Top 10 construction technology trends for 2020

by Brianna Crandall — May 11, 2020 — With an industry focus on the health and safety of employees, visitors and the public, along with complex and often-changing plans that need human guidance and analysis, the construction industry has not been known for its quick implementation of modern technology. But with ever-evolving construction technology becoming intelligent and safe enough to be adopted on building sites, significant new changes are now being made across the industry to meet recognized needs, according to a new report from construction tech and telecommunications provider UK Connect.

UK Connect has compiled a list of what the company sees as the 10 Construction Technology Trends Impacting the Industry in 2020 (see also the infographic below):

  1. Big Data: Historical big data can pick out patterns and probabilities of risks increasing safety. Big data from weather, traffic and environment can determine the optimal phasing of activities and improve efficiency.
  2. Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML): Predictive design increases building lifetime and better design of buildings, ensuring mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems don’t clash. AI can leverage automation for repetitive tasks that increases productivity.
  3. The Internet of Things (IOT): Smart machinery can perform repetitive tasks and maintain itself, boosting efficiency and productivity and reducing the carbon footprint. Smart applications track footfall, perform inductions, and check working in and out, saving time. Geolocation technology can identify hazards and increase safety.
  4. Robotics and Drones: Drone cameras can be used to give a quick site view, identify danger areas and improve safety. Drones can deliver materials, reducing vehicle usage. Robots are used for bricklaying and masonry, improving the speed and quality of the work.
  5. 5G and Wi-Fi 6: Mobile broadband is proving a competitive alternative to the traditional fixed lines; this technology enables quicker installation time and greater flexibility while still receiving the required level of service.
  6. Building Information Modeling (BIM) Technology: BIM technology allows experts to review a project and results in real time, enabling better collaboration. It is perfect support for clash detection and problem-solving during design, which improves planning and increases efficiency.
  7. Augmented Reality (AR)/Virtual Reality (VR) Technologies: AR/VR technology supports fast and precise simulation of architectural or structural changes and automatic measurements, and enables design improvements. Risk assessments reinforced with hazard simulations and clash detections improve collaborations between designers regardless of physical location.
  8. 3D Printing: 3D printing enables prefabrications offsite or directly on-site, ready to be used immediately. It allows fast delivery of materials and reduces wastage, saves time and improves sustainability in the production process.
  9. Mobile and Cloud Technologies: Cloud technology enables the possibility to access, modify and manage data stored in remote servers. These technologies allow data sharing in real time to all project participants in the building construction process for improved collaboration and information sharing.
  10. Blockchain Technology: Smart contract implementation through blockchain technology improves efficiency by excluding intermediary services. It triggers transparency during the construction process, influencing project workflow optimization. Bitcoin could be a crucial catalyst capable of boosting collaboration and transparency in transactions.

For more details on each point above, visit the 10 Construction Technology Trends Impacting the Industry in 2020 webpage.

UK Connect infographic on construction technology trends

Infographic courtesy UK Connect. Click to enlarge.