Several decades ago, construction companies relied on pen and paper to analyze blueprints and create practical work schedules. In those days, technology was not advanced like it is today. Technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning were unheard of.
Since the 1980s, when the first 3D technology was created, technology has changed and revolutionized the construction industry.
What is digitization in construction?
Digitization has several meanings. However, the most straightforward definition of digitization is using digital technologies to disrupt a business model. The main goal of using digital technologies is to enable a construction company to increase their revenue, improve their efficiency, and increase their brand equity.
There are several digital technologies that construction companies have used to grow their market share.
Digital technologies used in the construction world
AI for reducing risks
ALICE is the world’s first AI-powered construction optioneering platform currently used to reduce risks. This preconstruction software is presently used as a scheduling and planning solution to help contractors manage large commercial and infrastructure projects.
The software does not use historical data for scheduling. Instead, it uses mathematical data based on the number of resources and other information inputted to develop a suitable work strategy.
Virtual reality technologies
Virtual reality is another technology currently being used to revolutionize the construction industry. This technology comes in handy when making bids or when you want to impress clients. When a design is built with BIM technology, it can be integrated with a compatible VR kit to give your client a realistic visualization of what the building will look like after it is complete.
Another benefit of using VR technology is that designers can make adjustments during the preconstruction stage without spending money.
One main advantage of 3D printing is that it enables faster and more accurate construction processes. This is because different components are produced in a factory and then transported to the site where it is assembled.
3D printing of materials has also made it possible for construction companies to realize greater profit margins. This is because 3D printers reduce labor costs and time.
BIM is a technology that uses multi-disciplinary data to create a detailed digital representation of a given design or construction project. One main benefit of BIM technology is that it enables different key players to collaborate on a plan, reducing construction risk.
Another technology that is currently being used in the construction industry is the use of drones. Drones are presently used to conduct site surveys and create interactive 3D maps of a construction site.
6 reasons to digitize your construction processes
1. You plan for uncertainty
One main reason construction businesses should digitize is that they can plan for unforeseen obstacles. When using an AI-powered construction optioneering platform, contractors can identify alternatives in case of an unexpected obstacle. At the same time, the technology will also enable you to quantify the cost of implementing these alternatives.
When you have alternatives and the cost of implementing them, it reduces uncertainty. In addition, you can budget for these alternatives meaning that if they happen, the project won’t stall.
2. You grow your brand
Using modern technology in your business increases your brand equity in the market. This is because technologically advanced companies are perceived to offer better value, quality, and reliability.
3. Improved budgeting reduces wastage
Gone are the days when estimators created budget estimates using Excel spreadsheets. These days, contractors use digital platforms with resource loading capabilities. Some of these digital marketing tools can plan the number of resources required per project milestone.
In addition, they can also calculate the value of remaining resources and advise where those resources can be deployed. When you digitize your budgeting process, you can save costs.
4. Better communication and collaboration
One advantage of digitizing your construction processes is that you benefit from enhanced communication and collaboration. Collaboration helps reduce costly errors because subcontractors can quickly get clarification when it is needed. Another way that collaboration increases efficiency is during the preconstruction phase.
During this phase, engineers must collaborate with architects to ensure that the building plans are error-free and implementable. Better communication and tracking tools allow senior managers to identify unproductive employees.
5. Better document sharing
Digitizing your construction business makes it easy for you to share files and important documents. This is because files can be stored in a centralized place and accessed by different people using the cloud.
If you are worried about the security of your documents, you do not have to because you can put passwords to sensitive information, making them only accessible to you.
Digitalization also makes it possible for you to hold your employees accountable. This is because they cannot claim that they did not receive important documents or emails.
6. You save money
When you digitize your construction processes, boring and repetitive tasks are done by computers. This means that your workers can concentrate on more important tasks, improving productivity.