3D printing remodelling the construction industry

The 21st century is emerging as the 3D age, and it is no wonder that the once novel technology has found its way into the construction realm. The aim is to print large structures and realize complex projects. The applications for use in construction seem self-explanatory, since building something from basic materials is what the construction business does.3D printing machines provide a wealth of applications beyond reducing the length of a supply chain. Eventually, 3D printing will become a common or even standard feature in the fabrication process.

Construction industry
In the construction industry, 3D printing can be used to create construction components or to ‘print’ entire buildings. Construction is well-suited to 3D printing as much of the information necessary to create an item will exist as a result of the design process, and the industry is already experienced in computer aided manufacturing. The recent emergence of building information modelling (BIM) in particular may facilitate greater use of 3D printing.

Construction 3D printing may allow, faster and more accurate construction of complex or bespoke items as well as lowering labour costs and producing less waste. It might also enable construction to be undertaken in harsh or dangerous environments not suitable for a human workforce such as in space.

The benefits that 3D printing can have on their bottom-line.

Reduced Supply Costs
China-based 3D printing construction company WinSun “expects 3D printing will save construction companies up to 50 percent on the cost” of building a house. This could prove to be a lifesaver for construction managers with access to this technology and could lead to increased competition within the construction field. Competition means lower prices for consumers, which could mean a shift from a rental to an ownership mindset.

Global Development
Often as automation and mechanization rise, prices drop. 3D printing is an affordable way to create housing for the impoverished in need of adequate shelter.

Greener Construction
Wealth Daily suggests that with the advent of 3D printing. The use of lumber in the home’s framework would be spared. This is a great advancement for green construction firms and a frightening development for the lumber industry.

Improved Project Planning
An important part of every project plan is the design. With 3D printing, companies will be able to quickly and inexpensively create models to have a visual representation of the project as well as help pinpoint problem areas and avoid delays.

Streamlined Client Expectations
With 3D printing, construction professionals and their customers can communicate more clearly and efficiently. Even a customer with no architectural background can better express his needs and ensure that everyone is on the same page. Much of a client’s expectations come from an idea, and 3D printing makes it simple to materialize that idea beyond the dated method of pencil and paper.

Despite the incredible potential, many construction professionals remain wary of the effect 3D printing could have on their business. Increased automation and mechanization have been detrimental to fidgety labour markets in the past. Take farming in the United States, for example: in 1900, the farming industry made up 38 per cent of America’s workforce but, in 2017, comprised less than 1 per cent. Some are even claiming that 3D printing could pose a threat to predictions of a boom in construction-related jobs.

What’s Next for 3D Printing
Among those calling for construction professionals to take advantage of the potential of 3D printing is University of Southern California professor Behrokh Khoshnevis, creator of Contour Crafting. In a Ted Talk he gave in 2012, he said, “If you look around yourself, pretty much everything is made automatically today—your shoes, your clothes, home appliances, your car….The only thing that is still built by hand are these buildings.” And later: “Construction, as we know it today, is wasteful, costly, and often over budget.”

3D printing will most likely not solve the construction industry’s skilled worker shortage, recruit up and coming talent, or remove human error in planning construction projects. It seems clear that 3D printing presents promising opportunities for the construction industry to become both greener and more cost-effective, often by considerable margins. As 3D printing research continues to develop, it will be exciting to see the benefits the technology will have on the many facets of the construction industry.




Using a BIM Model for your Construction Project; learn about the impacts and benefits

Building information modelling and automated quantities technologies can provide the industry with consequential opportunities to raise the quality of the industry to a much higher and sophisticated level. Having the capability to simulate a range of data options with real-time cost advice and carry on throughout the detailed design, construction, and operational stages, BIM will surely place construction practices at a higher value.

About BIM

BIM is the process spanning the generation and management of the physical and functional information of a project. The output of the process is what we refer to as BIMs or building information models which are ultimately digital files that describe every aspect of the project and support decision-making throughout a project cycle.

Construction productivity is a long-standing issue in the industry and has become a huge field of research opportunity. Decades of expansive studies have produced well-documented models and methods for identifying the many factors and reasons that influence construction productivity. In the process, building information modelling (BIM) has emerged as a disruptive innovation with the great potential to mitigate most of the common factors negatively impacting construction productivity.

The Benefits of BIM

Positive Impact on Labor ProductivityIn an action research project with a small mechanical contractor, a study investigated BIM’s impact on a large commercial project’s labour productivity and found out an increase in productivity ranging from 75% to 240% on areas that were modelled and prefabricated as compared to areas that weren’t.

Cost and Schedule Control and Management – Building information modelling (BIM) has long been recognised as the technology that will revolutionise the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry. Despite the studies and advancements, BIM’s use has not yet reached its full potential.

Communication and CollaborationBIM has a lot of benefits but it seems to be that its key role is in facilitating communication and mutual understanding within project shareholders and the construction teams. Building information modelling changes the common way of collaboration including the roles of project participants.

