The forward march of technology has revolutionised modern living in incalculable ways. The industrial revolution saw the beginning of a landmark period of abundance, while continued development of sophisticated manufacturing processes has led to a world more sophisticated, and connected, than ever before. Tech development has naturally positively impacted every industry, but here we will explore the ways in which tech has revolutionised the construction industry – and the ways in which it could.
Technology and Safety
First and foremost, technological innovation has made the worksite a far safer place to work. Where workplace injuries were common in the immediate aftermath of the industrial revolution, technology has kept pace with health and safety legislation, leading to hi-tech safety equipment and streamlined site management processes. Hydraulic machinery enables the safe working at height, and sophisticated CCTV technology enables the comprehensive monitoring of site safety and work progress.
Meanwhile management software has allowed foremen to better orchestrate the movement of workers and the organisation of project elements, in order to ensure tasks are adequately staffed and that every worker has been adequately trained in correct health and safety procedures. Even personal protective equipment has improved, with formed plastic hard hats providing lightweight and durable protection from falling objects.
Not only has safety improved, but quality of work has improved significantly over time. Much of this can be attributed to research and development into new materials, and improved training of workers on site – but much can also be attributed to modern construction tools that trivialise previously difficult tasks.
One unsung hero of the construction site is the green laser level, which allow workers to line installations up at long distances within seconds. Electronics have also heralded the invention of cordless electric power tools, which can achieve heavy-duty tasks with ease and without endangering other workers from trailing cables and high voltages.
The Future of the Industry
For all the modern marvels that have made construction a far safer and simpler process for many, there are even more positive changes to come. Technology continues to advance, and bleeding-edge innovation promises to revolutionise both small- and large-scale construction once again.
3D printing technology is already commercially available, and commonly used by independent outfits to print bespoke fittings that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive to order. But 3D tech is expanding in scope, and beyond the world plastics. Experiments are underway with concrete as a medium, as large-scale machines are created to ‘print’ concrete structures autonomously.
Speaking of autonomy, artificial intelligence is much more than an emerging field in the present day. AI technology promises to streamline yet further the management of construction sites, finding optimal building schedules and handling time-consuming administrative tasks, leaving foremen and contractors to focus on the work at hand.