Dennis Crimmins Explains the Impact of Technology on the Construction Industry
The public perception of construction is a field with low impacts stemming from today’s technology. However, this assertion is quickly being proven false. Many new techniques are being used to bring construction firmly into the modern age.
Dennis Crimmins, a structural and commercial contractor from Alamogordo, New Mexico, shares how technology has impacted construction and names some of the newest updates that make the industry more efficient.
Prefabrication has been in existence for a long time, but it is becoming easier to implement in today’s construction projects. Using mobile technology, builders and owners can partake in the manufacturing process and view all parts of the construction. This helps ensure that the construction process is efficient from beginning to end. Prefabrication also increases worker safety.
One of the most revolutionary applications of new technology in the construction field today is connected software like project management software. Construction projects involve a great deal of data, from the stock of raw materials on hand to the overall cost of building the project. Software and other big data applications help construction projects stay on track and schedule while saving the property owner’s money.
There are many new materials in the construction industry. These materials have been engineered to be safer, cleaner, and more environmentally friendly. Advanced materials include updates to asphalt and concrete using special admixtures, building with recycled materials, and the increasing prevalence of solar and wind power.
According to Dennis Crimmins, 3-D printing has made a major impact on many tech-driven industries. 3-D printing was initially used for small-scale models and parts, but as the technology matured, it produced parts for full-size projects. 3-D printing will have a lasting impact on construction, especially as materials like concrete become available. 2017 saw the first bridges constructed partly with 3-D printing technology in concrete.
Mobility and Wearables
Wearable technology like smartwatches provides an easy way for construction workers and supervisors to track their activity in the field. It enables field workers to connect securely with the home office and share important information in both directions.
Computer-Aided Design and Virtual Reality
Computer-aided design started in the 1980s, but the technology has matured in fascinating ways. Today, architects and construction project managers can share their designs using virtual reality and augmented reality technologies. This gives builders and owners alike the ability to picture how the project is coming together and how it will be arranged when completed.
Augmented reality is an offshoot of virtual reality, but Dennis Crimmins reports that it can be used innovatively in the construction industry. Augmented reality involves projecting a computerized image onto the worker’s surroundings using smartphones or tablets. It is useful for analyzing tasks and keeping track of repair and building activities.
This developing field will benefit the construction industry because it helps to reduce the cost and staffing needed to build a project. Robots do simple and repetitive jobs like drywall and bricklaying safely and more efficiently than humans. Labor costs and Workers’ Compensation insurance costs will be lower when robotics is widespread use.
Technology has also made a significant impact on the business side of the construction industry. Construction project managers must participate in risk management activities and find the process easier when using real-world data from the job site. Productivity can be analyzed, and potential problems and bottlenecks can be spotted before they happen, leading to safer and more efficient project completion.
Interconnected computing services make workflows easier to manage while providing greater processing power to individuals in the field and those located in the office. Cloud computing has been slow to adopt in the construction industry, but it is one of the key aspects of adopting augmented and virtual reality and data analytics.
Post-COVID Effects on Construction
While the construction industry suffered during the Covid pandemic, all indications are that it will rebound in 2022, experiencing high growth numbers. As the demand for commercial properties rises, construction will come through with an increased supply.
The Overall Impact of Technology on Construction
Dennis Crimmins emphasizes the importance of technology in today’s construction industry. Making the industry safer, more efficient in terms of time and cost, and allowing greater creative expression are many of the reasons why construction project managers should consider taking on more technology.
The construction industry will continue to grow and change, rebounding from COVID-induced lows and returning stronger than ever in 2022 and beyond. Construction project managers, front office staff, and site managers should take the time to research these innovations in the construction industry and assess how they can use new methods to make their job sites safer and more efficient.