Technological trends shaping the construction industry in 2021 include augmented reality, mobile technology, Building Information Modeling (BIM), robotics, green construction, construction software and data ecosystem, wearable technology, and modularization, prefabrication and ecofriendliness.
1. Augmented Reality (AR) in Construction
- According to Markets and Markets report, the “augmented reality market is estimated to grow from USD 10.7 billion in 2019 and projected to reach USD 72.7 billion by 2024″. Estimates from Statista show that spending on extended reality which includes augmented reality by the “manufacturing and construction industry alone will reach 35 billion U.S. dollars” in 2023.
- According to Autodesk, AR in construction involves placing a “3D model of a proposed design onto an existing space using mobile devices and 3D models”.
- Builders and developers can use augmented reality to provide “3D visualization of their projects on their surrounding environment”, architectural and structural simulations, and safety training and simulations.
- Startups providing AR services in the construction industry include Holobuilder, Kalloc Studios, and Pandora Reality.
- Mortenson is an example of a well-established construction corporation that has adopted the use of AR to cut costs and reduce risks of construction. According to Unity, “Mortenson is a U.S.-based, top-20 builder and developer”.
2. Use of Mobile Technology
- According to a survey done by eSub, “over 80% of construction professionals surveyed said that mobile technology is of high priority, and 4 out of 5 stated that they are currently using some form of mobile technology”.
- Mobile technology provides the construction industry with applications such as immediate communication, real-time inspections, on-site accountability, accurate documentation, and improving productivity.
- Mobile technology can also help in reducing maintenance and operation costs by improving workers’ efficiency.
- Startups providing mobile technology to the construction industry include InfoTycoon, Air Measure, and eSub.
- Illinois Masonry is an example of a well-established construction corporation that has adopted the use of mobile technology in construction. “Illinois Masonry has been providing high-quality masonry services since 1978. As one of the largest employers of union masons in Illinois, the Illinois Masonry team has received numerous awards of excellence in masonry architecture”.
3. Growth of Building Information Modeling (BIM)
- According to Bing Rentz, building information technology in the construction industry is “helping industry leaders stand out with better efficiency”.
- About 83% of stakeholders in the construction industry believe that better design insight can be enabled by Building Information Modeling.
- According to Autodesk, “Building Information Modeling (BIM) is an intelligent 3D model-based process that gives architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) professionals the insight and tools to more efficiently plan, design, construct, and manage buildings and infrastructure”.
- BIM can bring “more accuracy to the building process and empower the exchange of important project information between the numerous stakeholders”.
- Startups providing BIM technology to the construction industry include Avvir, Trimble, and Bentley Systems.
- Corgan is an example of a well-established construction corporation that has adopted the use of BIM technology.
4. Robotics in Construction
- Estimates by Verified Market Research indicate that the global construction robot market was “valued at USD 212.16 Million in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 459.18 Million by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 10.08% from 2019 to 2026″.
- Research by Tratica estimates that more than 7,000 robots will be deployed in the construction industry between 2018 and 2025.
- According to The Robot Report, robots are transforming the construction in a number of ways including building walls, autonomous load carriers, imaging, and surveillance.
- Startups providing robotic services and products in the construction industry include Built Robotics, Doxel.ai, and Advanced Construction Robotics.
- Clark Construction Group is an example of a well-established construction corporation that has adopted the use of robotics in construction.
5. Green Construction
- According to Big Rentz, “green construction includes both the technology to lower a building’s carbon footprint and the use of resources and building models to reduce the use of resources”.
- According to Globe Newswire, the global green building market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10.26% from 2018 to 2023.
- According to Statista, “green construction has become increasingly profitable and desirable within the global construction market”. It is expected to be among the fastest-growing sectors.
- Green building startups include Acre Designs , Wallabe, and Bahari Energy.
- William A. Kelly & Company is an example of a well-established construction corporation that has adopted green buildings.
6. Construction Software and Data Ecosystem
- According to Lets Build, “real-time collaboration software is already regarded as an essential component of the entire building process”. Its impact is substantially anticipated to increase.
- Digital tools “facilitates the collection of valuable information and, generally, it minimizes delays, rework rates and communication errors between the construction site and the main office”.
- Construction software can also help construction firms automate processes such as takeoff, project management, accounting, and integration of applications and various stages of the project.
- Startups providing construction software include ApisCor, Concrete Sensors, and Fohlio.
- Max Construction is an example of a well-established construction corporation that has adopted the use of construction software for accounting, job cost calculations, and project management.
7. Wearable Technology
- According to Construction Dive, “construction wearables are devices, generally including a computer or advanced electronic device, worn on a construction worker’s body, clothing, or personal protective equipment, designed to collect and deliver data about the worker’s environment, activities and biometric conditions.”
- According to Smart Brief, an increasing number of firms in the construction industry have outfitted their workers with wearable devices in order to get and deliver important safety, location, and motion data.
- The wearable technology industry is estimated to be worth $54 billion by 2023. According to Construction Global, the construction industry is one of the industries where “wearables are particularly valuable.”
- Startups providing wearable technology services and products in the construction industry include Triax Technologies, Ravean, and Human Condition Safety.
- Rogers-O’Brien Construction is an example of a well-established construction corporation that has adopted the use wearable technology in construction.
8. Modularization, Prefabrication and Eco-friendliness
- According to Construction Dive, “modular construction market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.9% from $112.4 billion” in 2019 to $157 billion in 2023.
- According to Lets Build, there has been a “growing trend towards multi-trade prefabrication.” The available new “technology has also enabled these prefab and modular buildings to get taller and taller.”
- The modularization and prefabrication processes are eco-friendly because of the ease of recycling extra materials which is not possible in traditional constructions.
- A factory-controlled environment where modularization prefabrication occurs makes it possible to avoid problems associated with environmental hazards.
- Connect Homes, Blokable, and AI SpaceFactory are examples of startups addressing this trend.
- Rinaldi Group is an example of a well-established construction corporation that has adopted modularization and prefabrication.