Jun
28

Construction Technology: Top 10 trends in 2018

Construction leads to development. What comes to mind when we hear the word construction technology?  The study of the methods and equipment necessary to build structures. Technology is helping in every way from creating a loop to cars that do not need petrol. Decreasing dependency on manual labor in the new era is a factor whereby finally construction industry is going ahead and accepting technology.

Companies who are still not open to any sort of technology are facing tough competitions in the market.

There are a host of new technologies that are changing the game of construction in recent years.

construction industry

 

Glances on the top recent construction technology

Construction is the building block of sustainable development. Residential buildings, malls, flyovers, bridges etc are all such examples that define construction in the modern era. Any defect will render huge loses to the society and the people. Let us see a few technologies in the construction sector:

Self Healing Concrete

The basic element of a building is concrete. But with time there is wearing and breaking. Over time, cracks develop and without any repair, the building will collapse. Engineers are working to mend this situation. Apparently, the researchers from US universities have come up with a thought. They proposed to add fungus with the cement which will by far prevent it from breaking down and last long.

Aerogel insulation

The first thing that comes to our mind after hearing the word gel is it is a liquid item. But, for construction technology, aerogel comprises of silica that is almost ninety-nine percent of air after separating the water. Aerogel has insulating abilities which disseminate energy and reduces cost. User-friendly, you can recycle it and also reduce it.

Thermochromic roofs

The demand for eco buildings is on the rise. With this comes the use of thermochromic roofs. MIT is utilizing a new thermal management method for building smart roofs. They are using a material called Thermeleon which transforms into layers making it thermochromic. This means it is heat resistant and has a unique feature of changing its color from black to white. When there is extreme sunshine, you can see the black roof will transform into white. This automatically keeps the building cool during extreme heat. Hence, eco-buildings are an essential construction theme today.

Virtual reality (VR)

We all know virtual reality is something that transforms our vision. This element is basically used in the gaming world but then recently it is entering the construction industry. VR enables architects to show their projects in a 3D manner. It definitely stands apart from the crowd as marketing strategies have drastically changed and are giving a new impetus to work among rivals.

In the construction industry building information modeling (BIM) is used. Offering data management capacities along with projecting models is a good option. It is helping the entire team to stay connected by sticking on the same page from the beginning till the end.

Wearable technology

Using job site technology was never a part of the construction industry. But now, with time it is accepting the upcoming trends.  Companies are investing in smart vests, helmets which will no doubt increase the credibility and productivity too will follow up. Recognising the benefit is important and the construction industry is pretty late. For example, Daqri developed a helmet that provides full connectivity with the people, data, and machines with the help of a smart visor

3D printing

This technology has not yet hit the floor. It is still a baby but is considered to have a lot of potentials. Recently a company in San Francisco naming Apis Cor and Russian construction company  PIK Group developed a house within twenty-four hours. Fast and comprehensive make it more functional for today’s kind of work.

Bricklaying robots

Robots are fast as compared to human beings, hence, bricklaying is possible at a rate which is 6 times faster than humans. A company called ‘construction robotics’ created a semi-automated mason (SAM). This can place up to 3000 bricks which is an enormous amount than the humans who can lay up to 500 per day.

Machine learning

Machine learning is rising at a fast rate which is going to have an impact on our future constructions. The immediate effects are Increasing automation and lesser downtime of the equipment. It is revolving around AI geared games and programmes. Monitoring on-site heavy equipment is easy. Any defect or issue regarding the breakdown the device immediately notifies the owner. This helps to lower down worksite risks and also manages to have on time repair.

Predictive Analysis

To be a successful company, risk-taking is important. Predictive analysis is introduced so that risk can be predicted, analyzed and worked upon. For example, material suppliers, the design plans on the site are examined and tested with this software. This helps in chasing the risk factor and hint of potential damage before it actually occurs.

Internet of things

Connectivity is the most important part for any technology to give the right results. The IoT here is a connection of several devices which is imbibed with sensors to track the activity. In the construction industry, it is being used for tracking equipment, tools, monitoring, and checking. It also helps in repairing and servicing of construction equipment. It is a good tool for future constructions and will definitely change the way cities are developing.

The new age architects are growing in a fully technical world, where nothing precisely works without internet and technology. 2017 was a huge year for the construction industry. Companies should take hold of the advantages and make sure that without lesser damage and high cost how skillfully they can develop a site.

These were some of the trends revolutionizing the construction industry. hope this article was helpful.

