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Tech You Need for a Modern Construction Business

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Angela Ash
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Let’s not start every article with the word “crisis,” which nevertheless keeps impacting all industries. Frontline work is probably the number one burning topic and, to be sure, construction ranks a close second.

Since construction projects are highly complex, it goes without saying that using tech to help with each step is paramount.


Construction technology is in full swing, with many aspects yet to be polished. That, however, doesn’t mean that there aren’t any super helpful tools handy already. Notable examples of the tech and processes used to simplify and aid construction projects include AI, 3-D Printing Houses, BIM Software, and LiDAR (a bit more in-depth below).


Keep in mind that the first thing construction businesses should focus on is safety technology. To make all solutions work as efficiently as possible, integrated platforms are key.

Let’s take a look at the stages of project management for construction work first.



Stages of Construction Work Project Management


There are 5 stages of project management for construction work, as follows:


  • Initiation
  • Planning
  • Execution
  • Control
  • Closing


Initiation


Initiation is basically the evaluation of project feasibility. To establish whether a project is worth undertaking, ask yourself the following questions:


  • Is the value of the project worth your time?
  • Are your company services a good fit for the project?
  • Do you have enough time to dedicate to the project? 
  • Do you have the resources necessary to nail the project?


If the answer to these questions is yes, then proceed to place the bid.


Planning


If you determine that a project is feasible, proceed to the planning phase. You’ll want the project to be a success, so keep the following in mind:

  • Profitability
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Employee satisfaction


Find the Best Process for Job Costing


Job costing is a critical factor as some projects utilize too many resources to be sustainable in the end.

Draft the budget so that it includes all costs, including hard costs, soft costs, and contingency allowances.

Next on, break down the structure of the work to be done following this pattern:


  • Project scope
  • Deliverables
  • On-site logistics


Finally, create communication, procurement and safety plans.


Execution and Control


The execution stage is the construction phase of a project. During this stage, you’ll want to make sure that all plans are being carried out. Also, monitor project progress in real-time.

The control stage is closely linked to execution.


An in-depth checklist for these two stages should include:


  • Keeping daily activity, work, and safety logs
  • Monitoring and managing change orders
  • Monitoring materials being used
  • Monitoring the workforce on and off the site
  • Monitoring equipment 
  • Monitoring costs and cash flow
  • Ensuring payments and subs are on time
  • Tracking expenses


Closing


The closing stage deals with everything that needs to occur so that the work is finished and the project delivered.


The checklist includes the following items:

  • Finishing punch list
  • Final inspections
  • Ensuring everything that has been agreed to in the contract has been met
  • Reviewing customer satisfaction
  • Obtaining a certificate of completion


Update Your Inventory Management


As mentioned above, integration is crucial for complex processes, which construction work surely is. It is advisable to employ cloud-based inventory management for the best results.


Needless to say, this saves both time and money, but make sure to train your personnel! Overly complicated processes without proper training are useless, bluntly put.


Introduce Both AR and AI


AR and AI are becoming more popular by the minute. It’s not groundless, either. These two technologies can simplify a great many tasks and leave workers with more time for target tasks and stages.

One exceptionally useful usage of AI is streamlining facility maintenance. Namely, AI can help you operate all kinds of machines and stuff remotely while also using sensors to navigate all kinds of tasks.

Of course, we’re talking about the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT sensors can help with a lot of things, including:


  • Establishing baselines for asset performance indicators
  • Determining upper and lower limits of asset performance
  • Collecting utilization data
  • Transmitting data to AI-empowered software


The IoT software compares current performance data with historical data, ensuring that assets are functioning properly and reporting to facility personnel.


Consider Drones


If you want to go one step ahead, consider drones. With their real-time data recording, drones can improve project efficiency and streamline the workflow.


Specifically, they can help with personnel safety, topographic mapping and land surveys, remote monitoring and progress reports, equipment tracking, security surveillance, and structure inspection and photography.


There are many types of drones but those commonly used for construction projects are commercial drones.


Of these, there are two basic types: fixed-wing drones and rotary drones.


Fixed-wing drones fly higher, which makes them perfect for surveying and mapping. The downside is that they can only fly forward, meaning they’re not so suitable for complex terrains with lots of obstacles.


Rotary drones can hover, which makes them perfect for photography, aerial inspection, and structural scans.


Consider Offering Environmental Add-Ons


Finally, when completing a project, consider sustainable things that consumers want, like solar panels and EV chargers. A hard-wired EV charger can make a lot of difference, for example, but there are other examples, too.


Rely on research to come up with popular solutions.


Notable Examples of Construction Tech


1. 3-D Printing Houses


3-D printing technology has found numerous uses in literally every aspect of life, so there’s no need to dive deeper into its benefits.


When it comes to construction work, 3-D printing can be used for printing houses, which often proves cheaper than traditional construction.


This methodology is still largely underused, so consider innovating your business.


2. BIM Software


BIM (building information modeling) software uses a combination of IoT and AR technologies and is, as such, perfect for numerous tasks.


3. LiDAR


LiDAR technology helps with ranging by illuminating the target with laser light and measuring the reflection with a sensor. To top it off, LiDAR produces high-resolution 3D images in real-time.


LiDAR technology can be used for additional tasks, including land classification, drone mapping, elevation modeling, urban assessment, and structural flaw detection, among others.


The downside is that LiDAR sensor capacity is limited in rain, snow and fog.


Key Takeaways


So much can be done to innovate your construction business! Just look at all the technological advances the industry is making. Can you predict the futuristic outcomes likely to pop up next?


If you want to be ahead of the competition and also become a trendsetter, consider leading the way in using innovative construction tech.


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Angela Ash
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