The story of the world economy over the last few decades has been one of rapid digitisation. New technology is playing a role in just about every facet of life – and the construction industry is no exception. We’re using computers to not only design and plan structures, but to actually build them, too. So what new developments can we look forward to in the future? Read on to know more about the tech trends in the construction industry:
1. Virtual and Augmented Reality
It’s difficult to get an idea of exactly how a finished building will look before it’s actually constructed. After all, a top-down plan of a proposed conservatory, loft conversion, or leisure centre, is not going to convey the full reality of the finished product. As such, we’ve always accepted a degree of uncertainty.
That’s likely to change in the near future, thanks to the emergence of artificial and virtual reality products. It’s now possible to use a VR headset to look around a computer-generated version of a proposed project, and make minor changes before a single brick has been lain. Or, we might use augmented reality as the project is ongoing to achieve much the same thing.
2. Green Buildings
The need to reduce emissions and make buildings sustainable has never been more pressing. This means more efficient envelopes, and energy that’s generated right in the buildings themselves. The homes of the future might come will ultra-efficient photovoltaic rooftops, or ground-source heat pumps.
3. Construction Insurance
As the industry progresses, firms are likely to come up against new and unexpected kinds of risk, which will necessitate specialised forms of construction insurance.
4. Smart Homes
The smart home has been something of a buzzword in recent years, though there are some misconceptions about home automation. With all of the energy-consuming appliances and devices able to communicate with one another, we’re afforded an accurate picture of a given home’s energy consumption – and we’re able to tweak the dials via algorithms. The rollout of smart meters means that energy companies can react swiftly to changes in demand, thereby lowering costs and bolstering overall efficiency.
Over the coming decades, it’s likely that this principle will be expanded to encompass not just individual homes, but entire estates, and eventually cities.
5. 3d Printing
Additive manufacturing is something that’s been revolutionary in the world of prototyping, but hasn’t quite lived up to the considerable hype in the world of construction. It’s probable that in the future, construction as we know it will be done through entirely different means, and that walls will be thrown up using materials extruded from a machine-controlled nozzle, in much the same way as small-scale 3d printers do today.
It’s possible to throw up buildings incredibly quickly and cheaply using this technology – provided that the initial expense of the printer itself is overcome.