Information and communications technology in construction: an overwhelming potential

January 31, 2019

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.




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