Like any industry, commercial construction contracting can't escape the pull of technological innovation, at least not if you want your company to stay competitive. This doesn't mean that you must keep up with every latest trend or wear out your management budget on new gadgets at every turn. But keeping an eye out for productive innovations in the field is always a good idea.
It's, therefore, important to test new technologies if you can really see a possible use for them. New technologies might involve using innovative assembly systems, such as BECK’s SCRAIL® line of fastening tools, or something as simple as a new smart phone app for better project management. Either way, trying new things out will keep you adaptive and effective. Here are several key construction technology trends you might want to start focusing on.
Collaborative Tools for Efficient Project Management
Among the simplest and least expensive tech innovations are collaborative apps for sharing information with other parties, such as clients, architects, subcontractors, and materials providers. Online apps and mobile apps (or software packages that work across both platforms) are available today for exactly this kind of sharing. Then of course there's GPS tracking, built into all modern phone models and extremely useful with the right kinds of apps for marking off specific areas on interest in a construction project.
Using Data for Cost-Effective Planning
A construction or renovation contract can easily become an overwhelmingly complex set of interlocking proposals, budgets, planning sequences and tasks that can easily become disorganized. Tools that help you integrate all these parts together smoothly and effectively, along with solid data, can offer a vigorous competitive edge. Fortunately, data-driven planning technology in the form of BIM, or Building Information Modeling software, exists for delivering smooth project proposals, and can help with creating precise models as well.
Safety Tech for Effective Accident Prevention
Despite a whole plethora of OSHA and other regulations governing workplace safety on construction sites, construction workers and subcontractors still deal with work site injuries at an above-average rate. OSHA itself estimates that one in every 10 workers will have at least one injury per work year.
Technology in the form of better construction materials, better fastening or building tools and better personal protection equipment is constantly evolving to reduce accident likelihood. You should absolutely invest in these resources, and in the worker training necessary for using them effectively.
Prefabricated Materials for High-Speed Work
Modular and prefabricated materials are becoming a mainstay of construction at all levels of the wider industry, and for good reason. With prefabricated parts shipped in for rapid installation, you as a contractor will not only save enormously on sheer labor costs, you'll also likely reduce accident rates by simplifying the overall number of physical tasks that your workers must handle for each day on a project. Using prefabricated materials also lets you reduce overall project budgets considerably and thus bid on more projects per year. This means revenue increases and an expanded project portfolio.
Advanced Tools to Maximize Efficiency
One crucial aspect of improved construction project workflow comes with using new, highly efficient tools for the jobs at hand. Improved power tools, improved building materials and advanced, long-lasting fastening technologies can all help with this, and you should look into them whenever possible.
One example is BECK’s SCRAIL® Fastening System. These combination nail screw fasteners are ideal for decking, roofing, fencing, subfloor, siding and even outdoor furniture installation or assembly. They not only offer enormously superior holding power to ordinary nails, but they can also be used in almost any context in which screws are ideal, but with greater tensile strength and fastening capacity. They can also be installed at twice the speed of collated screws and 8 times the speed needed for bulk screws. It truly will improve the efficiency on your site.