Many contractors have their busy season. In those times, it can be next to impossible to expand into new things. So, when things slow down, as they often do after the holiday season, it may be a good time to research new technology that can help your company this year.
The continued increase in construction technology is good news for contractors who embrace it. It truly can help in so many areas, including improving overall cost, safety, efficiency, and quality of construction.
Because the construction industry is so broad, each segment of construction, as well as each individual company, has its own needs and desires that would affect what technology to consider. Personally, I believe major trade shows are one of the best places to check out the latest technology. For example, as Acuity’s Construction Specialist, I will be attending the World of Concrete this year. Getting to see all the newest technology and products in one place gives me a better understanding of how to help the concrete contractors we insure.
As you research new technologies and decide what makes sense for your business, here are four areas you may want to consider.
Wearable Technology. Construction job sites have come a long way in safety, reducing both injuries and deaths. The trend will likely continue, due in part to the introduction of wearable technology. For example, companies are offering wearable technology that can track where a worker is on a job site. It will alert them in real time of potential hazards and identify when someone has slipped, tripped, or fallen, resulting in faster help.
Predictive Analytics. The ability to manage risk can make the difference between a construction company that is successful and one that struggles. Having the ability to analyze risk factors based on historical data from design plans, subcontractors, material suppliers, and construction sites will provide a more accurate risk assessment. Look to see more companies taking advantage of predictive analytics to evaluate risk.
Smartphones for Contractors. Communication through phones on the job can be critical for contractors, and the devices must be able to withstand the harsh elements of a construction environment. It can be essential to have the capability to snap pictures, record videos, make annotations, upload data, make calls, and receive texts at the job site. Military standard phones can protect against extreme temperatures, shock vibration, solar radiation, dust, and water immersion, and they have a touchscreen that you can operate with your gloves on and even wet. The use of mobile devices with easy-to-use apps may be the most extensively implemented of all the newest construction technology. The importance of instantly accessing project information, documentation, and changes, as well as communicating with the owners, architects, engineers, and office from the job site, can avoid a host of problems.
Building Sustainability. Technology has made its way into the sustainability arena due to demand from individuals and companies having a strong emphasis on the environment and human health. Architects and contractors are specifying and purchasing building materials from companies that have a good policy of environmental restoration, energy efficiency, and use of toxic-free building materials. High-efficiency HVAC units that produce cleaner indoor air quality, windows that act as solar panels, and efficient water systems that produce pure water are a few technical advances that have the attention of many.