Major Technological Developments in the Construction Industry

Construction ManagementUntil the eighties, the construction industry was slow to pick up new technologies. However, since then, the rate of technology adoption has rapidly accelerated. Recently, global warming and new laws have forced architects to design more energy-efficient buildings, and advances in mobile and computer science have affected the way in which the whole industry operates.

Energy Efficiency

Global warming has pushed architects to slash fossil fuel usage in new buildings. Two ways in which energy is conserved are through plentiful natural lighting and through heat conservation.

Glazed glass is carefully sized and shaded on the northern and southern faces of new buildings to prevent unintended loss or gain of heat. On the western and eastern sides, wide, unglazed windows are employed to allow for maximum natural light appropriation.

These windows are made to be operable so as to provide natural ventilation in hot weather. Hot air is also stored throughout these buildings in crawl spaces both above and below. The hot air is released again when the rooms reach certain temperatures.

Green Building Ordinance

Established in 2008, the Green Building Ordinance is a system whereby commercial buildings of five thousand square feet or more are given targets of energy use to aim for. Since then the system has been built upon and enforced steadily every year.

Now smaller residential buildings are reaching for their targets for marketing purposes, and a tier system has been established. Buildings which are inefficient are legally mandated to employ new, green systems such as the ones mentioned above.

Mobile Technology

Paper used to be the primary tool by which an employee’s hours or equipment rentals were recorded and processed. This cause problems, as paper time clocks could be misread, filled in incorrectly or misfiled. Now, however, mobile phones have taken over these duties. Employees clock in digitally when they begin work, and clock out afterward. Their times are then instantly entered into a database, and the same goes for equipment rentals.

It also assists in tracking work progress and costs in real time. Before, each foreman would have to fill out a paper report and it could be weeks until the details found their way through a filing system. Now foremen can record changes easily, and those in charge of budget, schedule and metal and steel supply can receive them in real time.

Acceleration in Construction

Technology has had a massive effect on the speed at which projects are put into production and completed. In the past, architects used to draw blueprints by hand, a process that could take weeks. Now blue prints can be drawn on a computer in minutes. A room that would have had to be measured by hand is now measured by lasers and recorded on a digital device. Even tasks such as cutting materials have been affected. High strength lasers are used to cut wood.

The rate at which technology within the industry accelerates is steadily increasing. Better, more efficient buildings are being built more quickly all the time. It is for the betterment of everyone that these advancements keep being employed

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