The ecosystem of the construction industry is evolving and shifting towards technologically smart platforms. The construction industry is embracing technology at a very fast pace. New players offering technology solutions such as mobile apps for the construction industry have entered the market, contributing to a faster evolution of the digital ecosystem. The COVID-19 pandemic has a major role in this evolution. It forced the stakeholders to leverage technology and digitize the entire framework to ensure the safety of the workers and the productivity of the business. The pandemic has generated opportunities for investors and stakeholders to introduce new solutions in the construction industry. Many technologies and mobile app development companies have made their way into the market, intensifying the pace toward digitization.
Challenges Faced by the Construction Industry
For many years the construction industry has been dealing with low productivity which was evaluated to be at a slower pace than the other industries. A study suggests that the growth rate of the construction sector has been 1% per year for the last 20 years. The limited investments in improvements and technology have a major role to play in this slow growth. The lack of tech-friendly applications has led to inefficiencies and slow growth.
Another major challenge can be the lack of on-site visibility which escalated during the COVID-19 pandemic with travel restrictions. The growing remote work culture has adversely affected the construction business. Different physical locations of the project managers, workers, and project owners are a major challenge in collaboration and workability. Moreover, there has been a shortage of smart equipment required to continue working with minimal manpower which was the reality during the pandemic.
The challenges in the construction industry have been on different fronts. One solution cannot speak for every issue. Technology in the construction sector can be implemented in different dimensions to create smart and sustainable solutions. We can think about using integrated platforms and apps for construction to overcome these challenges.
Ways to Leverage Technology
There are many potential paths where investors can create value for the construction industry. They can invest in developing point solutions or in boosting the adoption of technology in the construction sector. They can connect with mobile and web app development companies to make these solutions handy. Here are some of the pointers for the same:
Invest in the continuous growth
Solutions such as electronic document management and delivery tracking apps for construction can play a major role in the management of construction businesses. Small subcontractors and other stakeholders can immensely benefit from such improvements.
Leverage disruptive solutions to automate repetitive work
Disruptive solutions such as robotics can be used to automate the repetitive tasks in the construction business including laying bricks and paving the road.
Boost the tech infrastructure
New apps for construction using the latest technologies can be used to create supporting technology solutions such as drones for an on-site survey and electric-vehicle docking.
Introduce digital payments
Digital payment apps for the construction industry will broaden the data and transaction visibility in any construction business. It will help integrate the entire supply chain and add authenticity to every transaction.
Technologies Used in the Construction Sector
Let us take a look at some of the leading technologies which are contributing to the evolution of the construction sector into a tech-savvy industry.
1. Augmented reality
Augmented Reality (AR) has digital layers of information to amplify the real view of a physical location. Integrating AR into mobile phones will help professionals working in the construction industry by displaying real-time information on the top of the picture of any location. Using AR, we can think about automating measurements, making visual modifications, and providing safety information without physically visiting the location.
2. Smart wearables
The wearables are known to offer safety advantages. Smart boots and power gloves are some of the wearables already being used in the construction sector. A smart hard hat is another smart wearable that saves workers from risks by detecting microsleep.
Factory robots, autonomous robots, and collaborative robots are readily used across the construction industry, reshaping the labor involved in different processes. These robots are being used to automate complex tasks and perform them independently.
Camera-mounting flying drones have a far-fetched effect in the construction sector wherein they reduce the cost of expensive processes. These drones are being used for equipment tracking, security surveillance, and aerial drone surveys.
5. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
ML helps the machines learn from past experiences and AI allows them to take independent decisions. Both contribute to enhancing safety and productivity in the construction sector. Additionally, the inclusion of AI and ML in the construction business has proved to be cost-effective.
6. 3D printing
The printers take the digital designs as input and create layer-by-layer of a machine. This technology is used by the stakeholders in the construction industry to make a variety of structures and objects, saving time and investments in creating complex details.
7. Building Information Modeling
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is used to develop a digital representation of any structure before actually building it. The high-level accuracy in this representation helps the stakeholders find the difficulties and figure out their solutions. The ultimate goal is to enhance the efficiency of the construction processes.
Blockchain has found its foothold in construction project management. It provides security and scalability to construction projects, making them capable of storing and handling massive data.
List of Mobile Apps Used in the Construction Sector
Most of the technologies can be used via a mobile app. These applications make the construction processes more technology-friendly and easy. Here are some of the popular mobile apps for the construction sector.
The contractors can use this app on Apple as well as Android devices. They can use this app to share different types of details including blueprints, issue tracking, notes, and drawings. Features such as version control and hyperlinking text make this app very valuable.
This mobile app uses the camera of the device to stamp the photos with different details such as GPS data, date, and latitude. It is a great construction app that can be used to take a snapshot of the issues and repairs with details.
This app is meant to help construction managers in making field reports. These reports can be easily shared over Google Drive and Dropbox to reduce the time spent in making and sharing the related paperwork.
4. Construction calculator
It is an android app that calculates the amount of construction material required in building any infrastructure. The contractors can use this app to calculate every material including bricks and paint even in offline mode.
There are many mobile applications available to help contractors make cost-effective and space-optimized solutions.
What Lies in the Future?
Moving forward, the construction sector will witness the emergence of platform solutions along with distinctive point solutions. The construction companies are looking forward to scaling the platforms in any specific direction. For instance, any company can target the bulk-material supply chain and introduce solutions for the same. Connected solutions to interconnect and integrate different technologies will find their way into the construction business. Tools for real-time data collection, project management, and scheduling will further unlock new potential in the already-used technologies. A predictive data analytics solution can be a game changer in the coming years. Analytics and insights platforms leveraging the massive intra- and inter-company data will have immense contributions to the management of construction projects.
The construction industry has emerged as one of the last fields in digitization. Different stages of construction, especially the design phase have white spaces of growth that can be leveraged by the stakeholders and investors. The COVID-19 pandemic has propelled the need for digitization which has proved beneficial for every individual connected with the construction sector. The productivity and data visibility issues can be effectively solved using different technologies.
Mobile applications have simplified every step of the construction process, from the estimation of the materials to the remote on-site survey. More mobile apps and integration of technology will further equip the construction sector with tools to simplify different processes and boost productivity. So, consider partnering with an experienced mobile app development company to build a customized app as per the operational requirements of your construction business.