With January already down, some of your new year’s resolutions might already have faltered, but the ConTechTrio’s (@ConTechTrio) construction technology predictions for 2017 could help you keep your construction technology resolutions in place! Check out the below list of the top 10 construction tech trends that the ConTechTrio and JBKnowledge forecasts to affect the construction industry in 2017 to ensure that you are prepared to keep your business goals and new year’s resolutions on track.
1. 2017 is anticipated to be the year of analytics. Software companies will get serious in 2017 about offering software that helps users make better decisions. Instead of a narrow focus on work flows, software is transitioning to a heavy reliance on predictive analytics. Analysis is expected to be used to provide users of software with real-time recommendations as to how to avoid problems that may arise.
2. Multi trade pre-fabrication is expected to become a trend in 2017. The first ever multi trade conference, Multi Trade Prefabrication Conference, is taking place this year in Dallas. Not only that, but more and more construction companies are implementing prefabrication strategies. An example being the office building that was 3D printed in Dubai. 17 days of construction occurred off site while only two days of assembly were required on site.
3. Off-Site Construction, known as Modularization, is a similar trend to prefabrication that is forecasted to gain popularity in 2017. Progressive construction companies have already begun implementing modularization strategies wherein construction companies are now running their operations much like manufacturing companies. Essentially, these companies are assembling as much as possible off site using standardized processes and parts before completing the construction project on site. A process that cuts down on costs and lead times due to process standardization.
4. Construction training will continue the move to the use of augmented and virtual reality to ensure safety and quality. Language and cultural barriers and even lack of attention during training sessions can be put to the wayside through the use of AR and VR for training. An example being the use of augmented or virtual reality to teach employees new skills in a virtual environment so they can avoid the risk of injury, or worse.
5. Tracking of employees, equipment and materials will become more accepted. For example, apps like Rhumbix allow companies to track employee time and hours. When paired with locating technology these apps can provide real time productivity stats and even safety stats to ensure employees are safe and accounted for should an emergency occur.
6. 2017 will also bring with it a dramatic increase in mobile apps available for download and even app fatigue where construction companies are simply using too many apps to handle efficiently and are tired of trying everything available. There will be a continued expansion of available apps and further fragmentation into niche app markets.
7. New cost effective solutions in scanning will become widely available. Hardware has become more affordable over the past few years which will allow construction companies the ability to implement affordable scanning solutions in 2017. The increase in use of computer vision will be used to fully understand where construction companies are in certain stages of projects.
8. The further democratization of BIM is expected in 2017. This will result in improved workflows and efficiencies. Apps such as BIMTrace will allow construction companies to overlay a picture on top of the model, measure, and then push that data back to project review software. All of which allow for easier and clearer communication.
9. The emergence of a common data environment is anticipated for 2017. Construction software companies including Bentley, Trimble, and Autodesk are committed to furthering common data environments. When paired with the transition to products being built around the cloud, communication will be made easier and data will be more easily accessible.
Bonus Prediction – JBKnowledge’s 2017 Construction Tech Trends Forecast
The recently released JBKnowledge ConTechReport provides us with the last predication of the top 10 Construction Technology Tends forecasted to occur in 2017 . The fifth annual ConTechReport was composed from the survey answers of over 2,000 builders on the technology they implement in their construction companies. The ConTechReport forecasts the following:
10. American construction companies will increase their use of BIM following the success of the BIM mandate in the UK. There remains a significant number of industry professionals that feel BIM is only beneficial on large complex projects. There is a stigma in the industry that is preventing smaller companies from implementing BIM. However, once these smaller companies see the successful results of the BIM mandate in the UK, smaller American companies will begin implementing BIM workflows in project scheduling, design, estimating and coordination.