Construction Technology: Tools in Use and Emerging Innovations
Gilbane has invested heavily and continues to monitor new innovations in construction technology that add value for our clients and power efficiency on lean construction projects.
What is Construction Technology?
Sometimes referred to as “con tech,” construction technology is the innovation and advancements that push forward the capabilities of the industry as a whole.
Construction technology goes beyond the equipment used on the job site. It includes software and programming developments, such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) — a management system that can develop 3D structure designs, and facilitate communication and collaboration between teams of architecture, engineering and construction professionals.
At Gilbane, construction technology is a core aspect of our commitment to make your project goals our own, and to achieve desired end results as safely and efficiently as possible.
Construction Technology Tools Used at Gilbane
Developments in construction technology allow us to deliver on our company promises of excellence in construction, efficiency, and safety. Here are some examples of construction technology used at Gilbane:
BIM 360 Field
A tablet-based QA/QC tool that integrates with BIM to allow sophisticated quality management processes. It also includes fully customizable tools, like checklists to verify information.
A tablet-based system with the ability to take a 3D model onto the jobsite, and view it while walking around. The ability to take the composite model on the jobsite allows the team to snap real life dimensions to it and create an immersive environment.
Bluebeam allows teams to organize, communicate and edit documents efficiently using cloud-based information that can be shared with all team members that are granted access rights. It also consolidates all documents, allowing the team to collaboratively create the structure.
Electronic Plan Tables
Electronic Plan Tables are large touchscreen monitors that allow on-site personnel access to the most up-to-date project drawings. Their innovative split screen design allows the overall drawing and detail to be viewed at the same time.
Laser scanning is the use of a high definition survey scanning device to create on-site surveys with exceptional accuracy. During renovations, laser scanning is used to verify existing conditions. During construction, it’s used to verify the quality of work, and ensure critical dimensions are met (floor level, windows, structure, etc.) with the goal of obtaining accurate dimensions for prefabrication.
Emerging Technology in Construction
These 5 innovations could have a major impact on the construction field in coming years, and at Gilbane we are constantly looking for ways to stay ahead of the technological curve.
This Virtual Reality headset can be utilized in coordination with BIM to experience 3D virtual walk-throughs, giving a dynamic sense of space across the entire project and allowing changes to be made with confidence early in design and before construction begins.
With the ability to easily fly through the interior of a complex jobsite, drone captured video can record construction progress and be used for reporting purposes. In addition, BIM visuals can be overlaid on video stills to ensure project plans are being followed.
The Microsoft HoloLens is the first fully self-contained holographic computer, enabling users the opportunity to interact with high-definition holograms. The HoloLens offers an opportunity to blend 3D holographic content into the user’s physical world. The result is a truly immersive experience for clients, allowing interaction with their building before ground has been broken.
Currently 3D printing technology is most commonly used in construction to build models — small prototypes of designs. As the technology continues to develop, it is starting to become possible to 3D print large structures such as houses. Eventually, it may be possible to leverage 3D printing to build structures extremely quickly and at a fraction of the cost.
A subset of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, has potential applications in construction from the design phase to the job site. Machine learning technology would give construction teams the ability to comb through endless data in order to identify potential problems with a project. Through machine learning, projects of all scales could be completed more efficiently and at less cost.
Evolving Construction Technology Will Power Gilbane into the Future
As construction technology tools continue to reshape the field, Gilbane will look to monitor developments and assess how they could enhance our commitment to excellence, efficiency and safety.
We are confident that the technologies we currently employ, coupled with various emerging and yet to be developed innovations will allow us to give our customers best-in-class project outcomes for years to come.