Last edited 14 Feb 2019

Adapting to digital technology

Contents

[edit] Introduction

There are many advantages to digital construction. The use of this technology is a massive opportunity for the industry to build more productively, and most importantly attracts a younger and more diverse workforce. These benefits are vital as demand for housing continues to rise, but what are the advantages for contractors?

[edit] Training for the future

According to CITB’s latest document on the digital future on construction:

Construction businesses not only need to be able to use this technology, but to make the most of it. This means:

  • Knowing when to use it - and when not to;
  • Actively considering the problems it could solve rather than adopting technology for its own sake;
  • Understanding how to embed its adoption and how to communicate its benefits;
  • Being clear on the information management needed to support it.”

It’s clear to see that the methods of training should not just be about learning how to use this technology, but also building the attitudes and mindset when working with it.

[edit] Using innovative digital technologies

Construction companies are starting to use a variety of new tools to improve productivity onsite:

“For some, this has been a stepping stone to more advanced technologies, as staff started to see the benefits of digital and help to find new ways of solving problems” - Unlocking Construction’s Digital Future Report - CITB

Augmented and virtual reality can be used to help model, plan and visualise progress onsite allowing staff to see the end result or process during the build.

Another technology which is becoming more commonly used is drones. Drones can help improve the process and efficiency of surveying, and is a safer method of accessing dangerous places that are hard to reach.

[edit] The future of data

Data is one of the most fundamental resources for many businesses, including the construction industry.

“We want a data centre like an F1 team who know everything about the car every second. We want to replicate this for the construction site” - Head of innovation, a client of CITB.

For a contractor, data can cover:

With the advancement of digital technologies, contractors will be able to input data more efficiently with predictive text, voice recognition and screen capturing documents. By having this data stored into a secure database (or the cloud), staff will be able to easily access it through a variety of devices, while updating and sending across updated data in seconds.

[edit] Summary

Adapting to different technologies can be difficult for workers, especially when they have been using the same techniques for many years. Although the methods in construction are often the same, the advancement of technology has improved the productivity and efficiency of projects.

The digital age is the next revolutionary step, which will take construction to a new level, and it is vital that contractors adapt to this new technology.

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