Better planning and design: Using BIM, you can visualize a completed building and all its components and systems before the first shovelful of dirt are moved on the construction site. This information allows better planning and design that takes the best advantage of available space and resources.

Fewer reworks: BIM allows you to see potential problem areas and fix them before the error is committed in the physical world. This reduces the need for costly rework and revision.

Savings on materials: BIM systems track and monitor resources and provide detailed information on needs even before construction begins. You are less likely to order more than needed and can replenish supplies only when necessary.

Using BIM does not automatically make you reap the benefits of BIM, it’s how you use BIM that allows you to enjoy the benefits. For example, using different BIM-based software among collaborators during the design phase may precipitate some problems like data loss, communication failure, and poor work efficiency.

Disadvantages of BIM

Incompatibility with partners: BIM is not yet universally used among construction professionals. There is always the possibility that one of your partners or subcontractors may not use BIM and may not be able to use your models.

Legal issues: The legal ramifications of using BIM software have not yet been extensively tested, let alone settled.

Cost of software: BIM software requires a substantial investment in new technology. The advantages usually make the investment worthwhile, but only if the software is used to its full capacity.

Lack of experts: The relative newness of BIM means that there are limited numbers of experts working in the field. Your software purchase may require an additional investment in training and education.

Construction Monitor helps companies in the industry stay informed about how new technology will affect all phases of the construction process. Contact us today for more information on how BIM and general construction will continue to be a valuable and effective combination.


An EC3 platform to keep the beat of the revolutionising Property Industry to match smart buildings assets management

Technology is revolutionizing, impacting upon the Property Industry and the future of buildings, and the management of assets cannot do away without Tech. The aspect of technology in the property industry “PropTech” goes well beyond wiring up buildings and replacing appliances. installing sensors but another crucial aspect is the management of assets.  An Enterprise Command Control Centre (EC3) has the power to manage your property assets intelligently to create smarter and more livable towns and cities.

An EC3 platform reshapes building environment
Smart technology that connects us to our surroundings is advancing faster than ever before, but improvements that could reshape the built environment have been held hostage by stubborn manual processes, restrictive physical infrastructure, and outdated paper solutions. Where others see a problem, DigiConsult sees an opportunity.
A radically new kind of data platform that unlocks the true potential of the smart devices around us, helps teams work together, creates an ecosystem of interconnected applications and fosters the growth of a more empowered workforce. An EC3 platform applies Internet Of Things (IoT ), artificial intelligence and machine learning to help asset managers run cutting-edge portfolios. 

Technology integration in properties is not complete without an EC3 platform  

A unified platform offers a single point of entry for operations and performance monitoring and is powered by a marketplace of integrated applications to help you accomplish more. Through new applications of data science and machine learning, an EC3 platform helps you predict and respond nimbly to changing conditions inside and outside your buildings, saving you time and money. 

Comfort and systems optimisation: Temperature is the arbiter of comfort for your tenants, but it can also be an indicator of something amiss. This information, delivered in a timely fashion, can prompt action before systems go past the point of correction. Put simply, this means that having some foresight into a looming issue may prevent damage and discomfort, and it may save the building owner a lot of money in the long run.

Preventative maintenance: In a break-fix environment, problems are often costly to fix because they are not addressed until the damage has already been done. Sensors that can detect leaks or other abnormalities contribute to proactive building management and maintenance.

Security: Keeping a building, its contents, and its tenants secure is of prime importance to building owners. Beacons that transmit data via a Bluetooth connection can be used both inside and outside the location, monitoring the area and delivering detailed insights to security personnel. Beacons can be highly personalized as well, meaning that management can know decisively who is in the building and where they are at any given time. This removes the onus of the facilities manager to keep eyes on staff, as all the information they need is at their fingertips.

Extend the range of facilities management: While a large, multi-tenant building can be a daunting task to manage, a connected building offers the opportunity to extend the expertise of the facilities manager. Since an EC3 can be managed remotely, it offers the possibility of overseeing several buildings rather than just one – which is a realistic way of being in many places at once. This can both improve consistency in management style and save money on payroll costs.

An easier way to manage assets: Asset management is a time-consuming and largely inefficient process. With an EC3 platform, a great deal of time is saved as the manager does not have to be present in order to manage inventory. Information such as inspection data, maintenance schedules, asset location and more can be managed from a device interface, freeing up management time to devote to higher-value tasks.

While these are just some of the ways smart buildings can support more efficient facilities management, the technology is cost-effective and well within reach. To help manage assets like elevators, HVAC systems, electrical systems, building security, parking allocation, and more, the possibilities are well worth exploring.

Developing technology-driven solutions for the management and operations of commercial buildings / other premises and with a focus on upcoming smart buildings is the emphasis laid by DigiCosult EC3 platforms. Besides, operational efficiency, the asset-life cycle of plant and equipment, and other installed furniture and fittings and leveraging upon data analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and other allied technologies are the salient features which are borne in mind. Contact us on +230 1636 or via email at kumar.dursun@angloenterprises.com.


