April 23, 2022

Use of new technology in construction

The use of technology to speed up building construction has been in vogue for quite some time. However, Covid-19 has hugely accelerated application of latest technology and innovations or ‘contech’ as developers scamper to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. A big trigger towards this sharp tilt towards new tech is the need to cut the delay and deliver projects hitherto frozen by the pandemic.



Hence, virtual walkthroughs, digitalization, 3D printing, artificial intelligence, drone tech and the like have become the construction industry buzzwords of late. Covid had left a raging scar and throttled real estate construction severely. By turning to new tech, developers are able to optimize workforce efficiency, improve quality while speeding up construction with a reduced carbon footprint, even as the real estate industry tries desperately to stay on course to touch the magical $1 trillion figure by 2030.

HERE ARE SOME OF THE NEW TECHNOLOGIES IN CURRENCY NOW:
Digitalization
Digitalization is fast becoming basic hygiene, with both developers and home-seekers able to access a vast ocean of information online. From virtual or video tours of properties to online transactions, the digital platform is offering buyers and sellers a host of handy options, including analyzing new data and digitizing old ones so that anyone can view it in real time.

Aluminium foamwork construction technology
Also referred to as aluminium shuttering, this technology has transformed the real estate construction sector. Using aluminum instead of wood as the mould where the concrete is poured, this technology is swift, cost-effective and very apt for repetitive applications, particularly in large-format residential projects. As against the conventional method, which would take 3 weeks to achieve a slab cycle, using aluminium technology can get that work done in 8 days flat.

Virtual reality & 3D mapping
This expertise which uses computer simulation and drone technology, can create life-like digital walkthrough experiences for the prospective customers so that they can visit and evaluate properties online, sitting at home. Merging images and videos of the project by using 3D mapping technology, it creates a digital space that is as real as the actual property. This is also a real boon for investors who can preview the entire architectural layout of a property and make an informed decision before they reach out for their cheque books.

Prefabricated construction
Constructing components offsite was fast becoming a trend even before Covid struck. Post-pandemic, this trend has only become more pronounced. This process is not only swifter, it guarantees better and uniform quality and is more stable and sturdier vis-à-vis conventional on-site construction. Besides, prefab can be done in large factories, thus ensuring better social distancing and use of precision equipment and components to achieve a better result and cut labour costs.

Building information modeling
BIM is the new buzzword in Contech, providing developers and investors a bird’s-eye-view of the project through the use of 3D computer-generated models of the structure, to which the estimated cost and timelines are added to get the entire picture. So the architecture team can actually delineate with a great degree of accuracy the actual image of the project as it will look after completion.

Building management systems
BMS has become a very critical tool particularly post-pandemic, as data scientists work 24x7 to cull out information from sources like building management systems, swipe cards, feedback of the occupiers, etc so that they can ensure optimization of space and more sustainable and healthier models of commercial real estate, keeping in mind the now-omnipresent needs of touch-less technology and sensors to monitor pollution, programmed cleaning modules, etc.

Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence or AI, like in so many other domains in our lives, is now much sought-after by the construction sector as well. Now widely practiced among the developers’ fraternity, AI models can help determine critically important factors like project-completion timelines, probable budgets, risk factors, etc, which is a huge aid for the builders’ community, arming them with the most relevant information they need. Automated construction or drones flown via remote control are all examples of AI.

3D printing
Just like prefab casting, 3D printed materials, which are already a craze in the developed countries, are soon going to be used a lot in the Indian construction sector, particularly where precision finishing is critical. This tech is a massive boon in terms of timeline management and fast replication.

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