Designing a building has been a digital process for quite some time. When someone needs a new building constructed, they’ll work with a designer or architect to create digital visuals from which engineers will then design the actual ins and outs. Once all of that is done online, the final stage – actually constructing the project – is taken offline and printed onto huge amounts of paper for the construction team to use.
Masses of technology and software – such as AutoCAD – have been created to make the design process easier, faster, and more realistic. It has also significantly reduced the cost of a build, as architects and engineers can work much more efficiently rather than putting pencil to paper for hours on end. Meanwhile, the guys actually constructing the building have been left behind.
At least, that was the case until tablets showed up and changed everything.
Now, construction companies are taking technology in their stride and using tablets on-site to improve efficiency and get the job done. Here are just a few ways in which bringing computing to the construction site has transformed the work for the better:
As the world’s largest – and smallest – businesses aim to go paperless, the construction industry is no different. Plenty of things can go wrong when relying on paper copies, and printing full blueprints can be very expensive. This out-of-date process is now being replaced with digital options, meaning the build is much more environmentally friendly – even from the get-go.
Better asset management
When the team heads out onto different construction sites, they’ll take tools, machinery, and trucks with them. Without total asset management (TAM) systems in place, it can be difficult to manage which items have been taken and where they have gone. TAM helps companies track equipment so that nothing goes missing – ultimately saving them money while also protecting the public from danger.
Traditionally, any clarifications that needed to be done for a project would need to be annotated onto the blueprints, scanned in, and sent to the architect. With tablets to hand, builders can snap a picture or markup the problem on the digital blueprints and send them within minutes.
On the field analytics
Construction is costly. If you’re running a construction project or company, you’ll be responsible for cashing out for any other builders, plumbers, and electricians you use. With analytics, managers can see that the electrician that was chosen because he was the cheapest actually works much slower than previously used guys. Having previous information to hand allows you to make informed decisions about who to hire.
So, as time goes on, we’ll likely see even more technology being used on site. Everything from 3D printing of building materials to having construction apps for asset management, and more, will change the face of construction forever, making projects more efficient and better managed. We’re only at the start of the digital transformation within this particular industry, and the future is looking exciting.