What Is Smart Construction?
‘Smart’ is an ambiguous word that is applied to almost everything that is seen as new, innovative, or improved. No doubt every reader will know that the term is most frequently used with phones, a smartphone standing apart from older phones by the virtue of being a miniature computer. It’s spread to a variety of gadgets and gizmos. Televisions, Watches, Lighting… the list goes on. You might be surprised to learn that smart buildings and smart construction are terms on the lips of many Building companies in North Wales.
Smart highways are another innovation, which is the implication that the highways and roads are optimised and maintained thanks to some cutting edge technology. It makes things, better, safer and more connected.
‘Smart Buildings’ as a term describes buildings with automated systems or wireless technology applied. While the term “smart cities” sounds like something from sci-fi, it denotes “the effective integration of physical, digital and human systems in the built environment to deliver a sustainable, prosperous and inclusive future for it’s citizens.” However, the definition has recently been criticised for being driven by technology suppliers.
Most would think that the fundamentals of construction haven’t changed significantly since the times of the Romans. We still use concrete, sand, glass and bricks with manual activity most common on a site, (especially on smaller projects.) Construction is an industry all-too-aware of its own inefficiency as well. Wastes of time, effort, staff and materials can turn an excellent project into a headache for everyone – client and developer. As is that sort of waste isn’t enough, contractors have recently been criticised for not innovating. It’s suggested that research rarely influences practise and that construction generally hasn’t kept up with innovation in other industries.
That being said, the construction industry is doing something about it. Newly available technologies and changes in working practise is bringing about real change. This belief has been brought about by multiple means, including the adoption of Building Information Modelling (Creating and managing information about a built asset such as buildings bridges, highways and tunnels.), and the promotion of more collaborative working practises to name a few.
The British construction industry is working to remove barriers to innovation, and bringing forward more research. It is improving collaboration between industry, academia and research organizations, capturing lessons learned from successful innovations, as well as off-site manufacturing – which has the potential to achieve greater precision, quality and reduce manufacture and assembly time; halving waste and using 25% less energy. All in all, smart Construction is happening and very relevant to the industry.
Smart building means that there will be much less waste, making the process safer, faster and more precise. Many builders who begin implementing smart building techniques will never go back to building the traditional inefficient manner. It makes zero sense to do so. Smart building is something you really need to consider when looking into the best construction company for you and the latest project your planning on tackling.