3 Breakthrough Technologies in the Construction Industry

by | Sep 27, 2018 | General, Industry News

The construction industry encompasses 4 percent of the U.S. GDP, yet is lagging behind in adapting to the new technologies available to automate processes and decrease use of manual labor.  There are 3 breakthrough technologies emerging and transforming how buildings will be constructed in the future.


The construction industry is labor-intensive with open construction sites, which makes use of robotics more challenging than in closed industrial sites. Labor-intensive activities like bricklaying are repetitive which makes use of robotics helpful to reduce costs and to maintain quality and consistency. One breakthrough technology easing this task was engineered by Construction Robotics.  This pioneer bricklaying robot is called the semi-automated mason or SAM, and is the first available product of its kind.  SAM does not replace a mason but works collaboratively and has shown to increase productivity up to five-fold.

Zak Podkaminer of Construction Robotics told Forbes magazine that “construction will benefit from robotics in work that is dangerous, is repetitive, and where heavy lifting is required. [In] high precision work such as complex designs and patterns, robotics will provide architects more creative flexibility.”


The construction industry is benefiting from the use of drone imagery to conduct site analysis before construction begins. In many places around the world there is limited access to high quality imagery from Google Maps.  This results in dependency on the manual workforce to gather on-site data prior to construction. The use of drone photography to capture good quality images cuts down on labor costs and time spent acquiring this information. Drone photography gives users the ability to map a site and create a two-dimensional and three-dimensional imagery that gives accurate measurements.

Deep Chakraborty, CEO of ENACT Systems, told Forbes, “while the use of drones is proliferating now, the construction industry lacks good software platforms and tools that can process such images rapidly and simplify the analytical activity.” He predicts that within the next two to five years the construction industry will more widely adopt drone-image software programs.

Digital Project Collaboration Tools

The construction industry lags in the use of paperless and digital management tools, with many construction sites still using physical binders, logging responses in Excel, using fax machines and phones to communicate regularly. Project collaboration tools are increasing, changing how the construction industry operates with better communication among workers, and a central data storage for project files. “Dustin DeVan, CEO of Building Connected, told Forbes magazine, with the use of digital management tools, “before the hammer hits the nail, hundreds and sometimes thousands of businesses communicate with one another to set budgets and decide who’s working on what.”

SOURCE: https://www.forbes.com , “Three Emerging Technologies Impacting the Construction Industry,” by Nikhil Choudhary February 2018

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