How technology will change the face of construction
3D printing is quickly becoming the face of the future – heralded as the best thing since sliced bread (if rather more expensive and well…impressive) it’s starting to look as if we can create something out of nothing. And with the first 3D printed houses having just been printed in China, we are well on our way to seeing 3D printed houses become commonplace. Never a country to do things in halves, Chinese workers actually created 10 houses in one day, each measuring just over 2000 square feet and costing only $4,800. This could have some seriously positive implications on Third World countries where accommodation is currently a premium, as well as our very own London town where there is a stifling shortage of houses.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (aka drones)
Drones are already being used in construction, particularly by companies like Skycatch, but we expect this to become more and more common over the next couple of years. Small devices that are equipped with rotors as well as on-board cameras, these drones can be used to explore geographical terrain and used to create 3D models before construction. This means that construction projects can be based on far more accurate site maps.
So good we are including them twice, because at Go Banana we are mavericks, drones can be used for a whole host of purposes. Siemens recently used drones with thermal imaging to identify potential areas with high energy loss, which would be immensely helpful in increasing energy efficiency. Not only that, but drones could also be used to replace or assist cranes. Small, but powerful drones are capable of far more precise movement meaning they could be far easier to handle than cranes.
We could drone on and on about drones, however they are not the only technology due to set the construction industry alight. We are already seeing virtual reality used by estate agents and investors in showing off properties, however virtual reality could prove immensely helpful in construction. Allowing workers and employees to explore a building before it is built, allowing for the creation of far richer and more useful buildings. In fact, it has already been used to great effect in the building of the Martin Luther King Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Centre in Los Angeles. Doctors and nurses wore VR headsets to provide input on logistical details, allowing for a room that was patient focused and catered to the best possible standard of care.
Wearable sensors can be put on any sort of work gear helping to better track the condition of workers. This can dramatically increase health and safety with harness sensors monitoring the number of workers on a structure and alerting the foreman if a sudden drop in height takes place. Meanwhile wristwatch sensors can monitor body temperature and make sure workers aren’t suffering from heat exhaustion.
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