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Last edited 03 Dec 2020
How to utilise technology in construction projects
 New building technologies
Prefabricated components are nothing new in the building industry, but as a building technology, modular building is only just coming to the fore in the UK. Accepted in many other countries as the way in which to build anything from a one-storey home to a multi-level clinical facility, modular building utilises all kinds of technologies in the design and construction stage.
And yet, it is a build technology that uses traditional materials, sometimes in very traditional ways. But when used with new technologies and ways of using the materials, the results are fabulous buildings that are warm in winter, cool in summer and efficient and cost effective to run.
As a technology, prefabricated and modular builds are created in component parts within a factory setting in half the time of a traditional build. Shipped and transported to site, it takes little effort and time to connect the pieces and create a water tight building ready for the input of services in no time. In effect, modular build technology saves money and time, clearly beneficial to every stakeholder in the build process.
The smart home and office are here to stay. In the future, we will no longer struggle to recharge phones and laptops because we can’t find the charger because homes and office premises will be built with this technology will be built within the four walls of the property.
Via apps, users will be able to control lighting and shade within a property, heat as well as coolness. All of this will come without a heavy impact on the environment as heating and cooling technology will increasingly work by energy efficient means, such as solar power.
Living or working in a property will be about comfort and ease of living, all made possible by the inclusion of responsive technology. People expect to be connected to the buildings they live and work in without effort.
Also known as ‘unmanned aerial vehicles’ (or UAVs), drones have a tricky reputation to manage. People question whether drones are ethical in some capacities, whilst others question the invasion of privacy as it is possible to observe people without them knowing.
For the construction industry, drones or UAVs could be a piece of technology that allows a bird’s eye view to monitor the construction progress of a building project. Imagine having an overarching view of your build to monitor the progress!
Not necessarily a new idea, but the digital process of creating building design for clients and stakeholders to view is. Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a 3D model-based process for both creating and managing project information. It is, if you like, a digital description of the build.
As well as being an important visual technology, BIM and other 3D imaging processes can be used before, during and after the project has been completed. It produces better plans and better results, and evidence suggests that projects stay on budget too.
 Energy-saving technology
There is no doubt that energy saving technologies will continue to grow, become more refined and new inventions will continue to come to the market. Energy saving technology is no longer an optional add on to a building but an essential component of any modern build. From reducing carbon emissions to increasing the comfort of domestic and commercial properties, there is a widening scope of energy saving technologies coming to the market.
Energy saving technologies are improving efficiencies within buildings by 70% or more and this is great news for the environment as a whole but also for property owners and tenants. An energy saving property tends to be a cheaper property to heat and that can only be a good thing.
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- Is disruptive innovation possible in the construction industry?
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