HeadshotTara Callinan • 

#17001 Construction trends

Construction technology, according to the Construction Institute, refers to the collection of innovative tools, machinery, and software used during the construction phase of a project. Examples of construction technology include mobile apps, VR headsets, automated machinery, drones, and more! Two of which we’ll get to later…

In a nutshell, technology refers to the products and processes you use each day to efficiently accomplish tasks. When technology is absent, productivity flatlines and projects often get delayed. Hence why there is a push for craftspeople to adopt construction technology at a much faster rate. Although, you shouln’t rush out to buy the latest gadget just because it looks ‘cool.’ Research and evaluate the different types of construction technology available and find something that works for you, not against you.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the whole process, seek professional advice from construction technology companies like Fieldwire that are here to help you adapt to change and progress with real confidence. It’s important you know that while new technology might seem overwhelming at first, it is the key to longevity in this industry. In fact, 70 percent of construction companies that don’t adopt technology will go out of business, meaning it’s more critical than ever before to embrace tech that’s revolutionizing construction.

Here are two examples of construction technology that are changing the way our industry operates.

Construction Technology Example #1: Mobile Apps

With 93 percent of craftspeople already using a mobile device on-site, it’s clear why mobile apps have one of the highest adoption rates in construction. Mobile construction apps give jobsite teams the tools they need to efficiently accomplish tasks. With Fieldwire’s mobile app, for example, craftspeople have the ability to:

  • Communicate in real-time to accelerate decision-making and resolution
  • View and manage plans from the field even without an internet connection
  • Instantly share important data (files and photos) with the office team to ensure everyone is always on the same page

This way, projects can progress without any miscommunication that has real costs — far worse than many construction companies realize. In the U.S. alone, an estimated $31 billion each year and four hours each week is lost to rework caused by miscommunication. Mobile construction apps that support the real-time flow of information have the power to reduce this loss significantly!

“It’s easier to communicate with the general contractor because all of the information is right there at our fingertips. Within seconds, we can pull up anything on an iPad and hash things out with them.”

Phil Blake, Senior Project Manager at Colt Builders

Construction Technology Example #2: Drones

No longer just a high-tech military device, drones (or unmanned aerial vehicles) have emerged as an essential part of the construction process. Not yet fully autonomous, but almost there, today’s drone technology can be scheduled at select times to monitor and record site activity across multi-billion dollar construction sites, including Microsoft’s Redmond campus. From capturing aerial videos to transporting equipment and materials, there are many uses for drones across a variety of industries. In the construction industry, the technology has become particularly useful for monitoring project progress and tracking material quantities.

DroneDeploy CEO and Founder, Mike Winn, said the two most broad ways of thinking about how drones are used on a construction site include “understanding construction progress — using drone photos, drone maps, and 3D models to map exactly what’s happened on a construction site, and using drones to help with site modeling — understanding the topology of the land before something gets built.”

With an estimated market value of over $127 billion in commercial applications, it’s clear that drones are making the transition from novelty item to indispensable business tool.

Synchronize and standardize to optimize construction technology

Without standardization, the positive impact of construction technology is lessened. If you have contractors and owners using different software, communication will be disconnected and the prevalence of double data entry will sky-rocket.

In fact, a recent study by Dodge Data & Analytics found that 42 percent of contractors use both the owner’s project management system in addition to their own, which increases the likelihood of risk as contractors duplicate efforts.

Without synchronization and standardization there is a real disconnect on the jobsite. Construction companies should look for technology with open API architecture that can seamlessly integrate with other systems to streamline and simplify daily tasks.

Burnham Nationwide, a building permit expediting and code compliance consulting firm, uses Fieldwire’s open API to integrate directly with its ERP system in order to manage access to each project and set of documents the company is working on.

“The capabilities of the Fieldwire platform are superior to the likes of PlanGrid. Fieldwire’s task management, customer service team, and it’s easy-to-use APIs allowed us to use it as a solution across the country.”

Carson Kyhl, Co-Founder and President at Burnham Nationwide

As investor momentum continues to build for construction technology, examples of construction technology will continue to emerge and propel the industry forward. If you’re excited to start working with construction technology that’s easy-to-use and affordable, please request a free demo of Fieldwire’s mobile app today.

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