As technology has advanced, it has slowly infiltrated all aspects of our lives, including our homes. We’ve previously talked about how technology can help your home be greener and more efficient once it’s built, so now we’re going to look at how technology can help your building process and site, too.
From experiencing your build virtually before work has started, to making communication easier and keeping your tradies safe on site, the technology available to the construction sector has come a long way in the past few years.
Computer-aided design (CAD) and 3D modelling have been the norm within the industry for some time now, however new technologies mean this offering can be expanded to include virtual and augmented reality experiences. This type of tech allows clients to walk through their new home or renovation before it’s built, getting a sense of each space and how they all work together.
For those who are not visually-driven or accustomed to reading building plans, this can help their understanding of the home’s design so changes can be made before construction begins, thus avoiding costly changes during the build itself. Intelligent modelling then allows designers, contractors, architects, and other decision-makers to virtually alter a building’s design and provide information about possible impacts on labour and material costs, as well as time constraints. This kind of decision-making means once work begins, contractors can build better buildings, in less time.
Cloud-based technology is now a key part of construction project best practice, as it keeps all your data secure and accessible at all times. It is now possible to track nearly all processes through mobile apps and computer software, saving time recording information and communicating progress, from managing pre-construction to field reporting. With many parties on each job site and clients often off-site, cloud-based data, tracking and communication systems can help make decisions quicker and easier, so you avoid rework, errors, or delays, and save time and money.
It’s worth noting, though, that with so much valuable data stored online now, security systems are imperative to protect both your technology and your sensitive project and client data. In New Zealand, you have a legal responsibility to protect your clients’ and staff’s personal data from being shared, so don’t skimp on your security software. Cyberattacks are increasingly common, so, to prepare and protect your data, make sure you have a detailed incident response plan and recovery strategy in place.
Wearable tech is also becoming more common on the construction site, particularly around health and safety. Tech-enabled hard hats can protect workers from more than just a knock to the head, by monitoring workers’ temperatures for overheating or light-headedness, and calling emergency services if an incident happens while working alone on site.
Proximity sensors in hard hats and heavy equipment can also help alert workers, contractors, and equipment operators to potential collisions, helping to prevent accidents. And computer modelling can provide training beyond the building site, with safety management and risk management simulations becoming commonplace.
The one thing to bear in mind when considering what technology can offer your construction business or project is that it all requires access to a stable, secure, always-on, internet connection or network. As long as you have that, whether it’s mobile data or wifi, you can reap the rewards of construction technology – with increased productivity, mitigation of uncertainties, better building quality, enhanced client relationships, and improved safety and training helping you complete projects on time and under budget.
If you’re a homeowner wanting to make sure you use a building professional who stays up to date with the latest tech and training in the industry, talk to your nearest NZCB builder.
To find a nearby NZCB builder, use the Find A Builder search function on www.nzcb.nz