The Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry is moving towards the integration of digital technologies in its processes, creating a trend some refer to as “digital construction”. Simply put, this is the use and application of digital technologies to improve the way the construction industry works.
The integration of digital tools can make the delivery, operation, and renovation of the built environment more efficient, cost-effective, and collaborative. Using digital processes and data, AEC professionals can make more informed decisions in relation to the built environment. These directions and trends are especially relevant for Building Information Modeling, a digital technique that is part of the trend towards digitization. Read on to learn more about digital construction and BIM.
Communication Platforms are Changing
Communication platforms are some of the most essential, regularly used aspects of construction’s modern digitization. Though they may seem less futuristic or technologically rigorous, they are nonetheless digital services that radically improve efficiency and cut costs.
Real-time messaging platforms such as WhatsApp and Google Hangouts allow for stakeholders to share information and perspectives quickly, without needing to meet in person for meetings. Video conferencing platforms such as Skype and Zoom allow for stakeholder meetings to take place from afar, eliminating costs for travel. Additionally, these tools can be used to share pictures and videos of the construction site without necessitating in-person visits.
Data-Driven Approaches to Construction
The digitalization of the construction industry can be reframed as the advent of data. The integration of data-driven approaches has revolutionized industries all over the world, from commerce to media to higher education. By increasingly grounding its processes in data, the construction industry is aligning itself with the present as well as the future
Within construction, data-driven approaches are making several facets of the industry more efficient, cost-effective, and collaborative. Data can be used for price analysis, surveying, and estimation. In addition, the use of cloud-based computing and filing systems for data storage allows all stakeholders to assess and critique data at any stage of the process. Cloud-based computing is important for professionals with BIM training, as it allows them to seamlessly share information with stakeholders and generate collaborative discussion.
The Growth of UAV & Virtual Technologies
The use of digital technologies in the construction industry drifts into stranger, more uncommon territories. A good example of this is how the integration of robotics and artificial intelligence in construction processes is increasing in popularity. Specifically, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or UAVs, popularly referred to as “drones”, are starting to be used for site scanning and inspection, and to generate 3D imagery of the site during any stage of the construction process.
Another technological method with the potential for rendering construction more efficient is the use of virtual technologies such as virtual and augmented reality. These methods allow for offsite appraisal and surveying that’s more thorough and immersive than video conferencing or photography. UAV and virtual reality technologies can be used by professionals with BIM technician training to survey sites, generate images, and assess adherence to plans.
The Role of Professionals with BIM Training
The integration of Building Information Modeling methods is an important piece of construction’s digitalization. BIM is a part of digital preconstruction, software or data-backed methods of planning and conception that take place before the building begins.
Professionals with a BIM technician certificate are necessary at this important juncture for the construction industry and can assist in improving the efficiency and transparency of the field.
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