Information and communications technology in construction: an overwhelming potential

Information technology in the construction industry


In completed developments, the potential uses of ICT can be overwhelming, with developments such as airports and hospitals having very complex and intensive demands. The development of smart buildings is now taking this intensive demand for ICT to other building types, with requirements for; automated systems, intelligent building management, adaptive energy systems, assistive technologies, remote monitoring and so on. In addition, the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT), where unique identifiers are allocated to physical objects, can enable almost anything be connected to a network. there is a need for buildings and the wider built environment to be both future-proof and flexible. Designers need to ensure that every opportunity is taken to identify the most efficient solutions and take advantage of the new opportunities offered by technology, whilst also creating a resilient and adaptable infrastructure capable of many years of operation without costly upgrades. This requires that designers work across a number of different timescales, devising short, medium and long-term strategies for ICT.

Advanced construction technologies are commonly described as including (amongst many others) advanced forms of:

  •         3D printing
  •         Materials.
  •         building information modeling (BIM).
  •         Cladding systems.
  •         Computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM).
  •         Construction plant.
  •         Modern methods of construction.
  •         Modular construction.
  •         Offsite manufacturing.
  •         Prefabrication and preassembly.
  •         Site investigations and surveying.
  •         Substructure works.
  •         Water engineering.
  •         Temporary works.
  •         Smart technology.
  •         Robotics.
  •         GPS controlled equipment.

ICT adoption for building project management

– Effective flow of data and communication at every stage of a construction project is essential for achieving required coordination and collaboration between the project participants, leading to successful management of the projects. In present scenario, when project participants are geographically separated, adoption of information communication technology (ICT) enables such effective communication.

Role of ICT in the construction industry

The role of the computer as a support tool in professional engineering and appropriate information technology has significant potential to make the profession more effective and efficient. If professionals do not work to such improvements, the business will be operated by other organizations who have achieved new levels of performance by the adoption of a new strong information technology strategy. Information technology has been rather slow to develop in the construction industry as compared to other industries. Cooperation in sharing information and commissioning software collectively can solve the financial problem to a great extent. With the age of information already starting and this era transforming the lives and business all over the globe, can the construction industry with all its multi-disciplinary problems lag behind? Information technology culture must pervade the organization systematically so as to provide cost-effective solutions and become beneficial.

Some of the most accommodating forms of information technology for the construction industry:

  • Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has a strong appeal in the construction industry, with many benefits due to the constant change of workers and setup of new job site locations. Often, construction workers require access to company data to provide timely decision-making and reporting ability while working in the field.

Construction companies benefit from the cloud’s ability to offer increased freedom and easy access to information at any time, from any location, such as job sites, customer locations, and satellite offices.

  • Project Management Software

Project management software allows contractors to manage complicated business processes with planning, organizing, and managing the various resource pools available. Construction companies are required to deliver projects on time and according to budget.

With project management software, the construction industry has the ability to execute projects more efficiently, while delivering high-quality results and increasing their overall business profitability.

  • Mobile Device Management

In the construction industry, employees use mobile devices as their main line of communication during a project. Whether it’s emails, texts, or phone calls, the smartphone has become the construction industries primary tool of communication.

With the ever-growing amount of mobile devices and applications, mobile device management is increasingly important. With mobile device management software, the construction industry can optimize the functionality of mobile devices, while protecting the configuration settings and data for mobile devices in a network; thus lowering the overall business security risks and support costs.




From the efficiency to the ease of build; Modular Construction is the alternative building

From the efficiency to the ease of build, it’s no surprise that modular construction is sweeping the country. More and more commercial contractors and residential homebuilders are adopting for modular construction and for good reason. Modular construction is having its own Renaissance right now—shedding the stigma of “prefab,” “manufactured homes,” or (horror of all horrors) the old “double-wide trailer.” High-end homes, apartment complexes, and even high-rise hospitals are going modular.

few reasons why going modular is gaining popularity in the construction industry:

1. Modular Construction on the Rise

There are a growing number of construction companies turning to modular construction to get the job done. In fact, according to FMI’s Prefab and Modular Construction Survey, 35% of contractors in the U.S. are implementing modular construction in the design phase of the building process.

Likewise, nearly 40% of the contractors surveyed said that prefab and modular construction is a growing part of their companies as well as part of their future strategic construction initiatives.

The country is already experiencing an increase in modular construction, especially in the healthcare industry. Both the Miami Valley Hospital Heart and Orthopedic Center as well as the 188,000-square-foot Harris Methodist Hospital in Texas were built using modular components.

2. All About Quality Control

There are multiple reasons why modular construction is gaining popularity in the U.S. and quality control is at the top of the list.

According to an article noting an interview with Paul Tansill on modular construction, Tansill describes modular manufacturing as a process where tight tolerances and quality control are top priorities.

Unlike traditional construction practices, modular buildings are assembled in controlled environments. This means the majority of the build process is sheltered from the elements.

Likewise, all building materials are stored in the same controlled environment, which reduces imperfections like lumber warp.

In addition, builders are able to work in the same controlled space with all tools and equipment at their disposal. This leads to better built structures and superior quality standards.

3. Faster Build Times

Because construction teams are able to work in controlled environments using repetitive techniques and convenient equipment like large-scale jigs, modular construction results in faster build times.

Weather delays are no longer a factor with modular construction either, so contractors are able to complete daily build goals and easily avoid setbacks that are common with onsite construction.

4. Cost Savings

Modular construction has numerous cost benefits over traditional onsite construction. As mentioned above, modular construction decreases build times, which greatly reduce labor costs.

Additionally, because modular building facilities use precision construction equipment and detailed designs, the building process is less wasteful. Each structure uses exact amounts of lumber and other materials.

5. Environmental Benefits

Because modular construction facilities take advantage of production repetition common with assembly line manufacturing, the modular building process uses less energy than traditional construction.

Unlike onsite construction practices, waste in modular construction is used instead of discarded.

Many modular construction facilities store unused materials in controlled environments and recycle them for use in other projects. This helps reduce the 135 million tons of construction waste that ends up in landfills each year.

When it comes to construction efficiency, modular building is quickly becoming the new industry standard.