Futuristic Technologies that are Changing Construction
The construction sector is known to be a little slow in adopting new technology. This is usually because construction projects take so much time and investment to develop. However, of late, construction technologies have really been transforming the way the industry works.
Most experts believe that a construction site will look very different ten years from now, thanks to these technologies. These technologies range from path-breaking materials and machinery to new methods and processes. Here are some futuristic construction technologies that will be game-changing.
Transparent aluminum is made from aluminumoxynitride or ALON. In fact, it is created using laser technology. Transparent aluminum is the latest rage in the construction industry because it combines the strength of steel with the look and feel of glass. It is also great for applications like bulletproof and blast resistant windows. Transparent aluminum adds a futuristic vibe to buildings which makes it very popular in modern construction.
Prefabrication refers to the practice of assembling different components of a structure at a manufacturing site. The complete assemblies are then transported to the construction site. While prefabrication is not a new innovation, the advent of new technologies is making prefab easier to access. As a result, the benefits of prefabrication are now available more easily.
For instance, mobile technologies that enable complete transparency and tracking of the prefabrication process are now available. You can now view the information in one complete workflow. Companies can now use these technologies to use more prefabrication in their projects and gain a significant competitive advantage.
Self-healing concrete is an ingenious innovation that can significantly increase the shelf-life of construction projects. It can also reduce the huge amount of time and money invested in maintaining and fixing bridges, roads, buildings, etc. When there is a crack in self-healing concrete and water enters, it activates the bacteria that have been mixed into the concrete. These bacteria then excrete calcite which heals the crack.
Connected job sites
Communication delays between different departments can be very costly. If the job site, design office, engineering, and trailer are on the same page, work can move forward more efficiently. Job site connectivity is the way to achieve this.
On a connected job site, all stakeholders have access to updated documents and drawings. Moreover, people can file RFIs (Request for Information) and issues even when they’re on the go. Also, people in the trailer and the engineering and design teams can track what is happening at the job site. As a result, mistakes due to miscommunication are much less likely.
Smart roads or smart highways incorporate a number of technologies to make roads safer, more environment-friendly, and easier to navigate. Technologies like sensors and IoT (Internet of Things) are used to give drivers real-time information about weather and traffic conditions. Smart roads also use technologies for generating solar energy, lighting and monitoring the roads, and improving the operation of autonomous cars.
The future of the construction industry will definitely be shaped by 3D printing technology. 3D printers look similar to small cranes and they set layers of concrete mixtures. 3D printers are used to create walls of BODs (Building on Demand). Apart from reducing construction costs, 3D printers can enable the embedding of wireless sensors within the walls of a property. This will become the foundation for creating genuinely smart buildings.
Also known as pollution building cities, vertical forests are high-rise buildings that are designed to combat pollution. These buildings incorporate hundreds of trees and shrubs into their design. This enables inhabitants of these buildings to live a greener and healthier life without huge additional costs.
Drones collect data by flying over construction sites and taking high-resolution pictures. Skilled technicians then use photogrammetry to extract 3D models and high-quality point clouds from the photos. Since drones are able to map out construction sites in advance, there is much better accuracy and fewer errors. This can reduce the construction timeline from months to days and even hours.
Aerogel insulation is a vast improvement over traditional foam or fiberglass insulation. Aerogel is produced by removing the liquid from a gel. This leaves behind a silica structure which is 90% air. The aerogel is used to create thin sheets of aerogel fabric which are now used in the construction industry. They provide excellent insulation and make it very difficult for either heat or cold to pass through them.
Building Information Modeling (BIM)
Building information modeling is the process of generating and managing digital representations of the physical buildings. BIM helps construction projects stay within budget. This is because BIM can help automate maintenance schedules once a project is complete. The property manager can use the model to know where all the fixtures and services are located along with service intervals, certificates and installation dates. This makes maintenance of the building much easier and cost-effective.
Construction technologies will be geared towards doing things smarter, faster, or cheaper. Increasingly, the focus is also on sustainable and environment-friendly construction. Companies that ignore futuristic technologies will be behind the curve in the long-run; losing their competitive edge to more forward-thinking firms.
While India has so far been a little reluctant to adopt innovative construction technology, this is changing quickly. Companies like Magicrete are bringing avant-garde construction technology to the Indian construction industry. With products like AAC, precast technology, and dry mix mortar, Magicrete is set to create the foundation for futuristic construction in India.