With the galloping advance of technological innovation and the high demand of improvements, it is natural that there are numerous advances that challenge the traditional methods in any industry. Thinking about this, we have brought, together with the 2×3 team in this opportunity, a compilation of the technological advances to take into account right now in the world of construction companies.
Virtual reality has finally left the gaming industry to reach the real world completely.
In both cases, walking partners through a fully interactive experience before the completion of plans allows them to win on the purchase and produce a plan that meets expectations. This also allows them to take into account unique conditions such as the schedule the zoo animals need and the view of the planes departing and arriving.
While virtual reality has previously been dominated only by the most innovative organizations, it is becoming more common and in increasing demand by owners. 4D environments allow construction companies to plan every aspect of projects, improving things like safety and efficiency, and resulting in a better quality and more consistent end product.
Virtual reality allows users to “walk” in 3D and 4D environments without actually moving, but augmented reality empowers your customers to walk through real 3D environments, with their feet, while gathering and/or viewing additional real-time information about their environment.
For example, a new IOS application called “MeasureKit” allows your users to point their phone or iPad at an object or building component, and interact with it through the screen in three useful ways: measurement, level and location of objects.
New augmented reality apps are predicted to arrive and some will become more common, such as “BIM 360 Glue” which has the ability to allow your subcontractors to point their device at a component and get information from the 3D models placed against the image on the device.
Construction sites have never been safer than they are today and we think this is going to be safer with the introduction and incorporation of usable technology. Companies such as Triax offer objects that track where workers are on the construction site, alerting workers in real time to potential dangers, and indicating when someone has tripped, slipped or fallen, so help can come in time.
We believe that more and more products will be available such as “Triax” and companies taking advantage of this will be more in demand, especially as the industry begins to develop safety benchmarks and become part of the bidding process.
While we’re on the topic of safety, here are some of last year’s innovations in machine learning, and their implications today. In the case of Smartvid.io, it aggregates visual data from the job site and analyzes this intelligently for a variety of purposes such as safety, quality, progress tracking, and marketing.
Smartvid.io constantly analyzes photos, videos and other visual data from the site and looks for safety violations (e.g., failure of worker protection equipment), as well as tagging site objects and associating these with the plan data. This helps the work or office trailer staff quickly find visual information about the site without having to search through a large amount of information. Additionally, it is easy to identify visual data for marketing purposes.
Prefabrication is hardly an innovation in itself. The construction industry has been using this technique in various applications for decades. However, new technologies are making the benefits of prefabrication easier to access, and changing the way the industry integrates this into the process.
A new option with “BIM 360 Docs” will make it possible to see that information in a workflow from the beginning to the end of the design and construction process.
We predict that companies that take advantage of these technologies to coordinate and increase their use of prefabrication will gain a competitive advantage in 2018.
Sometimes the difference between a successful and a struggling construction company lies in its ability to manage risk. Predictive analytics are about to make risk management much easier.
In 2017, BIM 360 Project IQ tested with leading edge companies to see how much they could help them manage their risk through the use of predictive analytics. This provides a panel where QA’s can identify which elements of the project are high risk and need attention, and allows them to delve into the reasons for the risk assessment.
CONNECTED WORK SITES
Delays in communication between the job site, the trailer, the office, the design office and the engineers can be costly and aggravating. In other words, a disconnected job site can quickly burn out your profits.
Fortunately, jobsite connectivity is becoming more and more readily available. With a connected site, everyone will have up-to-the-minute access to drawings and documents, and gain the ability to request information and raise issues in the palms of their hands. Likewise, everyone in the trailer, the office and the engineers have immediate access to what’s going on in the workplace.
Communication about required information and problems raised is reduced from days or weeks to just hours or minutes. Errors due to communication are almost completely eliminated. Change and redesign orders are significantly reduced.
If you want to be among the leaders in the industry, you will be interested in keeping up to date and taking advantage of all these technological resources that will be changing the way construction companies work in the next few years.