In the past, the construction sector has been slow to adopt new technologies. Nevertheless, a shift in that pattern has been seen recently as construction firms incorporate digital solutions to address project flaws and enhance the finished result. A job site nowadays would be unimaginable without construction technology. Given this ongoing evolution, it is imperative for all parties engaged in developing a structure, including architecture, project managers, engineers, labourers, and owners, in staying current with recent technological developments while planning for the future.
The importance of technology in architecture.
Architecture and technology have long been intertwined, and this partnership not only continuously advances the field of architecture but also generates a brand-new need for technology. In essence, architecture supports technology, and some technologies exist today because of architecture.
Nowadays, all architects use digital modelling studios instead of pen and paper. Working in a digital environment makes bringing your ideas to reality much simpler.
Some people are incredibly creative; they lack the writing skills to convey themselves. Since practically everyone can learn to create something using cutting-edge architecture software, creativity shouldn’t be seen as an extravagance; rather, it should be a right.
Technology is growing to entirely new planes of existence, enabling new generations of architects and fundamentally reshaping industries in its wake.
It is best exemplified by how we currently and in the past have seen architecture. Pen and paper were used to conceptualise the Empire State Building; if it were built today, it would be placed in a virtual environment so that people could explore it in exquisite detail before any work even started.
Technology is improving the architectural profession, and as it develops, so will its influence on the future of traditional architecture.
How Can Technology Help the Industry?
The availability of architecture has increased more than ever, making it simpler to create the buildings of your dreams.
Without professional training, aspiring architects can express their ideas, and people can use their talents to the fullest. The availability of contemporary architecture software makes it possible for anyone to become interested in it, even though it is unlikely that you would land a job building the next skyscraper without much formal education and experience.
The sophistication of architectural designs increases along with the development of digital technology as opportunities and prospects expand.
Rendering and 3D modelling technology improvements significantly affect prototyping, marketing, and even sales outside the architecture field.
Before a project enters the construction stage, most architecture firms will have a complete 3D tour available to give prospective clients and customers an experience like no other.
The development of AR and VR technologies has made it much better by enabling consumers, prospects, and clients to explore the designs themselves in a lifelike, 3D simulation, creating a lasting impression.
In essence, the fascinating field of architecture will grow and develop with technology as it continues to flourish and change.
Why Everyone Needs to Adjust?
Although it’s common for people to dislike change, the issue is more straightforward in the case of architecture. There isn’t much choice: modify your procedures to use the most cutting-edge technology available or pass up a tremendous opportunity.
Technology often improves upon what already exists; thus, it’s not technically true to say that it transforms architecture. As soon as they are made publicly available, trends frequently quickly become industry standard. Therefore architects need to stay current.
Consider a few years ago when Photoshopped still images and heavily altered films were the only ways to engage potential customers in your product. While such might be lovely in their own right, they don’t offer nearly the same level of immersion as 3D VR simulations.
Remember when you had to hand-draw the entire blueprint after envisioning a project? Today, you can achieve it with just a click of a mouse. Architecture and technology go hand in hand. Much of the labour that goes into conceiving, presenting, and selling an idea is streamlined, improved, and automated by new solutions brought about by technological breakthroughs.
11 Technological Advancements in Architecture
Here is a list of 11 current technological improvements in architectural construction that everyone should be aware of to inform everyone about the most recent developments in the field of building.
1. Virtual & Augmented Realities
Virtual reality, or VR as it is more often known, presents architects with a fantastic opportunity to resolve the age-old concerns of building delays brought on by inaccurate blueprints, disputes over design between the architect and client, and other unforeseen challenges. The entire construction process may be made incredibly frictionless with this cutting-edge technology for virtually mimicking reality, involving the stakeholder from the beginning and giving them a complete understanding of the design through a straightforward tool.
Taking it a step further, augmented reality, or AR, is now establishing itself in the construction industry. While virtual reality is mainly a digital experience, augmented reality brings virtual reality into real-world situations. The technology allows for the accurate construction of the structure as it was intended to be at the location by superimposing photographs and information on actual conditions. Some of the advantages of these technologies that have already caused a stir in the architecture field include boosting team cooperation, discovering defects at an early stage, on-site measurements and adjustments, and improving safety.
2. 3-D Printing
In recent years, 3-D printing has gained widespread recognition. Almost anything can be printed thanks to this remarkable technology instantly. The construction sector is not far behind in maximising the use of this cutting-edge technology by printing entire homes and buildings in 3D. With working prototypes of printing with concrete (Contour Crafting), sand (D-Shape 3D Printer), and metal (Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing), the technology’s application will grow as it advances.
Time savings, cost savings, reduced risk of building site injuries, improved construction safety, minimum environmental impact owing to reduced waste creation, and, of course, the potential to innovate in design are just a few benefits of adopting 3D printing in the field of construction. 3-D printing appears to be the answer to the housing issue that many developing nations worldwide are experiencing, as technology can build homes in a matter of days or hours.
LIDAR, an abbreviation for Light Detection & Ranging, uses laser and remote sensing technology to produce three-dimensional imaging with precise resolution. The LIDAR technology is widely used in construction and has applications in various fields, such as archaeology, agriculture, crime scene investigation, etc. Any equipment, including a tripod, an aircraft, or a drone, can have the LIDAR system installed on top. Its widespread application in the building industry is made possible by its adaptability and precision with a limited tolerance for error.
Examples of the extensive use of LIDAR technology in architecture and construction include three-dimensional models of existing spaces, shadow analysis, land classification and mapping, scanning the structure for errors and quality control throughout the construction process, urban assessment, tunnel surveying, and elevation modelling.
