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Innovative Techniques in Commercial Construction help reduce project timelines and costs. From smart buildings that work on solar electricity to 3D concrete printing, these new trends are changing the way construction companies build.
Prefabrication is one of the newest construction industry trends that cuts down on waste and schedule time. It involves designing, manufacturing, and fabricating components offsite before assembling them at the construction site.
Robotic Total Stations
A total station is a topographic instrument that measures distances and angles. It is an essential tool in construction, surveying, geodetic works and civil engineering projects.
Modern total stations can help reduce the cost of layout points by allowing a single operator to perform tasks that would require a 2-man team using conventional instruments. This means that more time can be spent on other aspects of a project, reducing the overall cost of a commercial construction project.
This technology also helps with minimizing errors. For example, it can automatically correct for atmospheric effects like temperature, humidity and barometric pressure. This means that the data recorded is more accurate, which results in fewer mistakes and wasted materials. This can increase onsite productivity significantly. It can also save money and resources by eliminating the need for rework.
Sustainable Building Materials
Sustainability focuses on using resources efficiently and reducing carbon emissions. Builders are utilizing innovative sustainable building materials to improve energy efficiency, save money and enhance occupant health.
Bamboo, for example, grows quickly and can be used as a replacement for traditional lumber. It’s also biodegradable and slows the rate of deforestation.
Reusing and recycling materials is another green construction practice. Contractors can find a variety of recycled building materials, including glass, plastic and paper. They can even use cinder blocks made from old plastic bags, tiles created from wine corks and walls built with mushroom compost.
Other sustainable materials include Hempcrete (concrete-like material made from hemp fibers) and ferrock (concrete-like masterial that uses steel dust). These alternatives have low embodied energy and reduce the amount of CO2 released during production.
Previously considered one of the least-digitized industries, it’s no surprise that the construction industry is now beginning to use technology to simplify their work. With the help of cloud computing, construction software and tools can now be accessed and operated from anywhere.
This can be particularly beneficial for contractors that must visit multiple construction sites, handle the work-related data of each site, and even provide progress reports to clients. The ability to manage data and updates from the comfort of their own office can increase productivity significantly.
Damhuis also points out that cloud technology eliminates the need for construction companies to carry a lot of hardware and infrastructure on site. This can help reduce theft concerns for workers in remote areas. Plus, it means less money spent on maintaining infrastructure and software systems that may eventually become obsolete.
Digital twins are an important tool for a number of industries. They offer feedback as a product is developed, can act as a prototype before any physical version of the product is constructed, and help to test design improvements.
Construction teams can leverage these tools to document progress, track quality assurance and safety procedures, speed up workflow processes, automate monitoring, improve asset management, and empower effective collaboration across multiple project sites and locations. This can eliminate the need for frequent site visits and reduces rework, improves efficiency, and helps to drive costs down.
While these tools can be expensive, the savings that result from reduced rework and improved project productivity are often greater than the initial investment. This is particularly true when considering the amount of money that is wasted on unnecessary travel expenses.
Prefabrication and Modular Construction
Prefabricated building systems reduce the time on-site workers spend and increase productivity, safety and quality. These components are built in factories under controlled conditions, allowing for precise and accurate construction of complex building systems without the risk of costly rework on site.
With fewer materials to transport and a more efficient work flow, modular construction also helps to mitigate labor shortages by decreasing the amount of time it takes for trade contractors to complete their tasks. Consequently, the overall project completion timeline is reduced, which decreases construction period carrying costs such as real estate taxes and insurance.
Modular construction also removes much of the building construction activity from the jobsite, which decreases on-site traffic and improves overall safety for occupied spaces such as healthcare facilities.