Health and Safety: How Tech is Revolutionising the Construction Industry

Forward-looking contractors are embracing new technology. Their projects – and staff – are bristling with tech. Safety inspection drones hover overhead. And workers stride on site in light-up hard hats, checking the Google Glass-style visors on their headwear for real-time safety alerts. Historically, construction has been one of the world’s least digitised industries. The tech industry’s big players are developing construction-specific software, gadgets and robotics. Improved safety, better efficiency and reduced costs should not be far behind.

The sudden focus on technology in the construction space

Mostly because building sites can be dangerous places, and the injury and fatality stats are out of sync with 21st century workplace health and safety culture. However, by deploying technology at all stages of the design and build process, the fatality and injury numbers could drop down. And potentially so could insurance costs.

The technology that is improving construction site safety

From augmented reality to 3D lasers, here’s the safety technology that’s getting contractors and developers excited:

  • Design stage: Identifying injury flashpoints before construction starts

Building information modelling (BIM) is an intelligent, 3D model-based process with huge potential. It allows architects, engineers and construction professionals to plan, design, construct and manage buildings and infrastructure efficiently.

The technology is being used to conduct pre-construction risk assessments and the execution of safety practices within the job site, too. It ensures teams make the best use of offsite prefabrication, preassembly and other ‘prevention through design’ approaches. These methods help eliminate potentially dangerous trips on lifts and ladders during construction and save thousands of work hours.

Virtual reality (VR) is adding a new dimension to health and safety training. The technology gives teams the skills to reduce accidents by creating simulations of real workplaces and hazards. This allows users to familiarise themselves with dangerous situations without the risk of being harmed. Construction firm Bechtel is trialling a VR training programme, and it shouldn’t be long before immersive VR safety training is par for the course.

Augmented Reality (AR) lets planners and architects collaborate with clients and contractors in real time, adapting plans and processes at the design stage. By using AR, data and images can be overlaid onto physical spaces; this allows build information to be shared, leading to risk reduction. It’s especially useful for highlighting hazards in complicated processes. With AR-generated information, managers can identify pinch points in the construction schedule, too.

  • Construction stage: Improving on-site safety

Smart sensors are being mounted throughout construction sites, to detect and monitor unseen risks such as temperature, humidity, dust particulates, pressure, noise vibration and the volatile organic compounds that arise from an overload of varnish or paint. The collected data is fed to backend systems that generate real-time alerts and longer-term risk level analyses. This technology monitors the changing environmental conditions across entire sites and then provides analytics to builders and contractors.

Sensors have a credible construction safety pedigree; Costain has been using electronic perimeter alarms to alert roadside workers when they leave safe working zones. Pre-dating the technological innovations of the past couple of years, they are a valuable safety application for highways contractors.


  • Software for streamlining inspections


Well-maintained equipment is essential for a safe construction business. But proving you’ve checked every piece of machinery to ensure it meets legal standards is time-consuming. Lifting equipment inspection software is causing a buzz in the construction and energy industries. Globally, about 6,000 inspectors are using it to speed up on-site machinery inspections and to generate automatic compliance records.


  • Unmanned machinery


From futuristic vision to mundane reality robotic building sites are set to become the norm, thanks to companies such as Komatsu, a Japanese construction machinery giant that makes automated bulldozers. The company uses unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – aka drones – as ‘eyes’ for the machinery. The devices are mounted with technology that sends 3D construction site models to bulldozers, and other unmanned machinery, to plot their courses. Additionally, the drones provide progress reports, offer updates on any planning changes that need to be made, and speed up logistics by monitoring deliveries.

  • Using robotics to protect – and power up – workers

Too many workers are suffering from musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). The rate of work-related MSDs in construction is 16% higher than in all other industries combined. And overexertion in lifting causes more than one-third of these injuries.

Japanese constructor Shimizu is increasing worker safety with the help of technology and has developed an arm-shaped robot that lifts 200kg reinforcing rods. Typically, it takes six or seven people to lift and manoeuvre long, cumbersome rods this size. The manpower is cut by half, and the effort reduced exponentially, with Shimizu’s robot technology.

  • Reducing accidents with wearable technology

There’s more to wearables than FitBits and Apple watchers; construction is employing similar technology to reduce accidents. Wearable products and responsive clothing are becoming standard work wear. Innovations include GPS-enabled safety vests that alert workers when they’re entering hazardous areas, and smart helmets with virtual visors that display job information and warn wearers about changes in the working environment, such as increasing temperatures.

Health and safety is a constant issue for all businesses, but especially so for the construction industry. For those employed on building sites, their physically demanding work involves dealing with hazardous materials and dangerous equipment every single day. Even when strict safety protocols are in place and everyone’s being as careful as possible, one small slip-up can lead to an injury. The above are the most exciting new health and safety technologies starting to emerge in the construction industry.