5 benefits of digital transformation in construction
Nowadays, there isn’t a sphere left that has no idea what digital transformation is. In particular, it brings truly numerous bonuses in construction - as revealed here.
Starting from 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic, and especially numerous lockdowns, has been detrimental to the construction industry around the world. The latest report from the Construction Products Association revealed that in 2020, the construction output overall has reduced to 36% because most kinds of construction projects have been delayed, paused, or even cancelled due to the stay-at-home recommendations.
Recently, as lockdown restrictions ease to a high extent, construction businesses have started working again. However, everybody understands that it is challenging for the construction industry to come back to normal.
To guarantee the revival of the construction industry, manufacturers have to revise the ways to adjust to the new post-lockdown surrounding and they have found the solution in innovative digital technology. In this article, we take a look at the 5 benefits of digital transformation in the construction industry.
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Improving the Building Site with AR/VR
The benefits that AR/VR has started to bring to the construction industry are difficult to underestimate. AR maintains the integration of both camera-created and computer-generated pictures of a certain solution. In construction, this digital technology enables the high-quality visualisation of a building solution before it has even started.
AR can also be implemented to optimise the performance of a construction solution at the planning stage. By moving design models onto the construction site itself, engineering specialists simply notice any design bugs and manage them by modifying this model. This approach simplifies the detection of potential troubles compared to AR-free techniques, where engineers have to transform 3D-printed models into 2D docs after every modification is introduced to a solution.
AR optimises productivity as well as lowers costs via minimising the probability of solutions being postponed because of problems revealed in the design/completion phase. AR can be used to strengthen the safety of a construction solution. It can be implemented in tandem with VR to emulate various kinds of accidents that could occur on a construction site. This digital technology allows warning personnel regarding potential dangers on the site as well as preventing practices if an accident can potentially happen due to a certain action.
A “wearable” form of AR enables scanning construction sites using AR goggles to reveal safety issues as well as “seeing” under floors/behind walls to make sure that everything goes as planned.
VR differs from AR as it is a more spectacular/interactive exceptionally computer-designed practice. This digital technology supports construction engineers in designing trial innovations as well as corrections to a construction site before any building phase occurs.
Greater Productivity at Reduced Cost
Productivity and cost-effectiveness are interrelated: for instance, in case the productivity decreases at least by 10%, it results in a 5% loss in total return. It has always been a challenge for the construction industry to gain optimised productivity for greater profitability. The only solution to handle that is through the integration of technologies in working processes. According to the research conducted by the World Economic Forum, at least 5 years of total digitalisation of the construction industry can result in powerful cost savings worldwide annually. Fortunately, this has already happened!
In the construction industry, due to digitalisation introduction, savings in the design, engineering, and building stages have increased from 0.7 trillion US dollars to 1 trillion US dollars. During the operational stage — from 0.5 trillion US dollars to 0.8 trillion US dollars.
Digital transformation has introduced the opportunity to select, deliver, and fund solutions, making all the construction phases more fast, effective, and cheap. For instance, with the help of 3D printing, the job is simpler and quicker. It supports revealing problem areas as well as getting rid of deadline violations.
When engineering teams can understand all the design peculiarities first in the office followed by realising them at the construction site, they witness the increase in productivity. Digital transformation helped engineers to forget about situations when there emerges repeated back and forth between the blueprints and what takes place on-site in reality. Thanks to digital designs that can be implemented directly on-site, engineering teams stay on track and within budget.
Improved Communication for More Effective Construction
Conveying ideas to several collaborators leads to long threads which are challenging to keep track of. With the help of digital all stakeholders of a certain solution get connected in real-time. This enables observing the progress at every phase guaranteeing the solution gets finished within the deadline. When collaboration is high-quality, engineering teams unite their expertise and resources as well as prioritise gaining common targets. For instance, Cloud unites all the project members irrespective of their location to simplify communication.
Due to centralised communication (as a result of digital transformation), anyone from anywhere can obtain access to the key mechanisms and targets of a solution at any time, without executing business trips to faraway offices to receive the required data. Centralised communication leads to better quality construction followed by innovative infrastructure for customers/end users.
In a recent survey of building managers, they commented that about 51% of rework was triggered by miscommunication. To overcome that, construction managers started using cloud-based mobile applications which have become a must-have and have been accepted on the majority of solutions in the industry. So, digital transformation has enabled communication to be precise and accessible. Due to the implementation of equipment for reality capture as well as digital layout, the connection is transparent and full.
One more digital technology that minimises the risk that lack of clarity and misunderstanding may happen (results in reducing the speed of the solution) is considered to be blockchain. The technology detects all the ways the info is shared between all the parties included in the solution. Blockchain registers data exchange and administers smart contracts. Then, it unites them to generate decentralised autonomous organisation and confirm evidence of existence for given data.
Better PM Experience with Digital Tools
In the 21st century, digital transformation involves web-based tools that enable construction engineers to practice tech solutions that cope with unique project challenges. They figure out such a digital tool as a project management information system. In the construction industry, project supervision/and project management information systems are widely used by engineers as common tools and apps to handle, monitor, and reduce risk.
Nowadays, some discrepancy between innovations for construction engineers and technology itself has led to scepticism regarding their implementation and feasibility. However, as a powerful advantage, a project management information system assists informed decision-making as well as rapidly gives access to the solution data. Cloud environments reinforce such systems via delivering integration that creates data and communication achievable.
Project management information system customised for management in construction is designed to implement precise customer data, personnel integration, and topical conditions developed by multi-facility surroundings that function simultaneously. Top-performance data technology innovations maintain user-friendly cooperation processing that can distinguish between the requirements of construction management and those of other construction participants.
The introduction of project management information systems is possible due to other digital technologies as 4D BIM, Power BI, system assessments, client app design, virtual development consulting, training process optimizations, and several others.
Optimised Construction Site Visibility
Digital construction tools are vital in the short term because businesses decide on how to go on supervising projects and conducting operations while working remotely due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Here, digital technology such as drones is the way out. Drones allow construction engineers to assess project progress without leaving the workplace at home. Engineers can perform virtual site visits to provide stakeholders with regular updates.
By enabling engineering specialists to execute contactless audits that preserve personnel safe by minimising their interactions with each other/common equipment, drones make it easier to stick to social distancing policies.
Drone technology gives the opportunity to construction engineering teams to execute aerial checks and evaluate the construction sites from all angles. The pictures drones capture ensure building engineers conducting observations that would be impossible to make during a traditional audit from the ground. That simplifies finding bugs, noticing inconsistencies, monitoring on-site materials, and handling challenges as they take place.
Comprehensive drone/data automation solutions in tandem with orthomosaics, the 360-degree pictures, and image series filmed through drones, enable construction engineers to optimize safety, track progress, and expand efficiency in total while minimising the requirement for in-person audits and enable partnership between remote engineering teams.
Adopting drone technology enables engineers to achieve unparalleled building site visibility, an efficient method to detect other ongoing solutions, a complete record system. Additionally, it provides customers with a quality assurance warranty.