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Why Your BIM, Modular Construction, And 3D Printing Quest May Prove Futile?

Technology has disrupted every industry, unlocking unforeseen potential, even in unexpected ways. Construction is seeing changes as well.

For instance, a big percentage of modern construction is now modular – parts of a building are constructed in “modules”, off-site in a controlled environment, and are assembled on-site to create the building.

3D printing in construction is also gaining pace due to its significantly lower finish time than conventional construction. It reduces waste and pollution, decreases the chance of human error and accidents, and gives absolute design freedom.

Similarly, Building Information Modeling (BIM) is now established as a collaborative platform for construction professionals, engineers, architects, contractors, real estate developers, and manufacturers. All of them can collaborate, ideate, and create a structure within one 3D model. This modern method keeps all the involved parties on the same page and makes the construction process smoother by allowing them to “build digitally before they build physically”.

BIM, 3D printing, and modular construction together can provide limitless design options and modifications. Construction can become faster, more efficient, safer, and agile. But all these promising approaches can end up being futile if construction companies do not have a strong technology backbone. These strategies demand a strong data foundation. It’s essential for this data to be accurate, comprehensive, current, and usable. That apart, other backend systems must enable faster operations, more transparent monitoring, tighter reporting, and responsive actions. It’s not enough to implement BIM on the project site. It’s essential to ensure the job site and the back office are in synch at all times. Similarly, off-site construction can only prove effective if communication processes are smooth and seamless.

An integrated, structured, and data-led approach is necessary to make the construction process more efficient with better room for planned development.

Benefits of Data in Modern Construction Tech

●     Greater visibility and accident prevention

Innovations in the construction industry entirely focus on technology that enhances output rate and productivity with minimum hazards. Real-time data collection allows visual mapping to increase visibility across the construction site. The real-time data can help prevent accidents if workers stay connected with BIM-integrated GPS wearables. Companies can also offer safety training and customize the operational methods according to their needs and resources.

●     Improved communication

With the pen-and-paper model of communication, there is  vast opportunity for data inaccuracy and human error. But with real-time data collection and communication driven by integrated systems, workers can instantly report on everything before it’s too late. Modern facilities to record with cameras, format reports automatically, and convert text-to-speech help organize the data and send reports to the management, quickly.

●     Low material wastage

When a building is constructed in a controlled environment, recycling waste material gets easier. The building material stays secure with effective inventory management. Data plays a crucial role in evaluating the right amount of raw material required for modular construction and 3D printing setup.

●     Green initiatives

When data speeds up the operation through real-time tracking and analysis, it also reports the level of wastage and pollution. Companies have the agency to utilize the data to speed up their green initiatives. Waste reduction and recycling are solid steps in that direction. Setting up modular construction structures also eliminates threats to air quality, as the construction relies on factory-controlled settings and dry material.

●     Increased accountability

Data has refined the work culture in various sectors, including construction. Photo evidence and recorded data are becoming more common. Cranes are also equipped with cameras to cover the blind spots from CCTV cameras. Continuous monitoring increases accountability across the construction site and guarantees employee safety and integrity. The company also gets accountable for security lapses, if any.

●     Streamlined workflow

Technology makes the construction workflow smoother by streamlining the information flow. Digital archives are durable and traceable. Data analytics can help schedule construction work properly to complete construction within time. It also gets convenient to generate reports for clients and share them digitally.

●     Faster than traditional construction

There is space for better engineering and cost-effective revisions. But most importantly, technology speeds up the operations, as real-time data collection can reveal all the loopholes. When companies focus on exposing their areas of inefficiency and take remedial measures, operational efficiency improves manifolds.

The Biggest Hurdle Companies NEED To Overcome

Most companies are not taking full advantage of advanced data and analytics, robotics, and automation. KPMG had initially reported that the construction industry is not making the best out of technology for performance monitoring and workflow management. According to a study by Autodesk, construction companies lost $1.8 trillion across the world, because of bad data. Out of this, damages worth approximately $88 billion were avoidable.

Without a formal data strategy, these losses can further escalate. Now is the time for construction companies to step up and adopt data-oriented solutions to increase their efficiency.

Today, construction projects are getting larger and more complex. Efficient construction requires precise, faster data collection and delivery. Other benefits of having an integrated technology foundation are:

  • Process efficiency
  • Better scope for planning
  • Faster operations
  • Quick loss detection
  • Improve accuracy
  • Enhance safety measures

To enjoy these benefits, construction companies must overcome their biggest hurdle, i.e., the lack of a data-led approach. Having a clear data strategy can be a game-changer in the construction industry. An efficient data strategy provides actionable data that can help companies identify the current roadblocks and gain significant profits from projects.

Digital technology can leverage a robust data strategy powered by integrated systems. In 2022, construction companies require integrated technology backbones like unified ERP solutions alongside diverse solutions designed for construction projects. From field reporting to payroll generation, CEM’s construction management software can automate various data-intensive tasks in construction companies to drive efficiency and effectiveness.

The cloud-based solutions ensure quick report generation, document management, and construction compliance. For more details on how these solutions can improve the digital strategy for construction companies and help them get the maximum impact out of modern strategies like BIM, 3-D printing, and off-site modular construction, visit our website.