The Covid 19 pandemic of 2020 has affected every industry whether the real estate industry and it's many facets, restaurant and food, medical, education, etc.
Technology has played a major role in helping industry to cope, innovate and adapt to enable business to be able to move forward during this devastating time.
The construction industry is using technology now to get more jobs done and to keep projects on track. With the cost of materials on the rise and slowed productivity, increased safety precautions and reduced manpower, technology has helped to increase efficiency. Phil Watson, Hoar Construction Division Vice President says “Just the adaptability of our industry in the face of such change and changing regulation, we've proven to be a very resilient group of workers in the field over the past 8 months”. In a State of Construction Technology report published by JLL and written by Construction Research Senior Henry D'Esposito “the urgency and severity of the pandemic condensed technology adoption that likely would have taken 3 years at a normal pace into a single year”.
For example, more projects are using digital collaboration tools such as construction management software Procore. Software can now provide 2D and 3D design models that outline each layer of a project from the foundation to the smallest electrical details. Matterport and Open Space scanning technology collects imagery and data of sites to enable design and construction to be viewed remotely.
Wearable technology by Triax technologies can monitor worker safety, promote efficiency and increase productivity.
Mr. D'Esposito of JLL adds “once you've done the hard part of adopting these technologies, you start to see the returns and once you have that, you're not going to go back”.
According to a Hoar Construction report, the cost of lumber, plywood, asphalt, concrete, appliances, plumbing fixtures, heaters, gypsum, builder’s hardware and general millworks all rose in price. These rising costs coupled with productivity reduction has put pressure on the cost of projects. Yet on the other side of construction costs, the cost of labor has gone down as well as the cost of some materials such as sheet metal, light fixtures, nails, copper wire and power wire have all gone down. Phil Watson of Hoar Construction adds “Construction is a highly skilled craft; we still have a labor problem in construction even now when you see unemployment rising across the country in other industries”.
To be continued...
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