Real Estate 2018-10-03

How Technology is Disrupting the Construction Sector

By adopting innovative technologies like automation in construction, innovative designs, sustainability, use of prefabricated material and online marketing, developers can value-engineer their product.

By Senior Sub-editor
How Technology is Disrupting the Construction Sector

Technology has disrupted almost every facet of the real estate business today. However, the creation of the core product is and will remain the most important aspect of this business, and advanced technologies are certainly playing a major role there. By adopting innovative technologies like automation in construction, innovative designs, sustainability, use of prefabricated material and online marketing, developers can value-engineer their product.

Here are some of the existing and upcoming technology disruptions in real estate construction.

3D Printing

This will be a massive paradigm shift in real estate development. Apart from seriously reducing waste, cost and labor requirements, 3D printing will help builders penetrate the hitherto inaccessible areas of dense urban centers, where it is impossible to set up heavy machinery for construction. 3D printing technology will eventually also involve the printing of internal structures such as walls, plumbing, electrical systems, venting and so on.

Building Information Modelling (BIM)

An existing construction technology which is fast gaining ground is Building Information Modelling (BIM) software that allows designers to produce 3D mock-ups of planned structures along with critical information about costs and construction timelines.

Virtual / Augmented Reality Technology

Constructions companies, worldwide and also in India, have begun using Virtual/Augmented Reality technology to enhance construction worker safety training. VR allows workers and work managers to visualize the more serious construction site hazards and prepare for them adequately. Firms also use apps that link VR/AR tech to their BIM software. This allows contractors and developers to create virtual walkthroughs of a structure even before it is complete, enabling them to make more informed design decisions early in the construction stages and save on both time and costs.

Other major technologies disrupting construction

Drones

The use of drones is gaining popularity for managing and inspecting sites. Drones allow developers to map a site and create 2D as well as 3D images. Most of the advanced drones use a coordinate-based system which helps achieve absolute accuracy in measurements.

Brick-laying robots

Construction is a highly labor-intensive industry. However, labor costs can be significantly reduced, and quality and precision standards considerably increased by using robotics for the repetitive, mechanical functions such as bricklaying. We have already seen the introduction of a semi-automated mason aptly called 'SAM'. This robot, which lays bricks rapidly and precisely, has been designed and engineered by Construction Robotics.

In other words, real estate will remain relevant no matter how rapidly technology evolves - the virtual space has inherently insurmountable limitations when it comes to serving organic life-forms. However, a lot of 'human inputs' related to the conception and creation of the required real estate can and is either being replaced or improved upon by technology.

This article is written by Anuj Puri, Chairman, ANAROCK Property Consultants

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