Con Tech – short for construction technology – is, in essence, how technology aids the planning, designing and building of structures spanning across the global construction empire.
The market for con tech (the global construction industry) is astonishing – estimated at $24 Trillion dollars globally.
So, without further ado, let us jump in and learn about some of the cool new tech products bringing construction to the next level:
BIM (Building Information Modeling) is a 3D model that gives architects, engineers and construction workers insight and tools to survey the best way to design and move forward on a product before it is even started. The technology comes into play well before the actual construction begins. Furthermore, cloud-based BIM allows information about a project to be accessed by anyone in any location at any time. This, in turn, improves project delivery by streamlining the exchange of design data and project management. The result? Fewer setbacks, a clearer vision and unparalleled efficiency.
In a previous blog post I wrote about how there are applications to stage furniture in your home digitally with your camera via AR/VR. In a sense, this technology is very similar. Just on a much larger scale.
AR & VR are also utilized during the construction process to illustrate for builders what a certain construction space would look like as a finished product in comparison to the unfinished project at hand. This can be anything from seeing what a beam would look like in a room to mathematical measurements.
A Digital Twin is just like it sounds. A digital twin is a virtual representation of a building that collects real-world about the structure via sensors. This twin not only aids the building process but also helps to avoid any setbacks through the sensors anticipating them before they even happen.
Sidenote: with all this construction technology at our fingertips today, we should appreciate that much more the architectural masterpieces constructed on sheer brain power and grit. Think about the time, brainpower, skill, and immense risk that went into building even just a few decades ago. Truly surreal.
Drones have also come into play as of late. This is no surprise. Instead of having a human worker climb all the way up to a structure to measure and access progress, a drone can do so in seconds. Not to mention, this prevents not only time but also lessens the likelihood of unfortunate accidents to occur on-site. Drones have the capability to provide on-site digital asset tracking, spatial inspection and monitor overall progress.
3D Printing has also come into play in recent years. The technology is more exact and significantly less expensive than hands-on crafting. Currently, it is used to some extent but is largely considered more of a “PR tool”. That could very quickly change, however. Some experts theorize that we perhaps are not far off from being able to 3D print entire buildings – also adding that 3D printing could up production time for the average product by as much as 40%.
To me, though, the term construction technology is a tad misleading – at least at this moment. As evident from what I have written above, a large part of this technology directly focuses on construction management. Not the actual nitty gritty. At least just not yet…
Robots are even entering into the con tech realm through being utilized to complete competitive tasks. As of now, much like 3D printing, robots seem to be a ways away from really making an impact in the industry.
But what happens when both 3D printing and robots do make their mark within the industry. Yes, absolutely, global construction will reach new heights as a result.
Unimaginable projects will be completed in record time.
Where do humans factor in on all of this? That I am not sure.
This seems to be the theme of many blog posts that I find myself writing. We are not too far off from a large percentage of the human work force being replaced (in one way or another) robots.
No, I am not talking about all jobs for the rest of the time. But I would venture to bet a significant percentage. What happens to civilization when the ability to work for a living is largely thrown out the window?
Before I was researching this blog topic, I must admit… I had never really thought of how extensive technology plays a part in modern-day construction. It is truly a game-changer.
Below we are going to look at a few of the most noteworthy rising firms in the Con tech industry to date:
1 Build helps buildings by automating their cost estimates through a combination of human and machine intelligence. The result of these spot-on cost estimates? Builders win more bids. Thus making more $$$.
Cool name. This company specializes in AI. They provide construction companies’ project managers with full control of every activity on a construction site. The algorithms the company has developed validate images captured by hardhat-mounted cameras, detecting any gaps in original design to scheduling.
On the financial end, Shepherd, a San Francisco-based company, provides tech-enabled insurance for commercial construction.
Their platform automates underwriting processes and even rewards and incentivizes contractors to invest in technology along the way.
Another AI company. Doxel has software that helps to monitor progres