4. Humanoid Labourers
Humanoid robots, created by Japanese researchers, are not just a technology of the future; they now exist. By performing more hazardous and physically taxing duties, these robotic employees help ease the difficulties experienced by human labourers in the construction industry. The robot’s capabilities include taking 3D measurements, recognising objects, controlling its entire body, including moving its arms, legs, and waist, and managing execution. The labour-intensive construction industry in developing nations like India, where there is already a severe shortage of work opportunities for untrained people, is threatened by humanoid labourers, notwithstanding their advantages.
Numerous other robot typologies have been developed with different uses, drawing inspiration from humanoid labourers. Robot swarms, for example, are a collection of little robots that work as a team. As the name implies, Harvard researchers (Termes project) have created the four-wheeled robots as a swarm capable of working together to complete tasks like erecting a brick wall. These machines don’t need to be supervised because they are designed to perform a specific task.
Using flying machines to construct a brick wall prototype, a different team of researchers from ETH Zurich (Flight Assembled Architecture) demonstrated cutting-edge innovation. The employment of labourers may be threatened shortly due to the development of these autonomous robots. It should go without specifying that the top priority is to reskill and upskill the labour force to make them dependable and independent.
6. 3D printers
In numerous businesses, 3D printers have gone from being a curiosity to a must. 3D printers are crucial for presentation and prototyping since they have similar power to more conventional milling and CNC machines.
They are perfect for architecture studios that want to create scale models of their projects because they have enormous creation capabilities and can produce prototypes and 3D models quickly and affordably.
When virtual reality (VR) just isn’t cutting it, a traditional diorama is the best way to demonstrate how spectacular the structure will be. 3D printers are quick and efficient at creating them.
Additionally, you can produce customised pieces using 3D printers during construction. Contrary to popular opinion, 3D printers can create high-end metal supercar parts and aren’t just limited to working with plastics. While it’s unlikely that we’ll ever be able to print entire buildings, 3D printing will quickly overtake traditional prototype and part manufacturing methods.
7. SmartBoots & Connected HardHats
Wearable technological devices are already commonplace, and many are being created specifically for the construction industry. Smart boots and connected hardhats are two examples that do more than just track heart rate and take images. Smart boots are equipped with sensors to recognise weariness, provide alerts to rescuers, and talk to machinery to avoid malfunctions or mishaps. Additionally, the boots may keep track of entry and exit times and allow the site management to allocate duties to the workers, increasing efficiency. They are fueled by energy produced by the worker himself. Along the same lines, connected hardhats may track mobility, location, and temperature and send notifications if a person is in distress or ill. These electronics enable better artistry and higher safety while improving overall construction management.
8. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is a relatively new technology that, if used wisely, would improve efficiency throughout the entire value chain, from design and planning and design through material production and pre-construction to the actual construction phase. The word “AI” refers to intelligent devices that can replicate human cognitive capabilities, covers a wide range of applications and offers a myriad of potential uses in the field of design and construction.
Generative design, an AI-based design exploration process that generates design options based on specified requirements can be used to simplify the first step of a construction project’s lifespan, ideation, and design. With autonomous construction machinery that can efficiently perform repetitive tasks like concrete pouring, welding, and bricklaying, AI-based solutions can help during the construction and execution phases. They can also increase construction safety by developing algorithms that scan the site photos for any lapses or deviations. The construction industry is moving toward artificial intelligence and machine learning due to the wide range of benefits they offer.
Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a collaborative method based on 3D models that give architects, engineers, and construction professionals a centralised platform to effectively plan, design, build and manage buildings with clever workflow planning tools. The programme integrates architecture, engineering, and MEP drawings and combines Internet of Things (IoT) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies, easing the sequencing of construction and decision-making across the project life cycle.
The software’s realistic models enable clear visualisation of the built structure, the ability to test for conflicts or deficiencies during the design and planning stages, and the ability to run alternative scenarios and real-life based situations like energy efficiency, temperature check, etc. The BIM model has countless long-term advantages as well.
Drone adoption has been increasing steadily around the globe, and the construction sector has not lagged in this trend. After widespread field use, drones’ adaptability encourages worker safety on the job site, regular project updates, hassle-free remote monitoring, quick surveying, and enhanced site security. Drones have helped lessen the problems associated with a typical project, such as overshooting the budget and the timeline, thanks to the project managers, site engineers, and architects who led the effort to bring them to the site.
Because of the strict laws, which make it difficult for drones to navigate the many federal aviation and zoning restrictions, the construction industry has become increasingly accepting of drones. However, during the past few years, drones have made it possible for airborne delivery, aerial photography, and the quick completion of challenging on-site inspections.
11. Material Advancements
The development of materials complements the advancement of software and equipment in the building industry. Self-healing concrete may patch up cracks and endure for a very long time without restoration. By filtering the air particles that enter the building through the brick walls, air cleaning bricks are passive systems for enhancing indoor air quality. Japan has created Strand Rods, the lightest seismic reinforcement system in the world. They have an attractive appearance and weigh five times less than a standard metal rod of the same size.
Another similar invention that emits light when touched and absorbs it with minimal energy is light-generating cement. A window glass substitute with good strength and biodegradability is translucent wood. The examples mentioned above, along with many additional technologies, are altering how the building is carried out worldwide by having the capacity to decrease pollution, boost sustainability, and lower prices.
Technology is crucial to the field of architecture, and architecture will advance along with technology. However, the desire for new technology and innovative solutions is also increased by creating living spaces, so the two work in close harmony.
Whatever the reason, technology is developing at a rate that has never been witnessed before, which perfectly reflects architecture. “The next big thing” in architecture is already here, and it’s one or more of the innovative technologies mentioned above.
Keep this article in mind and refer to it in a few years when these ground-breaking technologies have become accepted practices.