Consider having to lay a tortuous road on a steep mountainous range. It would literally be an uphill task, as any atypical terrain would pose certain hurdles to a builder when assessing the landscape with conventional measures or gauges. But with the advent of technological advancements, such as Global Positioning System (GPS), laser scanning, and computer management software, the overall construction scene has evolved from beings lightly complicated to highly sophisticated.
As GPS technology is neither location- nor time-dependent when processing real-time data, construction firms are tapping into the power of this technology to measure and assess the surrounding topography before they commence work on a project. In addition, GPS could also offer guidance and enable automation systems for excavation and foundation work.
In GPS-based measurement, distance and elevation are calculated using both location-based and electronic distance measurement technology. It efficiently rules out the need for stakes, tapes, and transits, as a land-based GPS receiver scans and maps the entire area, offering better efficiency and accuracy.
Now, operators are even guided by 3D GPS technology when handling their equipment’s hydraulic systems, which automatically position tools’ height and position, based on survey information.GPS tracking systems also help construction and fleet managers to monitor vehicles and assets, using a fleet list or a map.
The construction industry is also employing laser scanning in the BIM (Building Information Modeling) process. As lasers calculate distance by measuring the time of flight of very short pulses of infrared light, modern technologies, such as 3D laser scanning, digitally capture the dimensions and spatial relationship of objects using a line of laser light.
Now, advanced construction management software is being used to design, track, and execute all modules in a project lifecycle. Software-aided project communications and tracking optimize cost and ensure that day-to-day production analysis is performed in real-time.
Besides these innovative technology solutions, the construction industry is also banking on mobile applications. Today, with customized mobile apps, construction firms can detect defects at the sites and even incorporate signatures, photos, and barcode captures into forms on a smart device. In this way, mobile apps enable these firms to access company information and take decisions, based on instant reporting, from the construction site.
It also facilitates bidding, by remotely providing on-site access to materials pricing and other such information. A recent survey says that construction businesses most commonly use mobile apps to keep business contacts organized, schedule work, monitor the status of projects, and assign tasks to specific employees.
With most of these applications running on cloud platforms, they can also connect instantaneously from any remote location, and access back-office information and reporting functionality in a secure manner.
With these latest technological developments boosting the efficiency of construction work and reducing cost and complexity, do you think the industry is going through a positive transformational phase? Let us know by leaving your comments in the section below.