Technology Trends Impacting the Construction Industry in 2022: Part 2
Here is our new portion of construction technology trends. Stay turned!
3D Printing technology
3D printing is another step that the construction industry is taking to adapt to new technological advancements. 3D printing has been expanding and developing massively over the years, to the point that many companies within the construction industry have discovered how to print an entire home faster and cheaper than the traditional method using this exact software and technology.
The advantages are impressive: the 3D printing process reduces time, cost and materials used for building, while minimizing the environmental footprint by more than 50% compared to conventional methods.
3D ink material used – a recipe patented by Holcim – is a 3D printing mortar made of cement, sand and additives. According to Holcim, the ink reaches a similar performance as concrete. This makes buying a house more affordable for everyone.
An amazing case of using 3-D printing is the world’s first 3D-printed school built in 18 hours. In 2021, in a partnership between Holcim, CDC Group and 14Trees, the school was constructed in 18 hours in Southeastern Africa, Malawi. This school is proof that 3D printing can play a key role in bridging our world’s education infrastructure gap by building high-quality classrooms for children in a sustainable, affordable and fast-paced way at scale.
Cloud computing in construction
Cloud computing is definitely worth noting in the construction industry. But what does cloud computing really mean?
Actually, the word says it all: you digitize all your business processes and your solutions and data are no longer kept on a “server”, but rather they are stored and accessible from the cloud. In both 2020 and 2021, COVID-19 contributed to a number of construction businesses making the move and working entirely in the cloud. A growing number of construction companies are expected to make the switch to the cloud in 2022. By working in the cloud, all your programs and data are accessible at any location and on any device. This way you can do your work anytime, anywhere.
LiDAR is another impressive construction technology trend. It stands for “light detection and ranging,” and it is a form of three-dimensional mapping technology – a kind of echolocation or sonar— that “sees” by reflecting light instead of sound. LiDAR creates 3D maps of physical space by measuring precise distances and spatial relationships between objects and features within an environment.
There are different types of LiDAR, but the typical setup includes an emitter, an LiDAR sensor, and a GPS system. The emitter rapidly fires short pulses of laser light—up to 200,000 pulses per second in some cases — into the surrounding environment.
The type of light emitted depends on the system and what it’s targeting, but most LiDAR uses ultraviolet or near-infrared lasers that are invisible to the naked eye. The light then bounces off terrain features like ravines, trees, and buildings. The sensor measures how long it takes for each laser pulse to return and uses this information to determine the precise distance the light traveled from point A to point B. This dense collection of three-dimensional data is called a point cloud. The GPS then places the point cloud in its correct orientation on the Earth’s surface. Running it through a computer gives the user a virtual 3D map of whatever they have aimed the LiDAR at.
However, LiDAR technology is also very fragile, and LiDAR sensor capacity can be limited in certain conditions such as heavy dust, rain, snow, or fog.