Unlike many other industries, the engineering and construction sector still have work to do regarding adopting new technologies, and has certainly never undergone a major transformation. Which technologies will we see pushing the building industry into the new digital age and how do they ensure viable and long lasting solutions in government construction in the future?

Over the last few decades, most other industries have undergone tremendous changes and have reaped the benefits of process and product innovations. However, the engineering and construction sectors have been hesitant about fully embracing the latest technological opportunities. According to the World Economic Forum this has resulted in stagnated labor productivity. This unimpressive record looks set to change very soon, and in a very dramatic manner. In fact, profound changes are already taking place – though not yet on a sufficiently wide scale – in many aspects of the construction industry.

200,000 new urban citizens per day
As the world is changing faster than ever before, consider just one of the global megatrends about to shake up the construction industry: The population of the world’s urban areas is increasing by 200,000 people per day. All of whom will need affordable housing as well as social, transportation and utility infrastructure. One of the best places to look for a glimpse of the future building industry is India.

urban cities

The world’s seventh-largest economy, India, is set to become the third-busiest construction market on the globe, according to a new report, “Global Construction 2030” from Global Construction Perspectives and Oxford Economics. Bolstered by its booming population, rapid urbanization, healthy income growth, expanding middle class, and steady flow of foreign direct investments into real estate, India is on pace to surpass Japan. According to the report, India will be the world’s third-largest construction market by 2021, and grow at twice the rate of China through 2030.

Technologies set to change the construction industry
Reported by the BBC earlier this year, the stereotypical view of construction may be set to change thanks to the introduction of a range of innovative technologies. The industry has vast potential for improving productivity and efficiency, thanks to digitalization, innovative technologies and new construction techniques. Because the key is digitalization, we see more and more construction projects that are incorporating systems of digital sensors, intelligent machines, mobile devices, and new software applications.

 

Here are five examples of something that could become common use in the building industry:

Drones
One of the technologies being developed and used more and more across the industry is drones – aerial vehicles that, when a camera is attached, can provide a bird’s eye view of the activity taking place below. US start up Skycatch provides drones for companies to use on high-profile building projects, to create progress reports and give real-time updates on any changes that need to be made.

Robots
Komatsu, a Japanese construction giant, has gone one step further than just using drones. The firm uses Skycatch drones to provide eyes-in-the-sky for its automated bulldozers to get a better view of a project from the ground. The drones send 3D models of the building site to a computer, which then sends the information through to the unmanned machinery to then go and plot its course.

3D Printing
3D printing is already making an impact on the housing and construction sectors — but many think we are only at the start of unlocking its full potential. The advanced technology has the potential to reduce both the time and cost of building new homes, with many believing that this technology could be one stop towards solving the ongoing housing crisis.

3D Printing

Pollution-fighting Buildings
Elegant Embellishments has created a smog-eating façade that is coated with a special paint made from titanium dioxide – a pollution-fighting technology that is activated by sunlight. Most current types of paint on the market right now absorb fumes from the air and convert them into harmful acids.

Temperature-cooling bricks
Emerging Objects has created 3D printed bricks with a bit of an extra twist. The porous blocks, called Cool Bricks, are filled with water to bring down temperatures. Each brick has a ceramic lattice-like structure to hold the water, similar to how a sponge works. When air flows through the brick, it absorbs evaporated water vapor, becoming cooler.

High-performing buildings
Over the past decade developments have risen to the surface that challenge the tradition of just “doing it the old way” in construction. First, the field of building science – our physics-based understanding of how buildings function and how heat, air, and moisture interact with building components – is for large parts of the world now common knowledge. The science is telling us that the “old way” not only wastes energy, it also delivers questionable indoor air quality and comfort to the building occupants.
This means that homeowners, contractors, architects and material manufacturers have focused on “green buildings,” or constructing sustainable homes and businesses that have less of a negative impact on the planet. More and more, they’re moving away from the term green building in favor of “high performance building.”
“High-performance” is basically how those in the industry will think about and define successful buildings in the future. Buildings are complex and becoming more so as owners and policy makers demand particular levels of performance. The focus is no longer on single building characteristics but providing high performance through the optimization of numerous attributes including safety and security, accessibility, historic preservation, functionality, productivity, sustainability, cost effectiveness, aesthetics, and resiliency.

Keep living
At Pressalit Care we applaud all the initiatives in developing high-performance buildings, as it is a major economic opportunity and a vital environmental responsibility for the entire world. The essence of high-performance buildings is to make sure they are performing optimally because at the end of the day those buildings will be housing people.
As we create better working environments, naturally, better housing solutions emerge and this is vital: 75 percent of the 43 million Americans aged 65 and older are living in their own homes, and nearly all of them plan to stay right there.
Keep living are the two words we use at Pressalit Care when we need to sum up our core values: respect for people and their right to a good life, regardless of their functional capacity. We do not accept physical restrictions that can handicap a person when it comes to daily activities in the home.
Our goal is a better life for people with mobility disabilities, a better working environment for those who help them and better, longer term solutions for those who need to invest. That is why we also care about the improvements in the building industry.