A 2016 article by McKinsey & Company says the construction industry is ripe for digital disruption and predicts trends that will shape future projects.
The Internet of Things will be a game-changer whereby sensors and wireless technologies enable equipment and assets to become “intelligent” by connecting them with one another. “Construction machinery, equipment, materials, structures and even formwork ‘talk’ to a central data platform to capture critical performance parameters. Sensors, near-fieldcommunication (NFC) devices, and other technologies can help monitor productivity and reliability of both staff and assets,” the article states. This ability enhances equipment monitoring and repair, inventory management, quality assessment, energy efficiency and safety.
The complementary applications of virtual reality and augmented reality will play a large role. “The use of 5-D BIM technology will be further enhanced through augmented-reality technology via wearable devices. For example, a wearable, self-contained device with a see-through, holographic display and advanced sensors can map the physical environment,” the McKinsey article says. Virtual reality allows interested parties to “walk” through a project before it’s built.
A wave of materials innovation could redefine how projects are conceptualised, designed and executed. They include self-healing concrete, which uses bacteria as a healing agent to close cracks; aerogel, a supertransparent, super-insulating material that is 99.98 per cent air; and ultralightweight nanomaterials that may eventually be a substitute for steel reinforcement.
Capital costs and land scarcity are creating a demand for longer-lasting buildings made of materials with improved durability and strength.
Offsite construction is improving efficiency and there is an “immense push” to develop materials and technologies with lower carbon footprints.
Robot assembled construction and more sophisticated 3-D printing will feature in future projects, McKinsey says.
Read the full McKinsey article here: https://bit.ly/2fETHA2 ■