Innovations in the Construction Industry
New materials, energy, design approaches and new technology have created a wave of innovations in the construction industry. Will these innovations come from start-ups or can established firms take the lead in these innovations? “The best way to evolve in the long run and to do it sustainably is through continuous innovations. If we can do things smarter and more efficiently than others, we gain a clear competitive advantage, “says Pekka Metsi, CEO of Granlund.
According to Raconteur.net, here are some of the exciting new innovations in the construction industry:
- Self-healing concrete-Cement is one of the most widely used materials in construction. Cracking is a major problem in construction, usually caused by exposure to water and chemicals. Researchers at Bath University are looking to develop a self-healing concrete which will germinate when water enters a crack in the concrete to produce limestone, plugging the crack before water and oxygen has a chance to corrode the steel reinforcement.
- Thermal Bridging– Efficient insulation material is becoming increasingly important throughout the construction industry. Heat transmission through walls tends to be passed directly through the building envelope, be it masonry, block or stud frame, to the internal fascia such as drywall. This process is known as “thermal bridging”. Aerogel, a technology developed by Nasa for cryogenic insulation, is considered one of the most effective thermal insulation materials and US spin-off Thermablok has adapted it using a proprietary aerogel in a fiberglass matrix. This can be used to insulate studs, which can reportedly increase overall wall R-value (an industry measure of thermal resistance) by more than 40 percent.
- Predictive software– The structural integrity of any building is only as good as its individual parts. The way those parts fit together, along with the choice of materials and its specific site, all contribute to how the building will perform under normal, or extreme, conditions. Civil engineers need to integrate a vast number of pieces into building designs, while complying with increasingly demanding safety and government regulations.
- Cloud Collaboration– Basestone is a system allowing the remote sharing of data on a construction site in real time. It is predominantly a review tool for engineers and architects which digitizes the drawing review process on construction projects, and allows for better collaboration. The cloud-based collaboration tool is focused on the installation of everything from steel beams to light fittings. The system is used to add “snags”, issues that happen during construction, on to pdfs, then users can mark or add notes through Basestone. Trials have revealed possible cost-savings of around 60% compared with traditional paper-based review methods.
- Asset Mapping– Asset mapping focuses on operational equipment, including heating and air conditioning, lighting and security systems, collecting data from serial numbers, firmware, engineering notes of when it was installed and by whom, and combines the data in one place. The system can show engineers in real time on a map where the equipment needs to be installed and, once the assets are connected to the real-time system, these can be monitored via the web, app, and other remote devices and systems. It helps customers build databases of asset performance, which can assist in proactive building maintenance, and also reduce building procurement and insurance costs.
In order for businesses in the construction industry to stay competitive, they need to invest in new innovations that will keep their business competitive and can save them time and money in the long run. Contact us today to find out more about the new technologies we have available. We’d be happy to introduce you to some of the latest and greatest innovations available and see if they are a good fit for your next project.