More than 300 construction professionals participated in the fifth annual ENR FutureTech Conference in March. The event included workshops and an exhibition of over 20 companies focused on the construction industry’s latest technology. ENR has established Future Tech Day as the construction industry’s premiere event for networking and sharing technology. The conference showcases where the construction industry is headed, and is a great dialogue between the top technologists and the top contractors.
Construction and Tech
While the construction industry is seeing the recovery and particularly commercial construction is on the rise, the use of technology isn’t where it could be. The industry needs to adopt new technologies to stay ahead of the completion and keep up with the industry growth. ENR.com’s recap article hit upon these issues. Turner Construction Co. regional lean manager Bruce C. Cousins said “the construction industry is behind schedule and has low productivity levels compared to industries such as manufacturing, where lean techniques have been well established. As an example, Cousins cited a study by the Construction Industry Institute which found that the construction industry experiences 57% productivity waste, compared to only 26% in the manufacturing industry.” The construction industry is unique in its underuse of technology. While the recovery is coming, the adoption of technology will play a crucial part in this transitional time.
FutureTech spoke to the “internet of things,” in how everything we do is connected. From street signs to backhoes, the objects in our lives are all becoming “smart.” This is only going to increase in the future, with many great possibilities.
From self-driving vehicles to aerial drones, it’s clear that there are endless exciting opportunities for the construction industry.