The construction industry is one sector that, seemingly, cannot be derailed by bumps and blows to the global economy. Like all industries, it has faced tough times, but it continues to grow at a very healthy rate. It is estimated that, by the year 2030, the amount being invested in construction infrastructure will have reached $13 trillion.
This is more than double the same figure for 2012 and the jump should provide a clear indication of how fast the industry is moving. Yet, there are challenges ahead. In order to keep up with demand and fulfil the requirements of ever more stringent state legislation, contractors must be able to evolve. Technology is a big part of this, as it holds the key to maximising profits while minimising overheads.
This guide to the relationship between technology and the construction industry will explain why the two are a better match than you might think.
Digital Invoicing Systems
Automation is fast becoming a requirement for all types of businesses; not just construction companies. This is because contractor billing software reduces the capacity for error, increases visibility, and eliminates the need to rely on paper documents.
There are no delays within the system because each of its stages is logged and recorded. All parties are able to track the progress of invoices and take action three times as fast if they were dealing with a paper bill.
3D Printing and 3D Technologies
3D printing stands to revolutionise the construction industry for one simple reason. It cuts production times in half. If a component or part can be 3D printed, the typical manufacturing schedule shrinks from weeks to just hours.
This is a remarkable technological development and it means that things like wall components, concrete beams, bricks, screws, tools, and more can all be manufactured onsite. This is instead of outsourcing to an independent supplier, which is costly and takes time.
Drones and Remote Cameras
It might seem strange to think of drones as a useful tool for the construction industry. After all, aren’t commercial drones nothing more than advanced toys? Well, yes and no, because it is true that these devices can’t really have a hands on impact.
However, they are beginning to offer invaluable forms of data and project mapping for contractors and construction experts. Many larger companies are now using drones to create accurate aerial maps of construction sites. This allows them to adjust blueprints and architectural plans very early on in the process and avoid potentially very costly errors.
Green Initiatives and Clean Energy
In most countries around the world, including Australia, green credentials are no longer a choice. The majority of new structures (homes and businesses included) must comply with certain energy efficiency grades and ratings.
Green technologies are making this easier to achieve. For instance, Smart Glass is a remarkable substance which uses tiny bursts of electricity to charge ions and adjust the amount of light that is absorbed and reflected. In other words, it is a clean way to regulate temperature, via the control of light. The developers claim that it has the potential to reduce HVAC costs by around 25%.
Why Embracing New Technologies Will Save You Money
The primary objective when adopting new technologies is to make things move faster. The quicker you can provide a product or service (be it dry walling or laying foundations), the sooner you can close out on the job and make a return on your investment. For smaller businesses, something as simple as experimenting with automated invoicing software can make a huge difference to the efficiency of cash flows.