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.
There’s no doubt that construction workers do not get enough recognition for the hard work they put into building our nation's structures. At the end of each project, the workers are typically on to the next jobsite while executives and politicians are cutting the ribbon on their new facility.
After heavily focusing on the mechanical trades for years, Milwaukee Tool has made a concerted effort to attract carpenters and remodelers to their constantly growing M18 battery platform. The tool manufacturer has introduced cordless miter saws and nail guns in recent years. They also announced several more carpentry tools are on their way at their yearly New Product Symposium event in May, including a new D-handle jig saw, a table saw, and an updated 7-¼” circular saw.
Virginia, which averages a just slightly higher than average cost of living, is next on our countdown at #31. The state is all over the board when it comes to profession by profession breakdown, with several rankings in the 40s, 30s, 20s, and teens. Their lone profession to be ranked in the top 10 is construction managers, who have an average hourly wage of $51.46, after adjustment, which is good for 6th highest in the country.
[sponsored] Construction daily reports are necessary for project management and tracking. The need to keep accurate and complete reports has caused the industry to evolve their process from pen and paper to spreadsheet software and now into simple to use mobile apps and software. This has greatly improved the way that daily reports are created, stored, and shared.
PlanGrid users who have been wanting the ability to add additional documents to their field reports within the platform now have the ability to do so with a recent update.
Last summer, Tesla announced that the first of their solar roof tiles had been installed on test houses. However, as has become customary with many Tesla products, the company is experiencing significant manufacturing delays.
There have been a few devastating structural collapses across America and the world this year. In March, an under construction pedestrian bridge collapsed in Florida, killing 6. In Colombia, ten workers were killed when a large section of a bridge being built collapsed. Both of those tragedies happened while the structures were still being built, but a recent collapse in Texas has a bit of a different story.
New Mexico, our nation's 47th state, lands at #32 on our continued state-by-state countdown. After adjusting for the state's lower cost of living (5.9% lower than national average), New Mexico jumped roughly 8 spots on the list. There were 3 construction professions ranked in the top 10 versus all other states, including solar panel installers, reinforcing iron and rebar workers, and welders.
As America’s infrastructure is continually described as “crumbling,” I thought it would be a good time to take a look back to how highways were paved around 70 years ago. A lot has changed in the past seven decades, but you might be surprised by how similar paving still is.
Procore, one of the country’s most popular construction project management software, has officially launched the first product in their newest platform: Field Productivity. The newest platform joins Procore’s 3 other existing platforms: Project Management, Quality & Safety, and Construction Financials.