Ways that technology is helping to build the Construction Industry
Ways that Technology is helping to build the Construction Industry:
As technology continues to progress, it is not hard to see how it spills over into the construction industry. From machinery to apps on your phone and the advances in materials, each has an integral role:
To name a few groundbreaking Construction Projects from all over the world: In 2015, a Chinese company built a 57 story building in 19 days. The Burj Khalifa, the current world’s tallest building at 828m, completed in 2010. In my opinion, one of the most awesome feats of technology: the underwater dining room of the Kihavah Maldives. A house being built by a 3D printer in a record breaking 24 hours. If it was not for technology evolving, these Projects would not be done quickly, or even be possible.
As people, it is in our DNA to be creative, which leads to people continuously developing technology to be bigger, better, smarter and faster. The same applies to the construction industry.
Pre-1904, if you were building a house you would be mixing your concrete by hand. In 1904 Richard Bodlaender patented what we know today as the portable cement mixer, which has since been modified with an engine attachment. 1917 saw the birth of the cement mixing truck, which only reached its full potential in 1957 with the invention of the cement pump, allowing us the capabilities to pour concrete at an incredible rate: this cement pump has micro-evolved since the 50’s. I suppose all methods of mixing concrete are still used today depending on the budget of the project, however, the most effective method would be the use of the truck with a cement pump.
In our lifetime, we have seen “new technology” turned into dinosaurs, like dial-up internet (thank goodness that is gone). We’ve got smartphones, that have come a long way since its brick size predecessor and at the rate we are going, tablets will completely eradicate the entire species of the laptop computer. We have access to apps and websites on our phone, as long as we have a positive credit in our data bundles. Thanks to apps we are able to carry around a set of building plans and specs in the palms of our hands. By adding in a few figures, apps can work out the costs of the project for us. The diary industry (classic quoting system) is slowly eroding as we have our whole world on our phones. Advertising has progressed from newspaper classifieds to flyers/banners to social media (The newspaper is online these days as the world calls for a more paperless society). If you are avoiding social media, you will be left in the dark ages as your online presence is vital to your survival. Which is easier? To Google a phone number from your device or to look for a number in your phone book when you get home later, real world people want real-time answers.
Where does that leave us as South Africans?
We need to move forward, to adapt: Which has more life in it, the river or a pond with no inlet or outlet? To change our marketing strategies, to buy or develop new technology, to be more effective with the little time we have in the day. If we are not developing or inventing our own technology we will always be behind those who do. I think there is plenty of money to be made for those who can think ahead, keep up with technology, invest in development or purchase machinery so we can keep it local and sow into our own economy. Let us not be stuck in our ways, but keep adapting. I’m not saying throw the baby out with the bathwater, but be willing to embrace technology. Most importantly build your online presence.
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