As technology continues to advance, it keeps making life and the way we do things better and more convenient, especially in the construction industry. While there are still a lot of stable and reliable construction technology and equipment around, such as Hitachi diggers that you can buy in New Zealand or those heavy-duty payloaders that you can rent, manufacturers and developers continue to innovate new ways and methods to make building more efficient and faster. There are eight ways technology is changing construction today:
1. Concrete that heals itself
Concrete and cement, no matter how strong they are, eventually break over time. The concept behind this technology is reviving the active bacteria in the cement-mixing process. When water seeps through the cracks, the bacteria are activated, which then produces calcite to heal the cracks.
2. See-through aluminum
Made from aluminum oxynitride (ALON), this new material is almost as strong as steel. Transparent aluminum offers a bulletproof-like state and is making waves in the construction industry by giving buildings and structures a futuristic feel.
3. Frozen smoke
An insulating material is gaining popularity in the construction industry with its lightweight feature. But it is highly impenetrable by heat or cold, offering up to four times insulation than what foam or fiberglass can offer. Aerogel insulation is semi-transparent, and it is virtually weightless. It retains its shape well, and it can be molded into thin fabric layers for insulation.
4. Robotic construction
Inspired by how termites swarm and work together to build colonies, Harvard researchers and developers came up with programmable four-wheeled robots that can work together just like termite swarms.
5. 3-D-printed structures
Similar to small-scale 3-D printing, the process of 3-D printing homes involve a large crane “printer” that sets layers of concrete on top of each other. Parts are printed off-site in a short time and are brought to the construction site for assembling. This is a fast and effective way to build temporary shelters for victims of natural disasters and calamities.
6. Smart highways
Smart highways and roads utilize sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT) to assist motorists by giving out important information such as traffic and weather conditions. It makes driving a lot safer, not to mention greener, because it also generates energy that charges electric cars and street lights.
7. Lego-like smart bricks
While the technology has been in existence for decades, it was only in the past few years when some people decided to make 1:1-scale Lego blocks and use them for construction. These modular bricks are easy to connect—with enough room for plumbing, electricity, and insulation—and reduce construction expenses.
8. Vertical forests
In light of green architecture, more and more buildings are incorporating flora into their design. Walls and other vertical structures are utilized and turned into hanging gardens to help fight global warming and its effects. Pollution-fighting buildings help minimize pollution in the air by sucking it in and producing clean air for us to breathe in.
The future of construction holds so much promise as technology continues to improve. This goes not just for equipment and materials but also for methodologies and processes. The future of construction is as bright as ever.