The most popular blog that we’ve ever released is our 2014 Trends in Construction Technology article. Last year we focused heavy on the mobile devices, BYOD, how feedback would drive design and how green building was going to evolve. But how has technology changed over the last year? What’s different? What’s cutting edge? While the cloud is still a massive focus in this industry, the discussion is changing slightly.
- Hi-Tech Bidding Process.
Sales always has to be sexy in the construction industry. You need the most cutting edge presentation, software, renderings and you need to present them in the most attractive manner possible. Prospective clients need to know that you’re not only the best at what you do, but can lead them in innovation and forward-thinking design. But sometimes they need to actually experience the concept that you have on the table. Because of this we predict the use of hi-tech, interactive renderings and even fabrication technology (3D printing) as becoming much more prevalent in 2015 and beyond. In fact, we ran into D3 Creative, an up and coming project visualization company at a recent tradeshow and really loved the interactive, customizable visualization options that they were marketing for their prospective clients.
- Drones onsite.
While not exactly a “new” trend, construction companies have started using drones to document work progress onsite. This opens up a few different opportunities for marketing, project status updates and even internal assessments when it comes to construction processes. We’ve really enjoyed seeing these in action. It takes the standard construction site web cam to a new level and allows for comprehensive documentation and understanding of how a job is truly progressing. We’ll see more and more firms adopt this technology in 2015 in an attempt to really showcase their work.
- Customized manufacturing.
With more and more custom homes and unique building structures being demanded by savvy consumers and commercial businesses at a suitable budget and within a faster timeframe, construction companies will be turning to manufacturing firms to complete precision fabrication of custom materials prior to construction to reduce waste, optimize design and focus on the details. Here’s a great case-study from IdeaBuilder about a custom home whose construction was sped up with digital renderings and pre-build fabrication.
- Custom software in small and medium business.
It may sound a little broken-record, but mobility and paperless business is still a top concern for construction and manufacturing organizations. As companies look to eliminate paper entirely, they’ll look more and more at their custom processes and come to find that a pieced applications are leaving a more and more disjointed, inefficient process. By working with custom application developers, like Stickboy Creative or similar application development firms, they can streamline their business processes with a customized application that works among their existing software to eliminate paper, additional data entry and make employees more efficient.
- The Application of Data, Data, Data.
For firms that have already embraced custom applications, or are working with an existing SaaS application, they’re swimming in analytics that are much more powerful than they realize. 2015 will be less about ensuring the move to mobile and adopting technology than it will be about taking the data that already exists and really using it to streamline business processes.
- IoT, Mobility and NFC – The Beginnings of the Ideal Jobsite.
Innovative executives have what most people would have called a pipedream – an idea that their jobsite could be entirely mobile, connected and exchange information simply. The introduction of Apple and Android Pay have put brought near-field communication into the conversation and it’s not crazy with the increased mobility brought about through cloud services and the internet of things to think that construction teams could soon be managing materials and passing information between the team and subcontractors alike.
We are in a time where ground-breaking companies are introducing technology that is truly innovating the construction workflow. Jobsite, materials and companywide efficiency are only a few tech adoptions away for many construction companies. Whether you’re a roofer, a home builder, or a commercial construction firm – technology is opening up a world of possibilities through the next decade.