The Impact Of Technology On the Construction Industry
Technology can help the industry carry out large-scale projects while considering the impact on the environment
The world has been undergoing paradigm shift almost every day, and everything has changed from its inception. The advances have been instilled in most parts of the world ever since the invention came into existence. The world has moved from its pristine state to an advanced technological era that has now become the norm of life for everyone. Everything evolves around technological advancements and transitions and that includes human beings too. If we detach from technology, the world will be in chaos and may even become a non-entity. Ever since technology spread its wings, most of the industry has transformed itself from manual work processes to complete automation. The construction industry cannot fly in the face of, instead, the industry had to embrace the new era.
The Indian construction industry stands as the second-largest employer, employing over 49 million people in the sector, and expected to become the world's third-largest construction market by 2025. The construction industry is expected to record a CAGR of 15.7 per cent to reach $738.5 billion by 2022. Despite this robust growth in the industry, companies are grudging to invest on the technological front. According to the international data corporation, India's construction companies have spent around 1-3 per cent of their annual turnover on technology, and only 3 per cent of the companies are on their way to technological transformation, while over 70 per cent of the construction companies have just kick-started their journey to technological transition. According to the report, the global construction 4.0 (digitization in the construction) market size was valued at $9,786.9 million in 2019 and is projected to reach $29,101.5 million by 2027.
Construction technological transition
Technology is re-shaping the face of the industry from its conventional perspectives to the modern era. The technological transition had begun by shifting away from the traditional method to reduce carbon emission, which is one of the unresolved mysteries of climate change. Technology can help the industry carry out large-scale projects while considering the impact on the environment as well. Earlier, there was a higher volume of waste produced at the site. One of the advantages of technological development is that it helps the industry to reduce, reuse and recycle materials which in turn largely reduces carbon emission by avoiding burning of waste materials.
Internal software and applications
While minor construction projects can be managed manually from planning to execution, a company becomes handicapped when it executes large-scale projects. Without technology the process would be strenuous. Therefore, companies are investing a lot of money to develop internal software and application in order to manage projects under one roof. Application is developed in the way the project has been managed from pre-construction, scheduling, soil testing, designing, material procurement, supply chain, payment, field reporting to the back office and so on. The entire process documents have been uploaded to the cloud and can be accessed whenever any changes arise. Such a process would be seamless for companies and the customer to follow up on what is happening with the construction work. Technology helps bring transparency to one another.
Construction companies are contemporarily adopting mobile technologies and mobile apps in order to superintend the project to maintain the process flawlessly. Mobile technology can collect real-time data and transmit it between the job site and project management team, which assists both of them to make alterations, if necessary. It allows submitting time cards, expense reports, work records and other documents, which save plenty of hours in data entry and increasing the productivity hours at the site.
Mobile apps are predominantly used for communication and collaboration on projects from the project site to the office. It allows to receive information swiftly and implement the plan accordingly.
Emergence of pre-fabrication
Technology has brought an additional dimension to the construction industry, which is eco-friendly. In prefabrication construction, the building components are built offsite and then installed at the site. It provides opportunities for companies to build instant homes, factories, hospitals, etc., and can remove them once their need is over. Prefabrication construction has become one of the most popular forms of commercial and residential construction, especially for whoever plans to extend their homes and offices. It is more affordable than traditional construction
Virtual reality, though in its nascent stage in India, has been a game-changer in the industry and has given customers an adequate understanding of what would be their future home designs and how will it look like. This helps them to pre-plan their home interiors and alter whatever they want before the construction itself.
Virtual reality brings various positive dimensions to the table. Primarily, it provides for a better customer experience while they choose their property. Virtual reality brings the place to life by giving a 360-degree outlook. Imagine, being able to walk through every inch of property features like placing of furniture, lighting, view from a balcony and so on. Technology provides real-time experience before the property even exists.
It also brings a better understanding between customers and the builder by allowing them to customize their properties. When a builder can personalize a design to a customer's expediency along with giving them recommendations and suggestions, it can create a unique and out of the box experience.
Virtual reality technology enhances geographical reach. Potential buyers from outside can view the apartment personally at their doorstep and this will help them in decision making.
Blockchain is another disruptive technology that can make a difference in the Indian construction sector. It can bring transparency between the two parties without any intermediary interferences. It is essentially about sharing databases and processes. It uses concepts such as artificial intelligence and the Internet of things to process run, by integrating databases in real time. For example, two users can edit Web documents simultaneously and upload the same document.
The primary benefit of blockchain is to have a direct link from business to service and vice-versa without any intermediaries thereby saving on cost, time and clutter.
Artificial intelligence has the ability to solve a lot of problems by learning and helping the industry to protect itself from last-minute glitches. During the pre-construction stage, AI can be used to ensure a flawless construction process and avoid frequent changes in the plan. AI can be integrated with finance, marketing and procurement to keep the flow of work undisturbed.
Integration of AI chatbot will enable customers to directly interact with builders and vice versa. Builders are able to answer multiple queries from customers. This process helps builders to understand the concerns of customers and alter things accordingly.