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Building Technologies That Shouldn’t Be Ignored

For years, construction experts have relied on their skills, knowledge, and training to provide exceptional services to their customers in order to stay on top of the competition. Unfortunately, in today’s modern time, this is no longer enough. For building professionals and companies to the be the best in their field, they are required to master modern innovations and make them a part of their standard operating procedures. Here are a few of these technologies:

1. Building Information Modelling

Building Information Modelling (commonly known as BIM) refers to the use of technology to create digital models for construction. It has captured the attention of many building experts as it helps minimise errors and reduces the amount of time that is spent on projects. BIM promotes the ability to collaborate on a project with numerous people or even multiple companies as it allows for better cooperation and coordination among team members. In addition, project documents are generated with ease allowing for tedious work to be minimized.

2. Laser Scanning Technology

In the past, a thorough inspection was required by the builder looking to renovate a house or commercial space. This was done to locate vital structural components (e.g. load-bearing columns and walls) and mechanical systems (e.g. elevators and HVAC units). Now, builders have the option of using laser scanning technology, which creates a digital reproduction of the building as well as the objects it contains. Through this technology, builders are able to use their time more efficiently and can ensure that work may be done safely.

3. Robotic Automation

Construction and robotics may not seem like a perfect pair, however the combination of the two produce a building process that is simpler and faster. This is clearly demonstrated by SAM (Semi-Automated Mason), a robot that is designed to pick up bricks, apply mortar, and place them properly in the correct location. SAM is unable to work on its own – humans are still needed to place bricks in corners,  complex areas, and other complete special tasks – but this robot can greatly aid in reducing the amount of repetitive manual labour. In addition, workers will be able to avoid repetitive stress injuries while allowing the project to be completed sooner (SAM is able to lay brick 3x faster than humans).

4. 3D Printing

Although 3D printing is typically seen as a machine that constructs coasters, jar handles, and other trinkets, this technology has developed to aid with construction. Generally, 3D printing is used to print smaller key components, however some companies have used the technology to print entire walls. 3D printing may not be feasible for all building companies yet, but it shows promise and will continue to improve and be a part of the construction industry.

Here in Kelowna, new technologies like the CNC machine (Computer Numerical Control) are being used in many fields. The CNC machine can provide identical copies of objects and can precisely cut objects to any shape. Although Kelowna isn’t using the intricate technologies like 3D printing yet, they will infiltrate Kelowna’s construction industry in the future.

Construction experts have been and will continue to consider these modern innovations, however the start up costs for these technologies can be substantial. In addition, they require the users to learn and operate in ways that are not familiar, but are worth it in the end as they can help keep costs down and improve productivity and efficiency.

May 2016

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