Trends in Construction Industry
Technical innovations have enabled construction firms to build better buildings more quickly and safely than ever before. Let’s take a look at three trends that are driving change in our industry.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)
No technology will or can completely replace skilled workers, but the construction industry is starting to warm up to the use drones and robots in the field. A UAV is a small device equipped with rotors and a high-resolution camera that can be piloted using a ground-based transmitter or, in some cases, fly autonomously using predetermined routes. Because UAVs can take stills and send live video feeds, they’ve become invaluable to construction firms that need to obtain aerial footage without incurring high costs. A drone can help a crew visualize a site and its terrain before construction begins and then serve as a surveillance tool to inspect sites for safety and to monitor progress. Small and nimble, UAVs can easily zip around busy and intricate construction zones. Furthermore, many firms also use drones as a marketing tool to showcase finished projects.
In its most basic form, a 3D printer is a device that connects to a computer to process and print three-dimensional designs by using a hot, liquid material. Because many construction projects rely on 3D models, the idea that a 3D printer can, layer by layer, print an entire building isn’t far-fetched. For now, many construction firms will settle for the convenience of being able to print small building components and parts. 3D printing can save time and money, as well as cut waste, by enabling firms to reproduce manufacturer parts on an as-needed basis. WinSun, a Shanghai-based 3D printing construction company, “expects 3D printing will save construction companies up to 50% on the cost” of building a home.
Green building is a trend that shows no sign of slowing down. According to the 2013 World Green Building Trends report from McGraw Hill Construction, about a half of current and planned construction projects in U.S. are considered “green.” That figure is continuing to grow and firms are seeking certifications that show their sustainability practices, even when it’s not a project requirement. Energy consumption is at the core of this trend but so are other social and environmental factors. Sustainable construction can help to lower water usage, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve our natural resources. Read more about the sustainable construction practices we implement here at Stafford Builders.