According to a BBC article instead of the workforce in high-viz jackets and hard hats (PPE – Personal Protection Equipment), there will be drones buzzing overhead, robotic bulldozers and 3D printers producing all manner of new structures. That at least is the hope of those innovators creating new technological solutions. Firstly they have to get buy-in from the traditionally risk-averse construction industry that such change is beneficial.
Some construction companies are already using drones to survey sites and existing structures. Following the earthquake in Christchurch NZ some years ago, they now use a drone to survey the structure of the badly damaged cathedral, which they hope to rebuild. Japanese construction machinery giant Komatsu has gone one step further – using the drones to provide the eyes for automated bulldozers. The drones send 3D models of a building site to a computer which then feeds the information to unmanned machinery to guide them.
One of the potential solutions to the housing crisis could also be 3D printing, which is already making an impact on the construction industry – cutting both the time and cost of building houses. The UN estimates that by 2030 approximately three billion people will require housing and has mooted 3D printing as one possible solution. A team in the School of Civil and Building Engineering at Loughborough University, in the same town as our HQ, has been working on the technology since 2007, first developing a 3D concrete printer within a frame, but more recently with a robotic arm that can print up to 10 time quicker.
At the forefront of technology ourselves Mosaic Management Systems provides health and safety site management software that offers you an online and flexible solution to on boarding, competency management, access control, asset management, stock control, fatigue management and toolbox talks.