The Construction Industry and Technology
The use of technology in construction has been fundamental in the increase of efficiency in all facets of the industry. From using 3D modelling on computer for initial designs, having access to better communications via mobile phones, to the use of construction software, the construction industry is benefiting from the introduction of technology.
On a single construction project a large number of people are required to perform many different processes and operations. There could be hundreds of individual steps that involve the effort of thousands of people. Technology is helping communication between these people and speeding up the decision making process. Staff can also share information a lot easier, as traditionally they would work on their part of the project with little interaction with other people, but through the use of the Internet, project information can be shared more quickly as it is more centralised and accessible.
Computer Aided Design
Construction plans take the form of drawings and these were originally done by hand, an incredibly time consuming process, and often identical details had to be redrawn many times. Now done by automated process on computer they can be modified quickly and easily cut and pasted to fit a new location. Using computers for design also makes the use of 3D modelling possible, which is now an essential part of business to help attract potential clients. A physical model can be converted into a computerised image, which as well as being a great marketing tool, it is easily accessible and is portable. All you need is a laptop.
Lasers and Global Positioning Systems
String and steel tape measures were used so property measurements could be taken from boundary lines. Today foundation work can begin more easily and quickly as calculations are done using lasers and global positioning systems. They are also a much more accurate method of measurement. Machines can also be equipped with these technologies so that the preparation of the foundations is a lot more accurate. Heavy machinery can be set to cut the exact angle and grade required, saving a lot of time and guess work.
No business could function today without the use of personal computers, and the construction industry is no exception. Instead of being bound to their offices using slide rules and paper, word processors and spreadsheets are now increasing productivity. Programs can be run on a laptop on site and information can be sourced instantly. Efficiency on site can even be increased through the use of today’s smart phones. Project managers can do their job so much better when they are able to be more mobile and continue to have access to all their information at the same time.
Mobile phones are a great time saving device within businesses as calls can be made on site and problems solved the instant they arise. Better communication helps with the speed of decision making, and the accessibility of information is increased as staff can remain in contact.