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Engineering the Future: Innovations and Breakthroughs in Construction

Innovations and Breakthroughs in Construction

The challenges in the construction industry are greater than ever before. Not only must buildings and infrastructure be as safe, affordable, and high-performing as possible, but they must be able to adhere to increasingly stringent environmental standards.


The good news is that challenges promote a breeding ground for opportunity, with modern technologies, materials, and best practices stepping up to the plate to transform the built environment. With this in mind, keep reading for an in-depth breakdown of some of the most vanguard innovations and breakthroughs in the modern construction landscape. 


 

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Remote Construction

The increased capacity for remote and modular construction is changing how structures are erected. By leveraging technology for planning and prefabricating significant portions of projects off-site in a controlled environment, firms can improve accuracy, reduce construction error, and minimize delays due to weather and other unforeseen circumstances.


In addition, remote construction can shorten construction times and reduce labor/machinery requirements, resulting in significant cost savings. Once all components of the project are built to factory specifications, an undeveloped parcel of land can be home to a fully operational facility in a matter of a few months.


A commercial generator enclosure for noise mitigation, a robust drainage system for runoff and erosion control, and a carefully planned transportation network are some of the on-site components that help make prefab processes effective in the field. Modular construction is an especially relevant trend in the e-commerce landscape, where the never-ending demand for fulfillment center space is requiring builders and architects to leverage creative means of getting warehouses up and running as quickly as possible without disrupting company operations. 


3D Printing

Innovations and Breakthroughs in Construction

As 3D printing transitions from a novelty to an industry standard, its utility in the construction landscape becomes increasingly apparent. It allows architects to push the boundaries on design by creating precision components that are not available from commercial manufacturers.


This helps create more stunning aesthetics and improved structural integrity for cutting-edge construction. In addition to precision performance, 3D printing also helps projects achieve meaningful cost savings. It can make materials more accessible in remote areas where delivery options are limited and expensive.


It can speed up construction when material delays threaten to cause blockers that may disrupt the schedule. It can reduce accidents by limiting human involvement in potentially hazardous manufacturing and transportation tasks. 


 

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Just-in-Time Delivery

Innovations and Breakthroughs in Construction

Just-in-time delivery is the process of having construction materials delivered to the job site on an as-needed basis. From roofing shingles to outdoor drainage grates, project managers can leverage this powerful technology to keep the ideal amount of resources on-site at all times.


Not only does this prevent material shortages that lead to deadline-killing blockers, but it also limits the threat of material theft and weather damage caused by products sitting around unused at the project site. This is particularly impactful for improving profits, as material theft causes millions of dollars of losses each year. 


Self-Healing Concrete

Concrete is one of the most widely used construction materials in the world. Despite its many benefits, it does have a tendency to fracture in the face of heavy usage and inclement weather conditions. These types of cracks and gouges can be difficult, expensive, or even impossible to repair. To mitigate these concerns, self-healing concrete has been developed to lower requirements for locating and repairing damaged concrete without the need for external intervention.


It uses a system of fibers and fluid-filled capsules within the concrete mix. Once a crack forms in the concrete, these features activate, releasing adhesive liquids that reinforce the concrete internally. This greatly reduces concrete deterioration and repair costs while promoting durability.


 
 

Workforce Management Software

Scheduling issues, misplaced documents/permits, and inefficient communication processes are just a few of the non-construction aspects of a project that can cause major headaches. Each has the potential to break budgets and stall deadlines.


As a result, more and more project managers are using modern workforce management software to mitigate these challenges. By providing actionable analytics, a central repository for all pertinent project documents, and streamlining communication between on-site and remote stakeholders, workforce management software keeps operations running smoothly, optimizes resource allocation, and helps avoid schedule-wrecking delays. 


Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)

The increasing adoption of AR and VR technology creates exciting possibilities in the realm of interactive construction. From giving architects a real-time look at how handrail lighting will improve aesthetics in multi-story facilities to testing how a hotel fire management system will perform in the face of crisis, these next-generation technologies take much of the guesswork out of the construction process.


Accessible through various devices such as mobile screens and VR headsets, these immersive systems provide new avenues for issue tracking, error prevention, enhanced spatial understanding, and disaster response throughout the planning and post-handover phases of a project. 


Changing the Construction Landscape Through Revolutionary Technology


Amid increasingly high standards, architects, engineers, and construction professionals are turning to revolutionary technologies to help transform the way we build. For more on the latest construction technologies and other innovations impacting the field, explore the resources at Structures Insider for the leading insights in the industry.


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