Advances in Technology Are Advancing the Real Estate Construction Industry
Progress in both regular and digital technology has come in leaps and bounds over the past few years, and shows no signs of stopping. Such technology, especially in the digital vertical, has helped to improve numerous industries, including the real estate construction industry. And this, of course, includes project and construction management throughout the real estate industry.
As it is, construction companies and onsite workers have become able to work more safely and with greater efficiency. Numerous innovations and inventions are revolutionizing the whole industry across the globe. And these are also speeding up the construction and completion of real estate projects while saving owners, developers, and investors tons of money in the process.
With the advance of more sophisticated computers, Smartphones, mobile apps. GPS systems and even 3D printers, the construction industry, is just one sector in our country and the world where people’s lives have been improved from technological progress. The rollout of new inventions to assist project managers and construction management seems almost endless. The new technological gizmos themselves are also being constantly improved and becoming more multi-functional. And while some worry such innovations will replace people and jobs, the fact is such advances are creating new professions and more jobs. Just like the automobile did for the horse and buggy business.
So, what we need to do is take a keen look at a few of these new, innovative gizmos, apps and gadgets, and embrace a greater understanding and appreciation as to how they are improving the construction landscape presently and for the future.
Six Technologies Rocking the Real Estate Construction Industry
Aluminum wall form work, also known as MIVAN technology, has really taken off in countries like India, in the Gulf and Asia. And it’s only a matter of time before MIVAN becomes a mainstay in real estate construction here in North America. It is an excellent replacement for conventional construction technology and materials. Usually designed as load-bearing slabs, ceilings and walls and smaller slabs, aluminum wall form work offers a very distinctive advantage in providing superior structural stability, in terms of seismic and wind forces as well as on lateral movements of structures, especially high rise buildings.
The fundamental component of MIVAN technology is the panel, which consists of an extruded aluminum rail section, welded to an aluminum sheet. Thus, the panels are lightweight and provide an exceptional stiffness to weight ratio, yielding minimal deflection under concrete loading. The panels can be manufactured in any size and shape to suit specific project requirements and are not difficult to assemble.
A few of the many advantages of MIVAN technology include reduction in turnaround time (TAT) by almost half; eliminating labor-intensive activities like masonry and rendering; increasing durability of the total concrete structure (far exceeding conventional brick bat masonry); and with no construction joints and free flow concrete being used, the chances of seepage resulting is greatly reduced or eliminated. MIVAN is also more seismic resistant, provides a higher carpet area and uniform quality of construction, reduces skilled resources deployed for the project, creates negligible maintenance, and allows faster completion on construction due to the light weight of the aluminum form.
Tool Tracking Technology
It is well known how lost or misplaced hand tools and power tools can frustrate project managers onsite and eventually cost construction companies millions of dollars each year. And if left in the wrong place, they can also become walking hazards to workers and onsite visitors during construction
Fortunately, a slew of new techno devices is now available to rein this costly and dangerous problem to a screeching halt. Construction companies are outfitting their hand tools, power tools and machinery with barcodes. Real estate owners and developers can now install a construction tool tracking system to keep track of just about everything of importance on a construction site.
What we now have been digital barcode readers and scanners, as well as sensors to keep track of important onsite tools. By scanning barcodes with a digital barcode reader or scanner at the beginning and end of a daily shift, construction companies can now keep track of all their equipment. An online search for tool tracking technology will astound you! The variety of these tools as well as computer and mobile apps to facilitate a whole tracking system is now at a project manager’s fingertips.
Smart Sensors You Can Wear
Now we don’t only have to read and use and carry our technology with us as a laptop computer or hand-held tool; we can also put it on and wear it wherever we go! This wearable technology is quite innovative and has helped the construction project manager and everyone on a jobsite in amazing ways, especially when it comes to jobsite safety.
What construction people are now donning and wearing, for example, are smart sensors in their shoes and boots, hard hats, wristwatches, and even in their belts and rooftop harnesses. These sensors serve a myriad of vital functions.
Wearable sensors now help a project manager or his foreman keep better track of workers and their physical state or condition on a jobsite. Body temperature can be monitored from a wristwatch sensor, and hard hat sensors can inform one if an impact has occurred to a worker and where the injured worker is located on the site. If a worker is experiencing heat exhaustion, heat stroke or even a heart attack, wearable sensors can now alert a project manager right away.
In addition to this, a boot sensor can oversee how long a worker has been on his feet (or not!) and much timeworkers have been on breaks (or not!). Keeping track of workers and work conditions are only two of the many functions wearable smart sensors now bring to a construction operation.
Computer Wi-Fi and Tablets
Real estate owners, project managers, contractors and foreman can now depend on the versatility and portability of computer tablets and what onsite Wi-Fi now provides. No longer do they have to carry stacks of documents or briefcases full of jobsite paperwork, blueprints and spreadsheets. And with just a swipe of a finger, huge amounts of info and data are accessible via a computer tablet.
For, in fact, construction companies and project managers are now equipping their tablets and construction sites with Internet accessibility via Wi-Fi connectivity. And communicating and sharing information and documentation with other onsite key workers via this method. In some cases, even a Smart phone is affording this same accessibility and exchange of massive information on a construction site. This they do in real time and even under adverse conditions. Sharing and even the editing of documents and information is a tremendous savings is cost and time to a construction project.
Now in abundance are construction apps for Smart phones that allow project managers and foreman to handle onsite tasks and duties of almost every kind. There are a number of construction-focused apps that now saturate the market, and these include what are called CAD apps which make it possible to make blueprint changes in real time.
There are also financial apps and calculating apps to help project managers record and calculate expenses and inventory of just about everything that is present and used on a jobsite. This can include supplies and provisions, hardware amounts, roofing materials, tools and equipment, as well as handling payroll and other construction costs. The fact is, there are construction apps now available to handle almost every phase of a construction project, thus allowing a project manager to have more time to accomplish other tasks and accomplish everything faster and more efficiently than ever before.
Once reserved for the U.S. Military, aerial drones are now entering the workspace of numerous professional industries and vocations in the private sector. And the construction landscape is changing tremendously because of drones. For they can investigate potential construction sites in remote areas as well as monitor existing sites. In the process, using sensor technology to reveal surface and underground topography while providing a host of other services.
These services can include site security, worker labor and presence, weather conditions, seismic activity, construction progress and even potential structural defects or needed changes.
More and more, construction site project managers are using drones to actively monitor construction sites and personnel. This enables the providing of security, safety and monitoring of all activity at a job site, and assisting tremendously in a project construction and on-time completion.
And so, it is, from aluminum wall form work to wearable sensors to drones and mobile apps and every gizmo and gadget in between. Today’s construction world and job site is no longer brick, cement and plywood, nor nails, drywall, and old word processors. The construction industry is now experiencing a world of high-tech, computerized hardware and software and techno devices once imagined in sci-fi books and movies. New technology creates new vocations and new industries and many jobs. For truly, the construction industry and its new technology is creating a reality that is no longer science fiction!