Technology has made it to the construction industry, boosting operational efficiency, cutting costs, and streamlining projects.

Wait a minute, is that a drone hovering over the construction site? And over there, is that construction foreman wearing a pair of AR glasses?

High tech has made it to the construction industry, boosting operational efficiency, cutting costs, and streamlining projects. After all, the innovations that make mobile devices and Wi-Fi indispensable to consumers have the same benefits to the construction industry. Why spend hours traveling between job sites when you can view the progress on a monitor at your office? Or, why take valuable people off-site for a meeting when they can just teleconference you from their smartphone?

There’s an app for that

The easiest place to see high tech in action on construction sites is by looking for mobile devices. Apps help workers access, document, and share important job site project information.

Perhaps the only difference is that some of these mobile devices have been adapted and are more rugged for construction sites. Organizations like OSHA have worked to create apps that help the construction industry focus on worker safety.

Building Information Modeling (BIM)

Every industry has their own share of acronyms, and BIM is claimed by construction. It stands for Building Information Modeling, and it’s a process that uses technology to look at historical data to create predictions that improve construction projects by helping to allocate resources.

It’s all about the ability to aggregate data. Why is a particular project running behind schedule? Construction companies no longer have to guess or point fingers. A review of telematics data might show that certain key construction equipment has been down, or even allocated to a different site. More information means more efficiency on the job.


Consumers love drones, and construction companies love them for many of the same reasons. Their smooth flight and powerful cameras can be used to collect information about areas of construction that are difficult for humans to access. Technological advances in 3-D rendering allow for drones to capture footage of a building under construction and compare it to the digital architectural plans.

Why have a human kept track of logistical goings-on like deliveries and crew monitoring when a drone can do it? These flying robots are far more efficient at tracking and analyzing data, offering valuable insight into material usage, equipment or human location, and general progress. It’s for these reasons that the construction industry will likely purchase more than 6.3 million drones by 2025.

Augmented Reality (AR)

The rest of us might don our pair of stylish, smart glasses, but men and women on construction job sites will instead just lower a visor on their safety helmet to get real-time information from blueprints, crew location, or even the status of equipment.

This same approach is being done with the construction industry in mind to be used for mobile devices, as well. It’s estimated that the construction industry will have more than 5.4 million units using AR technology in place on job sites by 2020.

Robotics and automation

How soon will job sites be taken over by robots? Experts predict this is still more than a decade away. Meanwhile, there are some robots and automated equipment powered by AI that has already made it onto the job site.

Most of it is focused on safety. Construction equipment has been upgraded or augmented with sensors that can prevent construction site accidents or increase the efficiency of certain repetitive tasks currently done by humans. While some may argue that bricklaying is an art, specialized robots have been created that can do it 20 times faster than a human.

All about data

The common element bringing all these technology-enabled enhancements to the construction industry is the need to use information more efficiently. Operations and material as well as employee productivity and scheduling all impact the bottom line.

The professionals who are tasked with financial management and reporting are ultimately benefitting from the influx of technology on construction job sites, as well. Homebuilders and companies in the heavy construction industry have discovered it’s easier to provide the information for tax planning and compliance by turning to technology to automate the process. Find out how we can help if you’re a homebuilder or in heavy construction.

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