While construction is one of the most resource-intensive industries, it is also unfortunately among the least digitized domains. However, the pandemic has changed things significantly as businesses and project managers realize the value of digital transformation. Right now, social distancing is a norm, but it is hard to imagine completing construction projects with fewer people on sites.

Technology is the only solution to this issue, as businesses will have to look up to automation for completing projects despite labour constraints. Digital transformation is also the best strategy to ensure quality control in construction management, drive higher workflow efficiencies, and bring better cost control for projects.

While there is so much that technology can do for your construction business, everything boils down to picking the right ones. After all, every business has financial constraints, and it is wise to choose ones that add value to the company. It is best to add the latest and the best to your wishlist. Here is a list of the construction technologies that are making it big in 2021.

Cloud and mobility

If you are looking to sustain your construction business in the era of social distancing, embracing cloud and mobility does not remain a choice. Cloud-based construction project management software keeps the teams connected, regardless of the size and scale of projects. Everyone on your team can collaborate as documents and plans are available on the cloud. Mobile-compatible software apps take things ahead as people can use their mobile devices to access project data from any location. Your managers end up saving time and enhancing productivity with real-time monitoring, updates, and communication.

Artificial Intelligence

Another technology that you cannot miss out on in 2021 is artificial intelligence in construction management. While it isn’t new as autonomous equipment, robotics, and smart devices were already here before, AI is all set to get much bigger and better this year. You can expect virtual assistants to take over the role of humans. They can perform functions such as labour scheduling, data collection and analytics, and report generation.

Building Information Modelling

BIM is another tech trend emerging strong this year, as prefabrication, modularization, and eco-friendliness become top priorities for the industry. A modular approach is ideal for business as it lets you reduce the number of people on the site. Rather, you can outsource prefabricated parts from elsewhere and get them assembled on site. BIM also goes a long way in enhancing designs, preventing wastage, steering clear of reworks, all of which drive efficiency and profitability for the business.

Drones for Automated Inspections

When it comes to quality control in construction management, inspections play a key role. But inspections may be more challenging in the current times when sites are bigger, but managers need to minimize human contact. Drones or unmanned aerial vehicles are all set to automate inspections completely in the future, eliminating the need for humans to move around and keep track of people and processes. The technology is a must-have because it wins on the safety and productivity fronts.

Augmented Reality

An extension of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality is all set to transform the industry in more than one way. You can leverage AR-based apps to visualize designs even before laying a single brick. It can help with project planning and bring businesses on the same page with the clients’ right from the start. AR-based simulative training for workers can take construction safety to the next level.

Connected Jobsites

Connected job sites are the industry’s future, as you will have to be ready to work with fewer people who should be able to collaborate even without physical interactions. Once again, cloud technology makes job sites connected by bringing together information about almost every aspect in one place. There is a single point of access that everyone on-site can use to obtain design information. It offers other bits and pieces like remote site monitoring, live mark-ups, and personnel location tracking.

Autonomous vehicles

If you do not have autonomous vehicles around your project site, you miss out on one of the key construction technologies in 2021. A fewer number of people around means your resources may lie idle, and projects may get delayed. The AI-driven autonomous vehicles are self-driven, so they can handle repetitive tasks without human intervention. A transition to these vehicles also ensures greater safety as they eliminate the possibility of human errors.

Wearable devices

As workplace wellness becomes a major concern, you cannot overlook health monitoring for the employees. Construction wearables are another technology that is emerging strongly in the domain right now. These devices are worn by people and keep track of parameters like body temperature, heartbeat, blood pressure, and other vitals. With constant monitoring, it becomes possible to detect the virus on site at the earliest and isolate the suspected cases right away.

Predictive analytics

A technology that supports on-site risk management, predictive analytics can help businesses in more than one way. It helps to assess the risks of breakdowns in machinery and vehicles. So you can take relevant measures for repair and maintenance. Predictive models also go a long way in identifying other safety risks related to the building and equipment. They make it easier to take a preventive and proactive approach towards possible incidents and make the sites safer than ever.

GPS tracking

While GPS solutions have been around for some time, they will be all the more valuable in 2021 and ahead. They can improve site inspections and surveys as crews no longer need to rely on traditional surveying equipment, rather they can collect data quickly and accurately using this technology. Project managers can also use GPS in fleet management as sites are larger, and there are more vehicles on board these days.

Conclusion

With so many technologies around, 2021 seems to be a bright year for the construction industry. It is best to embrace innovation that works for your business, so assess your needs and challenges and pick the ones that fit into your budget.