The future of technology for the construction industry is all about turning construction into manufacturing. Artificial intelligence (AI), data visualization, machine learning, and the Internet of Things are the new technologies that will be empowering the transformation from building a building to assembling one. These technologies are all about creating and crunching terabytes of data to increase the speed and lower the cost of modern buildings.
Right now some contractors are investing in gathering data from myriad sources to start using this new technology. It’s a time-consuming and tedious process, but it allows businesses to start using the data to find areas of improvement and better monitor the lifecycle of a project. It also helps them learn and understand how to apply modern manufacturing principles to the construction process.
While this is a great place to start proving the value of this type of information, it is just as important to focus on connecting the people who create the information in the first place. Doing so will reduce costs and the time required to consolidate data while simultaneously reducing errors and increasing efficiency. If everyone involved in a project is always connected to it when they are creating a transaction, whether it’s a material order or recording labour, wouldn’t the cost of the data drop and wouldn’t project reporting truly become real-time?
Connecting people, materials, and labor directly to a project model and its phases is what will change construction to manufacturing. AI, data visualization, and machine learning are tools that will help make it possible, and they are all based on crunching the data people create every workday. Taking the time to actually connect your people will provide a much needed cost and time savings today as well as the foundation contractors will need to navigate a changing construction industry.