The global construction industry has already made long strides towards digital transformation in 2020. However, with the advent of COVID-19, the boom in technological changes could increase the uptake of alternative solutions.
The current pandemic could be the shifting point the construction industry needed to propel more efficiencies through technological change. Given its reliance on labor and people power, the construction industry has been known to drag its feet in the uptake of new technological changes. Given these ever-changing times, companies have gone back to the drawing board to re-evaluate how they approach the management of their projects. The ultimate goal has been to use advances in technology to ultimately increase employees' productivity and drive company profits. So how exactly has COVID-19 driven a technological revolution in construction? It has already been reported that the adoption of new management technologies has increased productivity by as much as 15%. In comparison, new biometric technologies have led to a cost saving of up to 20%.
Biometric technology allows a large quantity of employee data to be mined and analysed. It can then start to reveal construction project life cycle patterns over time, related to the specific scope of works. Trends and anomalies can signpost areas that need attention, or where efficiencies can be realised. Ultimately, money can be saved.
For example, the data might highlight that a team of carpenters is most efficient at specific tasks. Project managers can then use construction teams and specific trades more productively, enhancing overall site efficiencies.
It has also been suggested that by 2025, virtual and augmented reality technologies will be used during pre-construction and throughout the construction process. This will allow teams to virtually view projects from remote locations without the need to attend the site. This can open up global opportunities for local construction projects.
How can this shape how we capture dilapidation conditions for new projects? When obtaining dilapidation surveys, data analysis compiled from numerous surveys may indicate better practices to undertake, such as when pile drilling near specific structures and into certain subgrades. We may find from experience that concrete structures may require increased monitoring when pile drilling within 2 meters of particular structures.
Furthermore, capturing existing conditions through technologies such as Matterport can transform dilapidation reporting. The new digital age would allow construction teams to walk through surrounding structures in greater clarity. These video captures can then be presented in a report format with greater description detail.
It appears the technological revolution has just started for the construction industry, and the advent of new solutions over the coming years will be exciting to witness. With increased emphasis on government infrastructure projects to kickstart the economy, technological innovation from around the globe has the potential to revolutionise how we view construction projects in Australia in a post-covid-19 era.