 

May
30

Material Trends to Watch in 2018

The beauty of architecture lies in its scope of creativity. Only creativity can turn an establishment into aesthetic. Forms of architecture are not limiting the construction methods or materials anymore. Anything can inspire architecture, be it natural phenomena or hi-tech engineering. Further, standout shapes and materials, pastels, vintage designs, holographic effects, vibrant gradients, etc are changing the definition of aesthetic over time. Moreover, unexpected materials are painting a creative and absorbing future of design. Let’s take a look at the material trends of the year.

Material Trends

Reclaimed Wood

The list of current material trends is incomplete without woods. Architects look up to wood-based products for beautification and environmental reason. Reclaimed woods are mostly timbers and decking rescued from old barns, warehouses or factories. Sometimes they come from the coal mine, wine barrels or boxcars too. Unlike other materials, the appeal of these woods does not depend on their looks. Reclaimed woods come with their unique beauty with an interesting history.

Accordingly, reclaimed woods has its own charm. Since they are not farm-grown it’s more environment-friendly. Although it came from a tree still it is better than chopping off another one. Also, it has a story and character. They cannot be fabricated. Besides, there are many species of woods that are no longer available. But those rare species are available in reclaimed woods. Hence, reclaimed woods serve the purpose of beauty without causing any more damages to the environment. It is somewhat similar to recycling. Be it the floor, walls or furniture, everything can be made out of reclaimed woods. They add a vintage flavor to the product thus making the reclaimed wood architect’s pick.

Bioplastic from Algae

Plastics are threatening the well-being of the planet but we still can’t avoid them. Public authorities are taking measurements for eliminating plastics from daily life. Metals, woods, and paper to some extent replaced them but not entirely. A new replacement of plastic came up when Dutch designer Eric Klarenbeek and Maartje Dros created a bioplastic from algae. The result of their 3 years of effort finally got recognition. Eventually, bioplastics became the savior. The algae polymer can be used in making everything that is made of plastics.

The bioplastic made from algae captured the attention of the architects. These are not harming the environment like oil-plastics. Therefore an eco-friendly solution entered the scenario of designing. Bioplastics are used to make daily necessities starting from simple bottles and bins to bags and gadget covers. Bioplastics do not contribute to global warming and serve the purpose of synthetic plastic. Thus, they made a place in the list of trending material of the year.

Photovoltaic Glass

Construction sites are investing in Photovoltaic Glass. The beauty of this glass lies in its capacity to transfer the light into electricity. Think about a building that is capable of making the required amount of itself from its exterior. The PV glass transparent semi-conductor based PV cells. In other words, these glasses contain the solar cell. The solar cell is placed in between the sheet of glasses. They are transparent yet effective.

The construction technology is growing fast. With the introduction of smart buildings and artificial intelligence, the storyline of construction is changing. The photovoltaic glass is another step towards the IT Age. Engineers and architects welcomed the PV glass with open arms. By using PV glass a green building without compromising the beauty is possible. PV glass can decrease the consumption of energy by 40%. This is more beneficial than the Solar cells. While solar cells are capable of 10% Internal rate of return (IRR), the PV glass can achieve up to 65%. The best thing is, all these come without compromising the safety. It generates free and clean energy with the most stringent safety standards.

Biomimetic Insulation

Building insulations are necessary objects for construction. Basically, they are any objects that are used for the purpose of insulation in a building. The thermal purpose is major among them. Thermal insulations are necessary for achieving thermal control, especially in the cold countries. The insulation materials are mostly made of cellulose, glass wool, polystyrene, urethane foam etc. All these materials are harmful to the environment. They create pollutants that destroy the nature. They are harmful yet necessary. The answer for building a heat resistant or sound resistant with synthetic insulation materials is biomimetic insulations.

Biomimetic insulations are organic and harmless. They do not release harmful particles like CFC, CO2, etc. The Biomimetic insulations are mostly made from animals. Also, some of them are made from organic wastes like banana fiber, mushrooms, etc. They work just as efficiently as the synthetic insulations without causing damages to nature. Therefore, biomimetic insulations successfully draw the attention of engineers and architects towards them. Biomimetic insulations became the pick of those who care for the environment.

Flying Robots

Zoological biomimicry is inspiring the robust growth of robotics and drone technology. A few decades ago no one thought about flying robots can save efforts. And a few years ago no one imagines construction work can use drones. But the technology never fails to surprise us. With the growth of artificial intelligence and information technology, we see new miracles every day. Flying robots are one of those gifts.

Using drones in construction can save time and energy in an effective way. Real-time monitoring and keeping tracks of progress are easier with drones. Flying robots can reach the inaccessible places. They are capable of overcoming the drawbacks of humans. Capturing every angle, gathering up all the important data, etc are possible with flying robots. Further, construction sites are accident prone. All these are possible without risking any lives.

