As technology has evolved, so has the process of building. Whether you work on residential or commercial buildings, you have access to new technologies to improve your projects.
Here are some of the latest options to consider for building technology.
Make it 3D
Blueprints are important, but they only go so far in envisioning your project. To get a real idea of what your building will look like, try building information modeling (BIM).
BIM is a way of rendering your design in three dimensions (3D). This makes it one of the most effective builder technologies because it lets you and your client fully experience the final result.
Another benefit to BIM is preventing rework. Seeing exactly how everything fits together lets you identify and fix any problems with the layout before it’s finalized.
If this is something you want to try, first think about how you plan to use the design.
Do you want to get a better sense of how the building will fit in with the surroundings? If so, is this meant to be a close view, or something more distant?
Or maybe you want to see inside. This can be especially helpful for your prospective builders or buyers. It gives them a more complete experience and a greater level of comfort in their decision.
Knowing the plan for your rendering is important so you can choose the right model.
Types of 3D models
You have several options for what type of model to use.
For exterior uses, you could choose:
- Aerial: Use this if you want to see how the new building will look in its surrounding landscape or neighborhood. Seeing it from above can help you decide if it has the right location and orientation.
- Exterior: This is ideal to get a closer perspective on the exterior of the building itself, with as little or as much detail as you need.
If you’re looking at the inside, your options are:
- Floor Plan: This gives your clients a better feel for the physical space inside. This is useful to see how furniture might fit in, particularly in larger buildings with more space.
- Interior: This places you right inside the room. Your clients will be able to view every angle of the room with different features, colors, and lighting.
Virtual reality walkthrough
The technology of building a model also gives you another option. You can use animation to create a virtual reality tour.
Your clients will enjoy the ability to walk through the building from the comfort of their own home. If they do this before construction of the building starts, it becomes even more impressive.
Augmented reality is another way to improve on this experience. This approach allows prospective buyers to overlay images of different furnishings or upgrade options onto the model. They get to experience their choices before committing to something they might not ultimately want.
Whether you use virtual reality or not, any of these 3D modeling approaches will create a better experience for your client.
Construction with robots
Builders always run certain risks with construction, but now some of the more dangerous work can be done by robots.
Robotic arms can lift or move heavy objects. Robots can also perform tasks like demolition, power washing, and jackhammering. This reduces risk of injury to any human workers who might be involved.
Other newly developed bots can monitor quality. They scan the construction and notify you of potential problems so you can fix them before they become too costly.
One other approach is with robotic swarm construction, which is inspired by termites. Like the insects, these tiny robots work together to assemble a specific design. They can be used in places too dangerous for people, such as a flood zone or underwater.
Another trend in construction technologies is sustainable architecture. This encompasses every area of building, from design to materials to appliances.
A sustainable builder’s technology might include solar panels or other uses of renewable energy, but it goes beyond that. Here are a few examples.
Insulation is key to making a building energy-efficient, and aerogel insulation has a lot to offer. It’s formed by removing liquid from gel, making it extremely lightweight. It also has up to four times the insulating power of more traditional insulation made of foam or fiberglass.
Unlike traditional bricks, these are modular and connect to each other like a child’s building blocks.
They have better thermal energy control than regular bricks. They can retain heat in the winter and redirect it in the summer.
The bricks are easy to work with. They come with space available for wiring, plumbing, and insulation, which brings down construction costs. They also open up to provide easy access to infrastructure after installation.
Concrete appears everywhere in construction, from homes to sidewalks to bridges. The material is convenient, but it’s also easily damaged by extreme heat or cold.
In the past, fixing concrete involved more concrete, sometimes even starting over completely. This has a significant environmental impact, since producing concrete generates 5% of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide.
Now that’s changing with concrete designed to fix itself.
One approach is to include capsules of sodium silicate in the concrete mixture. When a crack forms, the capsule breaks to let out a gel-like substance that fills the crack. The gel then hardens to match the concrete.
Another approach is to include bacteria in the mixture. If the concrete cracks and water enters, the bacteria are activated to release calcite as a healing agent. Similar to the first approach, the calcite then fills and seals the crack.
Building technology is evolving
It’s clear that building technology has changed a lot. Most of those changes focus on reducing costs, waste, and environmental impact.
Those trends are likely to continue, which is good for both people and the planet. The only question is how technology will evolve to support those goals.