Whilst most of us conjure up a mental image of a construction site as being a swarm of workers pushing concrete or bricks around in wheel barrows, in reality technological advances are having a significant impact on construction industries.
We will examine some of the ways in which new technical solutions are changing the way that buildings are built and provisioned, as well as materials storage and handling is evolving to improve construction efficiencies and reduce costs, in this article.
Pre-fabricated moduluar units
Pre-fabricated buildings are not a new idea as many of us are familiar with Portacabins which are mobile, self contained units that can quickly and efficiently increase the space in a building complex without the need for much construction work other than ensuring the site is level and can support the weight of the Portacabin and its occupants. Once the utilities are hooked up, these modular buildings are soon ready for use. If they are no longer required, it is just as easy to remove them.
The concept of pre-fabricated building components has now evolved into the supply of complete modular units that are designed to be slotted into the correct position within a new building.
Modular building systems such as fully tiled and fitted bathrooms, kitchens and office rooms are now built at a factory and then transported to site before being fitted snuggly into place. This reduces the time, resources and skills required on site as well as improving the quality control of these installations as they are manufactured under strctly controlled factory conditions rather than being built by the various tradesmen on site.
Materials storage and handling
Many materials used in building construction are hazardous and therefore difficult to store and handle. As concrete is a core component in construction, the ability to safely store large quanties of sand is paramount, particulary if concrete is to be made and stored on site, rather than being delivered by a third party supplier.
The problem is that sand is a highly corrosive material so if want to store it for long periods you will require a corrosion proof structure like this https://calhounsuperstructure.com/industries/salt-sand/. These structures use the latest materials and designs to ensure that potentially hazardous materials can be safely stored and accessed when required for the building project.
There have been some amazing advances in the ways that new and existing buildings can be provisioned with utilities such as water, electrics, communications and gas.
Previously, the only way to lay utility pipes and cables was to dig up roads with all the inconvenince and required permissions that this entails, as well as the costs involved in digging trenches, and restoring the roads once the pipes have been laid. New technological advances now allow sub surface pipe installation using a variety of techniques such as ultrasound and trenchless systems.
As you can see here, https://heatline.com/carapace-factory-terminated, new materials allow water pipes to be freeze proof, flexible and highly durable for long operational lifetimes. Advances in fibre optic cabling now deliver high bandwidth internet to office and residential buildings and even old installations can be upgraded using new boring and trenchless systems for minimum disruption and maximum cost effectiveness.
3D printing components
3D printing is revolutionising manufacturing in many industries and these technologies it having an increasing impact on the construction industry.
Using 3D printers to make certain building components saves time and money as computer designs can be used for bespoke components that would be very expensive to manufacture using traditional techniques in short porduction runs.
There is even an office building in Dubai that has apparently being constructed entirely from 3D printed components.
The construction industry is benefitting from significant advances in technology. By exploiting various new systems such as modular building components, trenchless cable and pipe installations and 3D printing, large construction projects can benefit from better efficiencies and reduced costs.