Typically, progress tracking on a job site involves a supervisor walking around a job site with a note pad and a camera, but technology is slowly changing the way that process is being done. Drones have been all the rage in construction recently and a team of contractors and software developers have made them an ultra-powerful tool, but some workers are not too thrilled about it.
The Sacramento Kings are building a brand new $477 million basketball arena, the Golden 1 Center, that is set to open in the Fall of 2016. Deadlines in any project are extremely important, but missing a deadline and messing with a sports team’s arena opening has to be near the top of the list for the worst deadline to miss. That is one of the reasons that Turner Construction is using a new drone technology developed by a team of professors from the University of Illinois (U of I).
The software takes video from drones flying above the construction site, converts it to a three-dimensional model, and compares that model to the computerized schedule. This then allows the construction team to analyze where their project is falling behind. With a site as big as this stadium construction, it can be extremely easy to not realize a delay until it’s too late. The video on this project is being captured by ImageInFlight, who specializes in drone video.
Mani Golparvar-Fard, one of the software developers and assistant professor of Civil Engineering at U of I, told MIT Technology Review, “We highlight at-risk locations on a site, where the probability of having an issue is really high. We can understand why deviations are happening, and we can see where efficiency improvements are made.”
Unsurprisingly, many of the construction workers on site are a little weary of being watched so closely, fearing their privacy and being required to work even longer hours to keep pace. The U of I development team is also currently working on another platform that would monitor individual workers and their tasks even more closely. That technology is still in testing.
Below is the most recent drone footage of the brand new area, which shows the first roof truss being installed:
New Boss on Construction Sites Is a Drone | MIT Technology Review
Tracking your construction project’s submittals and their approval status can be a tedious and frustrating process, but thankfully several project management applications are helping solve that issue with technology. At the beginning of this year, PlanGrid announced the release of an automatic submittal log creator tool, which scans through your project’s specification book and creates a trackable log of each submittal. The company has recently added several new features to make the Submittal platform, which allows users to manipulate the submittal log, even more useful.
I’ve mentioned this several times before, but the single greatest thing technology companies can do for the construction industry is to allow cross-platform integration. That’s essentially what construction is at its core, anyway, a bunch of different entities working together for a common goal. Autodesk’s BIM 360, which already integrates 60+ different softwares into its platform, has recently added NoteVault to its list.
When we’ve talked about construction robotics in the past, it’s mostly been about really large machines working on exterior structures, like this brick-laying robot, or this self-driving track loader. A technology institute in Japan is busy working towards bringing robotics to the interior finish side of the construction world with the development of a drywall installing robot.
PlanGrid users may have noticed, or been frustrated with that fact, that some features that are available on the program’s Android and iOS apps are not available on the Windows app. Windows’ Surface tablets have become a popular option for construction teams in recent years, so those users will be happy to hear that the Field Reports function is now available on PlanGrid for Windows.
One of the very first articles I wrote over 3 years ago was about SAM, the Semi-Automated Mason, which is a bricklaying robot. Since that time, SAM, which is made by Construction Robotics, has seen several jobsites, according to their portfolio page. Their most recent project at the University of Nevada has put the technology back in the headlines.
We’ve heard a lot of promising developments on construction technologies in the past few years, many of which will not only make the industry more efficient, but create a much higher quality product. Testing this technology inside of a controlled facility, however, doesn’t quite paint an entire picture for how the product will perform on a constantly evolving jobsite.
[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.
Dubai has been on the bleeding edge of pushing the boundaries of construction for over a decade. The famous Burj Khalifa, the current World’s Tallest Building, but the United Arab Emirates on the map. Since then, the country has poured money and resources into the construction industry and have sets their sights on a new challenge: 3D construction printing.
Just over a year ago, DeWalt announced that it was expanding its reach in construction technology with the release of Construction Site WiFi System. As mobile applications for construction tasks, like daily reporting and plan review, become more and more popular, it’s becoming increasingly important for contractors to ensure there is adequate internet connection on the jobsite. Managing that connection on an often changing construction site can prove to be a bit of a challenge.
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.