A new view for construction: how AI is influencing the industry
AI is transforming the way countless sectors operate, and that is no exception for the construction industry. By harnessing robotics, construction managers can utilise intelligent machines that can perform routine tasks that were once completed by humans, such as bricklaying. Alternatively, AI systems can collate and organise information for engineers to use within project planning and design implementation.
Building design software firm, Oasys, take a closer look…
What are the four stages of AI?
For construction projects, AI is usually broken down into four main operational areas.
1.Planning with equipment
One of the most notable advances the industry has witnessed is the use of drones to survey a site — which can later create 3D maps. advancements witnessed by Before this process, these processes would take weeks – now they can be done in one day. This helps to save the firm both time and money in the form of labour.
2. Administrative roles
Aside from drones and 3D blueprints, AI can then streamline all administrative tasks for the business. Programs are now being used that allow architects, engineers, construction workers and others on a project to work collaboratively by exchanging documentation on a cloud-based network, as opposed to sending physical documents. Therefore, project plans can now be manipulated and changed and sent to the necessary person who is working onsite straight away.
3. Construction methodology
As well as this, it can instruct construction workers on how specific projects should be carried out. For example, if engineers were working on a proposed new bridge – AI systems would be able to advise and present a case for how the bridge should be constructed. This is based on past projects over the last 50 years, as well as verifying pre-existing blueprints for the design and implementation stages of the project. By having this information to hand, engineers can make crucial decisions based on evidence that they may not have previously had at their disposal.
4. Post – construction
Although we’ve discussed how AI can be helpful with the external features of a project, it can be used inside too. In the US alone, $1.5 billion was invested in 2016 by companies looking to capitalise on this growing market. A lot of hotel chains are introducing voice control devices too. These devices can be used for aspects of the room such as lighting, temperature and any audio-visual equipment contained in the room. These systems can also be used within domestic settings, allowing homeowners to control aspects of their home through voice commands and systems that control all electronic components from one device.
BIM and retrospective assessment
So that buildings hold informative, historical information regarding their construction, building information modelling (BIM) can be used so that a building’s history from its construction, to the management decisions alongside construction, up until demolition, are all recorded.
The use of virtual assistants can create a conversational element too. By combining VAs alongside NFC (near-field communication) VAs can be given additional information to the building itself in real-time from various sensors in the building. For example, if there were structural problems with a building, then VAs could inform engineers specifically where the problem was and how it can be fixed. Through working collaboratively with engineers, VAs and AIs can help the industry as a whole to save both time and money in the form of labour; AIs can also help to replace redundant labour to allow for the industry to make efficiency savings that weren’t possible before this type of technology existed. As the future of AI becomes more of a reality within construction, only time will tell how reliant upon intelligent machines we will have to be in order to construct innovative building designs.