materials similar to Lego blocks that could be combined together. Then, there are those that are using cigarette butts to improve roadway quality, while heavy metals are safely contained. In Sydney, they are promoting the use of recycled printer toner, and it’s being included in their asphalt mix.
Virtual Reality in Preconstruction
Virtual reality used to be limited to just video games and training simulations, but times have changed. Now, VR can also be found in the construction industry, and it’s starting to make waves.
One great example of this would be the virtual mockups created in some construction site. These virtual mockups are slowly replacing their physical counterparts. Although this may cost a good amount at first, if you’ll consider the benefits they can give you, it’s definitely worth the cost.
Construction Site Robots
For the past few years, the idea behind machine-controlled equipment, loaders, graders, and so on, keeps on improving and has expanded dramatically. Now, the focus is on autonomous control, as well as robotic technology.
Furthermore, there are also some applications that are being utilized in the construction site, such as bricklaying robots that could work with humans. These are proven to be very helpful as they increase productivity, and they also reduce physical strain on construction workers.
Other construction robots being utilized in the construction site include self-driving cars, trucks, and many more.
Similar to virtual reality, there are plenty of AR applications in the construction industry, and they are deemed to be more theoretical than how they used to be back then. As technology improves, so as these innovations. There are augmented reality tools capable of getting accurate measurements even with just a smartphone.
Do you also remember Google Glasses? Since we’re already talking about AR, it’s best to discuss this one as well. Basically, the eyeglass mounted system is capable of getting and storing vital information about the project. That’s not all, it’s still being developed even more, and it’s believed that it has another potential as well.
Circular Business Models
Circular business models used to be just a philosophy, but it’s slowly changing. The idea behind is that most modular building techniques and careful tracking resources can reuse all integral models.
Furthermore, some materials used are expected to increase in value, and that’s why experts are trying to find ways on how to lease elements so that they will be able to quickly capture necessary data.
BAM is also developing an online marketplace where users would be able to reuse the available methods and come up with better ones to improve productivity and efficiency.