Although the industry has been built around brick and mortar, technology is changing almost every aspect of construction and those who are yet to embrace the changes risk being outdated or outdone by tech-savvy competitors.
Construction management software, for example, has greatly transformed how projects are implemented. The software automates your regular project tasks from beginning to the end and it helps you to stay on time and within budget.
The software helps project managers to be more efficient as they eliminate most of their paperwork, project minutes, change orders requests, job correspondence and many other items.
Business Information Modeling (BIM) – a collaborative design which allows designing in 4D – is now a buzzword of design and construction. It enables the architect, structural engineer, contractor and the owner to work collaboratively from the initial stages of design, thereby reducing design errors and improving productivity.
In addition to saving time and reducing expenses, the use of home design software has made it possible for anyone to design simple structures using a desktop computer.
Recently, Mabati Rolling Mills – a leading roofing materials maker – launched a construction estimating software to help builders to estimate quantities of iron sheets, steel products, designs, roofing structure and costs.
The construction software is designed to generate sample designs once data is fed into a computer. It then computes quantities — steel trussing, roofing sheets and accessories. The software will be of much help to builders who don’t have enough money to hire an architect or a structural engineer.
Having launched an e-Construction Permit Management System a few weeks ago, the City Council of Nairobi seems to have fully embraced the use of information technology in its operations.
The e-Construction Permit Management System, a first in Africa, will enable developers to apply for construction permits and submit building plans for approval by the city council online. The system will allow architects submitting their plans to monitor the progress of the review process by logging into the system.
Beside software, the construction industry is increasingly exploring and experimenting in the use of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to improve business operations. It is now common to see construction companies engaging their clients on social networking sites, especially Facebook and Twitter.
As it becomes clear that technology will shape the future of the construction industry, it is up to construction professionals to embrace modern technology or get left behind.