Say yes to a safe and eco-friendly tomorrow

Over the years, environmentalists are blaming technology for destruction of nature. However, these material trends turned the scene upside down. Now the technology is not destroying nature. Rather it is showing a way for an eco-friendly tomorrow. Artificial intelligence is no longer detaching the humans from society. They are connecting the people with the environment. The field of architecture is not lagging behind either.

May
22

How Construction Industry is Changing With Digitisation, BMI and Reality Capture

The construction industry is undergoing metamorphosis. The new improvements like digitization, BMI and Reality Capture are improving the infrastructure and reducing risks often taken in the market. It is often seen that large companies take more time to complete projects and this happens because of lack of budget. Digitization is necessary for such a situation because this will aid in construction productivity. Hence, returns will be more and players will be able to predict solutions.

Before knowing how the industry will change with modern mechanisms, we state some facts about the construction industry.

  • Since 1945, the improvement in the industry is meager. The revenues earned in auto and aerospace is more than this industry.

construction industry

Importance of Digitization

Infrastructure cannot remain constant. It needs to improve and certain technological advancements will improve every industry tenfold. 3D design, digital engineering are revolutionizing infrastructure. In that respect, digitization will reduce market risks and upgrade the asset lifecycle. Plus,  digitization will generate incentives for industries and workers.

In the construction industry, we need digitization to plan the outline of the building.  We need tool or machinery for physical construction but without precision, the inner foundation of the structure will not stand.

Most of the work is done manually till now, but times are changing. Sooner drones and robots will take over manual labor. And cloud systems will check and assess the workers’ improvement, performance etc. With digitization, the risk of health will reduce.

Importance of BIM

BIM is a part of the construction industry. It is based upon collaborations using a set of computer models rather than a set of disjointed drawings. With latest 5D in fashion, BIM will create a perfect futuristic construction. Moreover, technologies will digitize the process by enhancing visualization, thereby making it look real.

A popular example in this regard is Europe’s Crossrail project. It is a 118km under construction railway line connecting countries like Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, and Essex. It is an innovative digital project.

This project is unique because it involves BIM or Building Information Model. As the project progresses, the models will take up changes making maintenance easier. Many scholars feel the term engineering is changing. Now, with technology, we can evaluate the structure of the city and its composition. We can also asses the condition of roads, houses using different models.

What is the importance of digital engineering and reality mesh

Digital engineering provides an environment of collaboration for all the stakeholders and engineers. This process aims at identifying problems and giving probable solutions. Since it involves all the players, the solutions are verified.  Digital engineering accumulates details about any project and captures knowledge relating to the project.

Reality mesh

A reality mesh combines the virtual and real world. This augmentation of the virtual and real world can enhance visualization. In reality mesh, all the objects both physical and digital interact to help experts to set a structure of the construction. It plans, designs and operates projects quickly.

Reality modeling captures the former situation first. Then with the help of engineers create a new design for the future. In a nutshell, teams were no longer needed to report after a  fieldwork. It uses drones, satellites to take snaps of the sites. On the basis of the information, engineers can maintain track records.

Chris Gibson is of the opinion that the construction process is slowly turning into the manufacturing industry. In quick time any contractor or owner will know about changes made in the construction sites. Moreover, all the workers can actually collaborate on a single project. with a 5G improvement, they can visualize the progress. a common example to support this is Context Capture.

Is the construction industry Change Ready? Why reality capture is the future call

Large organizations are using Artificial Intelligence and Virtual reality to achieve its goals. However, tech experts believe that the industry is in a transition phase. It will need some time before BIM and reality mesh is successful. But adoption of the methods is taking place because of the expenses. Equipment such as scanners are lightweight and come within budget. Likewise, software programs have increased their functions. Government and other organizations are providing equipment to aid work.

Reality capture is becoming a reality in the construction industry. Equipment like sensors and wireless devices are becoming more intelligent. IoT can capture site images and can also check on the progress of the project. Surveillance cameras are keeping a record of the workers.

Challenges to encounter on the way or remodeling

To achieve the perfect futuristic construction, some challenges need to be solved. They are-

  1. A major problem is lack of collaboration. Many companies do not allow data to pass from one application to another. A lot of money and resources can be saved if companies collaborate with each other.
  2. Finding accessible and simple tools is another factor. The construction industry needs equipment which provides products to customers.
  3. Digital engineering and the digital mesh is not budget friendly. Though they are effective in every way, many countries are not adopting it because of money. The challenge is to make it cost-effective without deteriorating its quality.
  4. Technological heads need to collaborate to remodel the structure.

