BUILD Q1 2020

BUILD Q1 2020 rones, virtual and augmented reality tools and even jet pack suits are no longer a thing of the past in the fast-advancing world of the construction industry. Some of the tech starting to emerge is helping com- panies to meet their sustainability targets and could become the norm for the next generation of workers. At the University of Bristol, students at its School of Aerospace Engineering are collaborating with Gravity Industries to develop jet-powered human flight suits to push the frontiers of aeronau- tical engineering. That could potentially change how checks are done on high buildings and surveying in years to come, but it is still in its early development. In comparison, JCB’s first zero emissions electric digger is already making an impact. The Staffordshire-based company has sold 200 of its JCB 19C-IE machines, many to climate conscious regions like California and Northern Europe. With no fumes and lower noise levels, the mini diggers earned JCB the Royal Automobile Club’s award for outstanding British technical achievement in the automotive industry – the Dewar Trophy – in October. Tech for the next generation Colin Parker, Director of Black Country Skills Factory, which addresses skills shortages in construction, advance manufac- Emerging technology that could transform the construction industry Technology development is moving at a fast pace with new ideas supporting the construction and property sector with its sustainability strategies. Alison Brinkworth looks at some of the emerging products making a difference to the industry. D turing and other industries, is aware of emerging technology in order to train up future workers. “There are some companies leading the way with technology now, which will be mainstream by 2030 and training the next generation needs to keep up with that,” explained Colin. “Virtual reality is being used much more with design and ena- bles architects to notice design faults before building has even started, which will save a lot of time and money. “We are also starting to see construction moving away from building sites and into factories as more robots are used for things like welding. Building homes will become more com- puterised for this offsite construction, so they can be built in modules like Lego bricks and then taken to the site. “Drones are already common for surveying while radar scan- ning has lasers doing 360 degrees scan of a room,” added Colin. “It’s exciting times. There was the industrial revolution and now we are living through the digital revolution.” Tech leading to fewer mistakes on site Augmented Reality, or AR, is helping to improve the lifetime energy of buildings and reduce mistakes on site, according to Jason Page, a Sustainability Specialist at Ingleton Wood, a leading multidisciplinary property and construction consultancy. Jason explained that the firm, which has six offices across Cen- tral England, East Anglia and London, uses a variety of modern technology to augment its work on construction sites. “The main benefit of using new technolo- gy comes with enhanced communication, whether that’s through the use of drones, Point Cloud Scanning, AR, or simply tablets that allow 3D documentation to be viewed,” said Jason. “We’ve found that the use of each technology improves the information available to all parties which further enhances the quality of documentation available on the project. Where this