Technology has become a part of everyday life and the contracting industry has not been immune from changes caused by technology. From the use of drones to computer software, the contracting industry has seen a significant benefit with modern technology. These three technologies have had the most impact on the construction industry than any others.
Computer software designed specifically for the contracting industry has had a huge impact on how work is completed today. Many processes that used to be performed manually, such as fenestration fabrication, can now be performed with fenestration software that is more accurate and dependable. Software can help eliminate redundancy and reduce error in almost every facet of the construction trade. Employees are able to resolve issues without as much involvement with management and software can improve cash flow as it provides a better view of how business is operating. In the area of window and door placement, computer software has allowed contractors to make decisions that will not only save money for the contractor, but also for the owner of the building. Computer software that includes fenestration fabrication and other tools designed to reduce energy costs for the building owner can more than recover the cost of investment in the programs due to the savings they offer later.
Computer Aided Design and Apps
Computer-aided design (CAD) allows construction to begin even before the design is completed. With CAD, projects can be completed faster with less interference. Problems can be addressed long before physical work begins and errors are reduced significantly. Because CAD systems store information electronically, civil, structural and electrical schematics are able to be stored in one location for easy access. It is also possible to find CAD programs with integration capability so updates do not require the purchase of an entirely new system. CAD is not the only area of technology that is consolidating and minimizing data. Blueprint and other apps on tablets are becoming increasingly popular among the contracting industry. Tablets can be carried into the field, allowing changes to be made digitally without the need for traditional blueprints. Apps also allow contractors to address issues before actual building begins, reducing cost and time delays. Because the apps can be shared among different levels of the contracting process, information can be available 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
Drones have had a tremendous impact on the construction industry, especially for large-scale projects. Drones are able to survey and map areas where it is difficult for humans or machinery to access. Progress is monitored in real-time and video taken by a drone can be easily compared to plans so that deviations are addressed immediately. Companies who have implemented drones report that efficiency is increased and that the information they provide improves accuracy. A drone can be dispatched by a project manager who is not on site using remote-control capabilities. Video can be returned in real-time, even if the project manager is several miles away or more. It is important to learn the legal aspects of using drones as many states have strictly regulated when and where drones are permitted. This is especially true of larger drones which may disrupt the privacy of those living or working in areas around construction sites.
In addition to these three technologies, improvements in safety such as halo lights and responsive clothing as well as the ability to obtain instant information via the internet have also provided significant benefits to the contracting industry. As technology continues to grow, there is no doubt that the contracting industry will continue to reap the benefits of those technological improvements.