Bridging the gap: How to solve the problem?

The industry is changing so are the technologies. What we need right now is a combination of both augmented and virtual reality. We need Digital engineering, 3D processing to speed up the construction industry. How far will this move work is still a question.

 

May
19

Green Building Trends For 2018 and Beyond

The Concept of Green Building

The other terms for green building are green construction or sustainable building. A building passes through the following stages in its lifecycle:

  • Planning
  • Design
  • Construction
  • Operation
  • Maintenance
  • Renovation
  • Demolition

Green building refers to the structure and the application of processes throughout the life cycle of a building. The purpose of the green building is to reduce the harmful impacts on the natural environment and the climate. This will lead to the preservation of natural resources and improvement in our quality of life.

Green Building

Goals of Green Building

  • Mitigating negative impacts – Buildings all over the world consumes a huge share of energy, electricity, water, and minerals. 18% of the global emission and 9 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide comes from buildings. In the absence of green building emissions from buildings will double. Buildings comprise a large portion of land on earth.
  • Sustainable development – It refers to the use of natural resources by the present generation without neglecting the future generation. Sustainable development is becoming a crucial factor because the world’s population is growing at an alarming rate. The mechanism of green building can contribute to facilitating the conservation of resources.
  • Reduction of energy consumption – Wooden buildings will consume lesser amount of energy in comparison to buildings made of bricks, concrete or steel. Designers of green building are trying to reduce air leakage from buildings in order to save energy. There is an increase in energy generation from solar power, wind power, hydropower, and biomass.
  • Reduction in water consumption – Engineers are installing various technologies inside a building to recycle the water disposed of as waste. It will result in low demand for water from local aquifers.
  • Reduction in material consumption – Non-toxic and renewable materials for the construction of a building are renewed to achieve material efficiency.
  • Indoor air quality management – It is necessary to provide people with a better quality of life. Management of air quality inside the building will prevent the growth of bacteria, dust mites and viruses.
  • Optimal operation and maintenance – Proper maintenance and operation of a building can ensure the achievement of other objectives of green building.
  • Waste Management – Green building tries to reduce wastage of materials by converting waste into fertilizers.
  • Electrical efficiency – Another objective of green building is the saving of energy.

Trends in Green Building

Here are some drastic changes which we can expect in 2018:

Utilization of Workspace

Organizations are renovating the lobby, hallways, classrooms, staircases, ceilings, doors and meeting spaces. They are using light, modern, mobile and multi-purpose furniture. This will increase the available space within to meet some other purpose. Many companies are shifting from rural to urban area. Therefore, for providing space for them, apartments and hotel rooms are becoming smaller in size.

Wellness

According to the general consensus, wellness is good for business. The working environment can have a tremendous impact on the quality of work of employees. Therefore, many industries are adopting this new discipline. There is a direct relationship between productivity of employees and Green building.

Flexibility

Extreme weather and natural disaster which can have a severe effect on industries. Therefore, Developers are framing flexibility by undertaking insurance to mitigate risk. The infrastructure of buildings should be such that it can withstand disaster.

Certifications

Now more options are available to measure the resilience, sustainability, and wellness of a building. It will help to measure the impact of a building’s health and wellness features. Certification can ensure that architects have taken insurance to reduce risk.  Most of the companies approach to LEED for certification. LEED certification helps companies to build high performing and sustainable commercial and residential buildings.

Innovations

2018 will be a witness of great innovation. In this year everybody will come across modular and highly adaptable building designs. Technological advancements will generate new projects and create new solutions for businesses. Everything will become smart this year and it would be possible to achieve whatever we thought of before.

Sustainability

This year has an expectation to see more variety and combinations of certifications. In green building, buildings will use healthy materials to provide a healthy lifestyle. Sustainability has a big role to play in curbing climate change.

Human Factor

Consumers and investors are getting more aware of their expectations from Corporate Social Responsibility. Consumers and employees are expecting more from companies. So companies are expecting architects to construct buildings to represent brands along with sustainable and wellness related experiences. More questions on CSR activities can come from customers. the company which will be able to give the best answers to consumers will be the winner. Social justice and equitable distribution of wage among employees can have a direct impact on business.

So you can understand that everyone should resort to green building. But the criticizing issue with regard to green building is the price. Still, the benefits of green buildings outweigh the payback period of its investment. There will be a reduction in the greenhouse effect and the whole world will be benefited from it. Therefore, it is beneficial for industries to adopt green building.