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The 5 Most Useful Technologies for Construction Companies in 2023
5 minute read
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Tim Forestell
February 2, 2023

The 5 Most Useful Technologies for Construction Companies in 2023

Tech has always been disruptive. Some organizations may see disruption as meaningless, a flashy new toy looking to make headway in the market. However, that isn't really the case with most technology solutions. Tech disrupts because it's useful; it fills a need that no one else can address.

McKinsey's report entitled "Construction and Building Technology - Poised for a Breakthrough?" found that companies using digital construction tools and robotics experience higher operational efficiency, receive valuable analytics, and are setting themselves up for long-term growth.

Research has shown that tech solutions aren't just a fad and that disruption implies usefulness. Listed below are five of the most useful technologies for 2023 in construction:

#1: Building Information Modelling Software

Building Information Modelling (BIM) software lets the user design 3D models of structures and stores relevant data for construction. BIM software attaches materials, cost, scheduling, timing, and functional information to the relevant portion of the model, ensuring that all contributors have access to the same information.

BIM systems update as changes are made in real time. They also account for related changes, as changing one piece of the design causes the connected piece, such as the model shape, to change accordingly. Automated changes and updates are imperative for collaborative workspaces since engineers, architects, and contractors all need access to the most updated models.

The best building information modeling software will vary based on your needs. Most BIMs include drawings, timing, cost information, and the 3D model. However, programs can include built-in automation, simulations, advanced design capabilities, and other features. Many countries have mandated that BIM software is required on projects over a certain budget value.

Examples of Building Information Modelling Software:

#2: Virtual Reality

Virtual reality, a 3D simulation where users can physically interact with their environment, isn't only used to create video games. Entertainment, management, education, and aviation sectors are currently using virtual reality to provide immersive, life-like experiences for clients and staff. Construction is among these sectors, as virtual reality is imprinting on traditional practices in the industry.

Virtual reality in construction has many applications, including 3D modeling structures, training, and project management. In addition to BIM Software, virtual reality can take 3D modeling to a whole other level.

Virtual reality can simulate modeled structures, creating the most life-like design of a project. VR software also allows users to demonstrate scale and appearance, and make model revisions efficiently.

Presenting 3D models in VR software provides a detailed plan for other collaborating professionals, who can use the simulation to learn and work on projects. It's also a great presentation tool for clients and central to efficient project management.

In the professional sphere, training is one of the main applications of virtual reality. VR simulates real-life scenarios with less risk to worker safety and less property damage while workers are operating machinery. In construction, safety and operational training are the most applicable virtual reality use case right now.

It's gotten to the point where OSHA's training certifications like forklift operation, working in confined spaces, and fall safety are conducted entirely in virtual reality. Humulo's VR Efficacy Studies found that using virtual reality results in an 88% reduction in training time and a 50% reduction in accident rates.

Examples of VR Safety Training Providers:

#3: Construction Project Management Software

Construction project management software is similar to other project management tools but is specifically designed for the construction industry. This can go a long way in building trust with contractors as many of their problems are unique and specific to them.

The construction project management software programs integrate construction project aspects like site analysis, scope and quality of work, scheduling workers, and acquiring equipment and materials. With so much work to manage, it is worth having a tool that consolidates it all in one place.

Construction technology solutions offer different services, including scheduling, document, contract, and permit management, safety, and quality assurance. Calendars, punch lists, invoices, and purchase orders are also among the many features included in these services.

The main benefit of construction project management software is automating the workflows listed above. Manually filling out log forms and spreadsheets is time-consuming and tedious, so automation will save time and improve efficiency.

You should choose the right construction project management software based on your company's needs. Business size, the number of required users, and which features best address your issues are some factors to consider when selecting software.

Examples of Construction Project Management Software:

  • Procore- solutions for owners, contractors, and subcontractors
  • RedTeam- solutions for commercial general contractors
  • Buildertrend- solutions for home builders and remodelers

#4: 3D Printing

Traditionally used for prototyping and prosthetics in manufacturing and medicine, 3D printing has broken into construction in the last couple of years.

3D printing in construction comes in many forms, like prototyping, concrete printing, dry-mix mortar printing, printing walls, and even building entire homes. Contractors can either purchase or rent a 3D printer or purchase materials that have been 3D printed.

It's difficult to ignore the high costs associated with 3D printing construction materials. However, benefits like reduced building time, labor costs, and wasted materials are the main contributors to the global 3D construction market's rapid growth.

Weber Saint-Gobain, a 3D concrete printing company, found that 3D printing saves 60% of the time and 80% of labor. Mighty Buildings, which was featured in Forbes, found that 3D printing reduces construction materials waste by 95%.

Nidus3D, a Canadian construction company base in Kingston, distributes and uses Cobod 3D Concrete Printers. They were the first company in North America to build a multi-unit residential home with 3D printing, which was printed in only 200 hours.

Man using a 3D printer

Examples of 3D Printing Providers:

#5: e-commerce

Multiple industries have shifted to e-commerce transactions post-pandemic. Construction is among them, with many large industrial and construction material suppliers experiencing up to 80% of their sales through online selling as of 2023.

Mobile service, personalized recommendations, and convenience are expected by today's customers. Renting or buying equipment from companies who use an eCommerce platform will often include these features in the buyer experience. They also offer a wider selection of equipment and materials, as their network extends to a larger geographic area than possible in a brick-and-mortar store.

Dozr's rental equipment marketplace is using eCommerce to its full capabilities. Offering 18 equipment types in compact equipment, heavy earth moving, lift + aerial work, and roller + compaction categories, Dozr has a rental solution for every contractor's needs. The entire rental process can be easily completed online. However, you also have the option to place a rental order over the phone if you'd like.

Examples of eCommerce Providers:

Embracing Tech in 2023

BIM software, virtual reality, construction project management software, 3D printing, and eCommerce are all tech solutions that provide improved functionality compared to the status quo. Cost, time, and materials reduction are among the tangible benefits that come with tech adoption. Using at least one of these technologies will change your practices and productivity, making your organization disruptive.

FAQs about Useful Tech in Construction

What does technology adoption in the construction industry look like?

Technology is used in all aspects of the building process, including pre-construction, construction, and post-construction. Virtual reality, BIM software, construction project management software, and 3D printing are all examples of tech solutions used in the industry.

What's the best construction project management software?

The best construction project management software is mostly determined by how you need the software to perform. The number of users on the platform, the included features, and the cost are the main factors to consider when selecting the right software for your company. Consider looking for software that specializes in your business size, like solutions designed for small businesses or subcontractors.

How can virtual reality be used in construction?

Virtual reality can be used to demonstrate 3D models, provide equipment operation and safety training, and acts as a collaboration and presentation tool in the construction industry. 

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Tim Forestell
Tim Forestell is one of DOZR’s co-founders and CCO. Tim got started in the industry as VP Operations for Forestell Landscaping before founding DOZR with Kevin and Erin. Aside from the amazing team at DOZR, his favourite thing about DOZR are the customers. Working with DOZR renters every day gives him a peek at the evolution of different projects and hearing stories about projects being developed from start to finish.
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