The construction industry – a very information inten-sive
industry – has been slow to adopt technology.
Until about six or seven years ago, technology was
reserved for the back office and typically used for HR,
accounting, contract writing or tracking change orders, with
nothing to drive the information to the people actually doing
the work in the field.
That changed because of several key reasons, says
Kris Lengieza, senior director of business development at
Procore, a provider of construction management software.
•• The prevalence of mobile devices and new technologies
in our personal lives and the realization that these
could be used out in the field
•• The growing labour shortage
•• The need for the industry to be more productive
•• Younger people coming into the industry with new
ideas on how to do things
•• The growth of technology and innovation companies
Nowadays, construction companies are welcoming and
embracing innovation. As old methodologies and science
converge, new technologies improve efficiency, productivity
and profits, says Lengieza.
By way of example, he cites the use of 360-degree cam-eras
– also referred to as “photospheres” – to capture and
document construction progress and check for safety issues,
among other uses.
Webcams are being leveraged for enhanced visibility into
a job site, says Lengieza, a 15-year veteran of construction
industry. Webcams can do a time lapse of a project, track
weather data, detect schedule deviations of where a project
should be and where it is and more.
Lengieza says drones are being used to survey construc-tion
sites and do progress tracking. Drone technology has
capability to capture better, real-time necessary data in much
less time than traditional methods take.
A big challenge in construction is collecting structured
data to be able to do analytics, he says. Big data, cloud com-puting,
labour tracking, project management software and
cloud computing, among others, can be used to help under-stand
how projects are progressing, see what projects require
immediate attention, identify more efficient ways of doing
things and enable faster, better decision making.
Key technologies for the construction industry
According to Lengieza, the following are some of the new
technologies evolving for use in the construction industry.
1. Virtual reality (VR) for training: VR training simu-lations
replicate situational experiences that can be difficult,
expensive or dangerous to deliver in real life. For example,
training an apprentice iron worker how to weld is typically
done with him standing on the ground.
Is your company
Submitted by the Association
of Equipment Manufacturers