The construction industry is historically late to adopt technologies, but it seems, as of late, that there have been all kinds of amazing technological advances in the industry, making it inevitable that at least a few will stick. While some of these advances are still being tested and evolving, others are slowly starting to infiltrate job sites and make a huge impact, whether it’s labor cost savings, energy savings, time savings, or creates a more sustainable end product.
This infographic below was created by Gutter Masters, an Australian manufacturer and installer of guttering, downpipes, and fascia covers, and gives a great and visual summary of some of the technologies and techniques that you may be seeing on your upcoming job sites.
Below the infographic, you’ll find many articles that we have written about some of these products and other related technological advances. Enjoy!
3D Printing Articles by Construction Junkie
3D printed construction has been on top of the news the past few years, but we have yet to truly see many real world applications of the process. Last year, Dubai unveiled a completed 3D printed office building, which they say was built in only 19 days, but news has been pretty slow until the world’s first 3D printed bridge was completed recently.
Dubai is no stranger to doing historic things in the construction industry, especially since it houses the World’s Tallest Building, the Burj Khalifa. This time, their putting themselves back into the news with the Word’s first completely 3D printed office building.
Up until now everything that has been 3D printed for construction use has been done so in a lab and sent out to a job site and been assembled by humans. The makers of MX3D are on the cutting edge of autonomous 3D printing on location.
3D printing has been around for several years, but, up until recently, it has not infiltrated the construction industry. China has printed a few buildings and a 3D printed house in the Netherlands is currently under construction, as well. Now, the United States is getting into the 3D building mix...
Other Interesting Construction Technological Advances
Arches have been used throughout the centuries, but they have always required large amounts of form work (or a master mason). Now, at least when it comes to tunneling, arches require one of the largest machines in the world. The Zipper truck system, known as Arch Lock, is basically a mobile arch form work that, when used with precast concrete wedges, creates an instantly strong system.
Tablets have been finding their way into construction Project Managers' hands for a while now. With applications like Bluebeam, ProCore, and PunchPro, the use of iPads and tablets have become more common place and necessary. Currently, many Project Managers have a laptop or desktop PC and then carry an iPad for punch list during site visits.
As 3D printed buildings and structures continue to rise in popularity, other on-site robots are hoping to make a name for themselves as well. Long held to being indoors and in controlled environments, robots are now being designed by engineers to endure dynamic situations in the field, to deal with wind movement, bouncing, and other situations.
Hard hats have been around for over a hundred years now, but besides their higher frequency of use, they haven’t changed much. Well, it’s 2015 now and also the year that Back to the Future predicted that we’d be flying around on hover boards, so someone has decided to make something of the dusty, old, worn out hard hat.
There are a ton of tools on any given job site, which makes it close to impossible to be able to monitor where they all are. Not much can hold up job site progress more than rechargeable batteries going missing or not being charged. To solve that issue, tool manufacturing giant Dewalt is soon releasing a line of Bluetooth enabled rechargeable batteries.
If given a choice between being on a roof in the summer or in the middle of a dessert, I’m not sure which one I would choose. Find out what a team of Australian researches have come up with to keep roofs cooler than the hot summer air around them...
Unless you constantly work with 2D drawings, it’s extremely difficult for someone to determine what the final product will look like, which leads to tons of last second changes and a mad dash to finish on time. While Revit’s three and four-dimensional drawings are a step in the right direction, Trimble and Microsoft have an idea to get those models out of the computer and onto the job site.
Back in late 2012, a team of Dutch scientists began work on a new type of concrete additive. All concrete additives modify the physical properties of the concrete in some way, whether by making the concrete harder, set faster, or more resistant to cracking. However, what the Dutch team set out to do was to make a concrete that was "alive;"
With the recent release of Avengers 2, there’s no better time to discuss the world’s first bionic suit made specifically with the construction industry in mind. Unfortunately, unlike the suit Iron Man wears, this one doesn’t allow you to fly or shoot beams out of your hands, but it does show some unbelievable upside for the productivity of a manual laborer.
Remember back to when you were a child, playing on your living room floor with hundreds of multi-colored Legos littering the area around you as you attempted to assemble your dream house. Now, imagine doing that as an adult, but for real. That’s exactly what the inventors of Kite Bricks hope to accomplish.
Pipelayers, common teammates of heavy equipment operators, are responsible for laying pipe for storm, sanitary, or water systems. Pipelayers can work with a variety of different materials, including reinforced concrete panels (RCP), ductile iron, HDPE, and PVC. This is considered more of an exterior site work task, as opposed to plumbers, who run the piping on the interior side of buildings.
At Milwaukee’s New Product Symposium in June of 2017, the company then showed their commitment to the 12-volt platform with the announcement of the Generation 2 M12 Hammer Drill and Impact Driver. The hammer drill and impact driver were since released in January 2018 and we’ve had the opportunity to test the tools for ourselves. The drill/driver is yet to be released as of the publish date of this article.
The following is a guest post written by Laurence Banville, Esq.
Winter is here and with it comes dangerous situations that construction workers don’t have to worry about during warmer weather. Nearly everyone is aware that construction workers should dress warmly in order to prevent medical conditions like frostbite and hypothermia, but what are some of the frequently overlooked risks associated with winter weather?
Sometimes irony just makes a story too hard not to share.
Tracking progress on any jobsite is extremely important for your schedule and budget. But, as the project grows larger, tracking progress becomes that much more difficult. How do you accurately determine the percentage of work that the subcontractors have completed across 10 stories and hundreds of thousands of square feet?
10 years ago, the most computer knowledge any construction company would require of its applicants was a basic understanding of Microsoft Excel or a scheduling software. Now, construction companies are finally getting wise to the fact that project management and document management software like Procore, Bluebeam, and PlanGrid can provide an efficiency boost to their projects. Because of this, many employers now have job openings that require knowledge of their software of choice.
If you’ve never used that specific software, how can you make yourself eligible for that role?
It’s pretty amazing the work that can get done when a lot of resources and money are thrown at one project. Past examples of this include a gigantic sinkhole that was repaired in Japan in just under a week, the complete emergency rebuild of Atlanta’s I-85 overpass that was completed a month ahead of schedule, and this video of 116 excavators working side by side to demolish a 1,640 foot long overpass overnight.
With over 612,000 bridges across the United States a large emphasis must be placed on maintaining and replacing them each year. We’ve been hearing the narrative surrounding “America’s failing infrastructure” for several years now, but there’s still a lot of progress to be made.
At the World of Concrete 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Bosch unveiled a world’s first in the form of their 15-Amp Corded GSH27-26 Brute Turbo Breaker Hammer with integrated GPS tracking. While many tool manufacturers have begun adding Bluetooth technology to tools, like Milwaukee’s One-Key and DeWalt’s Tool Connect, there is a limit to what Bluetooth can do. Mainly, the user has to be within about 100 feet of their Bluetooth enables tool to be able to use any of the features.