As we get further into 2017, it’s now time to take a look at some of last year’s predictions, trends and buzzes to see what’s currently holding up. In the field of technology, these are all sure bets but it’s often these ongoing tech trends are discussed with little word as to why they’re important. Here are five construction trends in technology happening right now you should know about.
BIM - Building Information Modeling (BIM), a process of 3D modelling and project management, has continued to grow in importance in the construction industry and a need to improve communication between stakeholders and firms will fuel its upward trajectory. With the advent of VR tech, the next step will be taking the best of virtual immersion to breathe more life into future drafts, plans and designs.
Scanning - As hardware becomes more affordable, so does traditional scanning options. Meanwhile, 3D scanning is taking off, offering a robust option for firms looking to capture complex structures in a short period of time, converting scans into fully fleshed models easily shared and accessed.
VR/AR Tech - VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) are fast making an impact and they currently stand to make a greater splash in the construction industry, now that computer display technology and graphical interfaces have improved enough that both technologies are more feasible than ever. VR and AR can provide better levels of safety to job sites, allowing teams to detect potential hazards, view site conditions and provide stakeholders and clients a better understanding of the project through its progress.
Mobile apps - It’s easy to say just about anyone working on a job site has access to a cell phone or tablet, making mobile apps easily one of the platforms with the biggest potential for reach. There's an app for just about every aspect of construction industry culture from time tracking to project management to safety review to team communication and resource tracking and more. Hopefully we can see further app consolidation where more features can get integrated into fewer apps.
Cloud computing - The cloud itself is not new, especially in construction circles, but its pervasiveness and reach has fuelled the impact of just about every other trend on this list, making many applications and innovations possible. So far that integration has consisted of file sharing and team communication but what may hopefully come this year is an improved flow of communication between the job site and a firm's main office and better integration between the cloud and the trends it powers.