The construction industry has felt the effects of the pandemic, labor shortages, and supply chain issues as much as any, but looking forward into 2022, look for technology to make the industry more accessible, more innovative, and safer. Technology will enable this industry to find a solution to skilled labor shortages, reduce the need for face-to-face inspections, and offer solutions to supply chain issues that have become a problem over the past couple of years.
As businesses look ahead to sourcing products locally, finding greener solutions to building and even investigating modular builds, technology will play an important role moving things forward. Here are our 2022 construction technology predictions and the ways they can impact your business:
More Focus on Sustainability.
Sustainability is achieved when a healthy environment is created based on ecological principles. This can be attained through the method of construction or the materials used. It encompasses a wide variety of practices that the consumer is looking for and is being incorporated into commercial and residential builds. Several things fall under the sustainability umbrella:
- Using recycled material
- Sourcing domestic materials
- Reducing waste
- Reducing shipping
Further Steps into Digital Process and Infrastructure
In order for the construction industry to remain competitive, sustainable, and provide the automation needed to become efficient and productive, they must digitize to whatever scale is right for their business. The simple step of going paperless and providing what used to be cumbersome handbooks, records, or manuals into digital formats, is a great way to start. If a firm has embraced the simple digital processes, move up to incorporate even more advanced procedures such as virtual inspections, asset management, and construction processes. These processes include the use of artificial intelligence (AI), digital twins, drones and robots, wearables, and virtual and augmented reality to aid in the elimination of change orders. Business will be able to cut downtime and improve efficiency, two things that will be necessary more than ever in 2022.
Wider Adoptions of 3D Printing in Construction
3D Printing is not a new concept, but 2022 will bring on new applications in response to the high material costs and supply issues. This is one area of technology that will come into its own, by offering affordable and efficient solutions to some of the construction problems of the last couple of years. 3D printers allow customization at an affordable price, and the construction industry has just begun to see how it can impact their bottom line. The use of 3D printers can speed up most processes dramatically, reduce waste that is normal during a traditional build, and reduce the amount of human error. While still in the early stages, 3D printed construction is beginning to appear for residential and commercial projects. The freedom that 3D printers give designers is unparalleled. With the increased use of 3D printers, technicians and engineers will need to be trained to ensure seamless use in this industry.
A Return to Modular Design Practices
2021 showed an increase in prefabricated construction, and 2022 is going to increase the demand even further. Modular housing is more affordable and that savings is being passed on to the consumer. With the help of technology, modular designs are going to not only increase in popularity, they will also increase in size. With labor shortages, modular technology offers an answer to a booming construction demand, not only in the residential sector, but in the commercial one as well. Modular builds are not influenced by weather, the way some construction sights are. Most modular construction is done in a climate controlled building
Further Development of Green Sustainable Building
Building green is not just a buzzword. It is the future of construction. Not only does the consumer want to protect a suffering environment, they want the cost savings and efficiency they get with sustainable construction.
- Green Energy: Using green energy, such as solar power, not only preserves natural resources, but also provides a cost savings over traditional energy costs. The cost of solar panels has reduced with the increase in demand and the advanced technology that is now available, making it a viable alternative to power sources offered in the past.
- Sustainable Design: With the use of technology, building designs are able to take advantage of the natural climate, orientation of the sun, and the landscape. By designing with these things in mind, designers are able to optimize solar, wind, and other natural components to provide cost savings as well as ecological payoffs.
- Sustainable Materials: In addition to using materials such as cork or bamboo, many builders are sourcing reclaimed materials to incorporate into their build. When thinking sustainably, buying locally or domestically, not only saves shipping charges and reduces the delays in getting the materials, but puts more money into local economies and offers a certain amount of control.
- Thinking Smart (Building): Technology has already moved into homes and commercial businesses across the country by means of smart appliances and programmable thermostats and lighting systems, and end users expect this trend to continue. The last two years have placed more people in their homes, changing the way people work, learn and play. Virtual classrooms, remote employment, and nearly every aspect of life has changed. As people spend more time in their homes, they increasingly consider comfort, safety and convenience, making the smart home and workplace more desirable than ever. This transformation helps improve the quality of life in both the remote and in-person workplace, which results in employee retention.
- Obtain Efficiency by Buying Innovative Materials: Gridd® is a low-profile raised floor and adaptive cabling distribution® system that increases cost efficiency by offering flexibility to reconfigure or expand a space as a business evolves. It is made of 100% US sourced steel and is manufactured and shipped in the United States, so transportation costs are reduced and on-time delivery is optimized.
Changing the Built Landscape
In 2022, construction technology continues to center around sustainability. Greater levels of sustainability can be achieved through the use of digital technologies and smarter, cost-effective, and environmentally safe building materials. Organizations can keep these technology advancements on the radar through education and industry awareness to ultimately make this year an exciting and profitable one.
Infographic provided by Rock Solid
Stabilization & Reclamation, Inc., a soil stabilization company.