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Three Trends in Technology for the Construction Industry in 2019

Every year new technology is coming out that improves our lives, saves time, keeps us more informed, or entertains us, but what technology will improve profitability in the construction industry and how can Maryland Computer Service help you achieve results with them?

The construction industry tends to be hard working, but slower to adopt new technology than other industries. Because of this many of the trends in the construction industry continue many years before they are fully adopted within the industry.

The Cloud

                While the cloud has been around for years, it’s use in the construction industry is increasing.

To drive more efficient business practices and create better, more efficient buildings that save all the contractors and the building owners money, the cloud is an amazing technology. There are several ways the cloud helps construction companies including more holistic building design, preventing rework, and becoming more sustainable.

                Holistic building design includes all the major contractor’s input during the design stage.

The cloud doesn’t require everyone be in the room at a meeting. Each contractor can add their input in the cloud using Office 365 (or Google docs) sharing functions. In addition, Autodesk, the company behind AutoCAD and Revit, offers cloud services that specialize in collaboration and rendering for the construction industry.

                Utilizing the right tools prevent rework on the jobsite by catching it before it occurs.

Revit automatically detects conflicts before they occur. Have you ever been on a job site and found that the ductwork and plumbing were designed to occupy the same space? That’s not going to work. A meeting gets called, a solution is established, some extra ductwork is ordered (which could change the static pressure of the system and impact T&B and commissioning of the HVAC), the contractor waits for it to be manufactured before installing it, and the cost and time for the job to be completed just increased.

If 3D modeling, such as Revit, had been used this would have been preventable due to the conflict detection feature. In addition, Revit can establish what impact this change will have on the operation of the system with the load calculation features.

As you can see, the cloud can really create beneficial results for the construction industry, but there is another benefit. Construction drawings can be stored and accessed digitally. This is a huge savings! With construction drawings costing $1-10/page and are typically 50-200 pages. This means each job could be saving thousands of dollars and pieces of paper if all the contractors use digital copies. In addition, all contractors will have access to the same documents including notes from the field when changes are made.

                These are just some of the ways that construction companies can save time and money while driving better results for their clients. Maryland Computer Service is happy to help you find solutions that work for you.

Augmented Reality/ Virtual Reality

                Most of us think this is something that is impractical at the current point, but the technology is already here to be able to give your clients a simulated view inside your building design or remodel. Using either of these technologies people can see what their new space will look like. Some of the leading construction companies have already used this technology to have virtual walk throughs. The city of San Francisco even worked with Autodesk to use projectors on the street to get public opinion about re-landscaping projects they considered. I know it is a little early to be talking about holodecks, but this is the kind of stuff we only dreamed about years ago.

                Another technology that benefits companies is the development of 3D mapping. There are camera’s on the market such as Matterport that will take 3D imaging of the building or construction site, render the files for you, and provide a 3D walkthrough so you can provide clients a better idea of the progress or final product without a lot of time or energy spent creating files of an artistic nature. This can protect companies from liability or help sell a property.

                Obviously, this kind of technology is going to require new tools and lots of computational power. If you decide to implement this technology, contact us and we will help you get  the systems set up to meet your technical requirements.

Drones

                Drones allow you to take picture and video of places that can be difficult to reach by a normal person. Drones help you document work and see buildings from angles that were once cost prohibitive (do you really want to rent a helicopter and pay a photographer to fly in it? Talk about liabilities!). If/when purchasing a drone, make sure to do your research because the FAA regulates the light of drones in certain areas. With the right technology setup, you can even view the photography or video live from thousands of miles away. We’ll help you set up the technology you need to view and store photos and videos either on site or in the cloud.

                At Maryland Computer Service, we are excited to see where the future of technology goes and help our clients embrace it while preparing them for the future. To learn more about the services we offer, visit  us here or contact us.

Happy New Year everyone!

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