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Construction management technology has played a crucial role in helping companies navigate 2020’s COVID-altered landscape. There are five pieces of construction management technology that have been particularly impactful.

What is Construction Management Technology?

Construction management technology is tools, pieces of equipment and software programs that help professionals in the construction industry manage projects, resources and personnel effectively. These items often replace outdated, manual processes (i.e. creating hand-drawn schedules), which saves construction companies significant time and money.

Five Key Pieces of Construction Management Technology for 2020

#1. Remote Resource Management Software

Tracking resources has always been a key use case when it comes to construction technology and management. COVID-19 only heightened the importance of these systems by necessitating remote work.

Remote resource management software has proven very useful for scenarios in which it’s difficult (or impossible) to be physically in the office accessing local networks.

One specific challenge this software has addressed over the past year is the difficulty of managing workers remotely, as explained here.

#2. Virtual and Augmented Reality Software

 Over the past several years, virtual and augmented reality building information technology software has gone from seeming gimmicky to exhibiting a multitude of real-world use cases. This construction management technology really shone brightly during the COVID-19 pandemic by facilitating jobsite inspections at a time when physical access was limited.

A close relative of these technologies is 3D scanning, which makes digital renderings a viable option for accurately evaluating jobsites. John Brown, DJM, explains why this construction management engineering technology is so useful.

#3. Modularization/Prefabrication

Another piece of construction management engineering technology that really proved itself this year was modularization, which goes hand-in-hand with multi-trade prefabrication.

While the cost and labor involved in constructing (or printing, in the case of Dubai’s 3D-printed building) modular, prefabricated building parts were once prohibitive, the technology has progressed substantially in recent years.

Many construction companies have seen the benefits of being able to do much of their work in a controlled environment, away from the jobsite. With prefabrication, for example, weather delays aren’t as devastating as they are with more traditional methods. 

With COVID already being a substantial stressor on project timelines, this is a welcome change for many. Indeed, market analysis predicts the prefabricated building industry will grow by 8% year over year from 2020 to 2025.

#4. Drones

Drones are another great piece of remote construction management technology shaping the industry this year. They have a variety of use cases in construction, including:

  • land surveys;
  • jobsite security;
  • equipment tracking;
  • safety inspections; and
  • photography.

A drone’s ability to go places humans cannot makes it a particularly useful piece of construction management technology. Some estimates peg the technology’s increase in usage at a staggering 239%, higher than in any other commercial industry.

#5. Cloud Technology

The importance of cloud technology in 2020 cannot be overstated. Companies in every industry on earth have made use of cloud communication software, be it Zoom or some other collaborative interface.

As a result, the cloud computing sector has, predictably, become one of the few economic success stories of 2020, with consulting firms such as Deloitte highlighting its importance over the past year.

Legacy construction software giants have also made key investments in programs designed specifically for the industry.

Big moves like these make it clear that cloud-based applications have been dominant in the world of construction management technology this year.

Construction management technology has developed rapidly to meet the tremendous challenges of the past year and helped the industry remain productive despite strict safety measures, tight budgets and limited access to jobsites.

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