Construction Technology that emerged in 2019 set to reshape Construction in 2020

Construction Technology that emerged in 2019 set to reshape Construction in 2020
25/11/2019 , by , in EXPERT ZONE

By Rohit Poddar, Managing Director, Poddar Housing and Development Ltd.

 

Technology is impacting the construction industry like never before and the innovation in the space has
boosted the overall efficiency. Innovations like digital twins to Robots, Super Material, Wearable Tech,
Pollution Eating Buildings, and Artificial Intelligence, an incredible array of technology-based
development is hoping to improve the sector. New technologies have always eased the workload on the
human workforce at the construction site; these new technologies will reshape the construction
industry in 2020.
Robotics:
Rapidly moving from science fiction to reality, Robots are beginning to enter the construction industry in
multiple areas. From autonomous rovers that help in site unbiased inspections increasing the efficiency
of the details during site inspections to mechanical arms that automate highly repetitive tasks like
bricklaying and tying rebar ensuring seamless work throughout the tenure. The robotic revolution is set
to get a significant pace in 2020. While the credibility of Robots on live construction sites has long been
questioned, 2019 saw a number of real-world trials that delivered surprising results. After witnessing
what Robots can do efficiently, the debate has been moved from the credibility of Robots to how best
can they be integrated and the impact on the new job role along with the new skills required as
processes become automated. Building on this, the rise of Artificial Intelligence is also having an impact
on construction. From the major leaps taken in concepts like predictive designs of the product at the
planning stage to the rise of intelligent buildings that learn how best to operate themselves and serve
their uses over time. The construction sector will likely find itself at the core of wider AI debate taking
place across societies in the years ahead. If utilized correctly, the rise of automation could give
construction the efficiency, productivity and safety breakthroughs for decades to come.
Ekso Skeletons:

Originally developed for military use and for patient mobility, Ekso Skeletons are beginning to appear on
construction sites. Helping workers to manually handling injuries and the risk of hand-arm vibration
these mechanical suits that augment with human operatives can also deliver considerable gains in
productivity. Already being rapidly adapted in manufacturing sectors, live trails on construction sites
past year have yielded the result that will drive the uptake on Ekso Skeletons in the construction sector
in 2020.
The Connected Job sites:
Connected job sites use cloud based technologies to make detailed information about every aspect of
the overall operation which is available to all the relevant parties regardless of their availability on-site
or elsewhere. From putting design information streamed from a single point of truth to the palms of
operatives to information by Gio-locations, remote site monitoring, personnel location tracking, live
mark-ups and the seamless transfer of as build information, connected job sites improve

communication, productivity, and safety for everyone involved in the project. Connected Jobsites are
going to become more commonplace in 2020. Meanwhile, tech innovations are continued to be made in
connecting people and consolidating systems through digital mapping engines that contain and visualize
construction data. New technology like BlueBeam Atlas is set to be available in 2020 that leverages
Geospatial mapping to rethink mobile information access.
Autonomous Vehicles:
While autonomous vehicles continue to make headlines in consumer space, their adoption in the
construction sector is set to take notable strides forward in 2020. As with the field of robotics, the
automation of construction particularly emulating to highly repetitive tasks could increase productivity
while creating a safer work environment and help in addressing the industries shortfall in labor. In
Sweden Volvo has developed electric autonomous vehicles that carry the material load and have
delivered a 40% improvement in efficiency as compared to a traditional setup, Volvo has also developed
semi-autonomous electric excavators that can learn the careful movement required to achieve highly
accurate leveling. The combined use of autonomous technology and electric power enables work to take
place around the clock without the need for breaks or the disrupting noise levels that traditionally
prevent such working styles.
Advanced Materials:
The construction industry is well aware of its impact on the environment and with growing awareness of
the impact, the sector is trying to reduce the carbon footprint. Technological advancements, on the
other hand are bringing numerous new material innovations to the floor to reduce the overall carbon
footprint. A significant increase in recycling of hard to dispose of waste products such as plastic is also
seen. Recent development has seen the incorporation of waste plastic into roadways and creating 3D
printed structures. Co2 is another bi-product being repurposed in an effort to reduce the carbon
footprint of the industry at large. Currently, in Atlanta, the Co2 is injected in the concrete mix used in
the building structure. This carbon dioxide becomes trapped inside the concrete as it cures, while
chemical reaction within the mix forms limestone nanoparticles that increase the overall compressive
strength of the final material. Self Healing Concrete is another example of advanced material where the
concrete is mixed with bacteria that germinates when water enters the cracks in decaying concrete
filling the emerging air gaps. Other innovations like kinetic paving which generates electricity with
pedestrian’s footsteps and smog-eating buildings coated in photocatalytic titanium dioxide that reacts
with light to neutralize pollutions in the air in the world’s most congested cities
With this development in the technology in construction space, it would be exciting to see how the
future would look like.

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