Friday, 15 July 2016

Advanced Construction Technologies

The construction industry has been criticised for being inefficient in comparison to other industries and has been reported to be extremely slow to innovate. As result, the industry is undergoing an extensive drive to push for innovative solutions to problems which have beleaguered sites for a number of years, and many firms which offset construction in North Wales and the whole of the UK have risen to the challenge.

The term “advanced construction technology” has been coined in recent years, and covers a wide range of developments in materials technology, design procedure, facilities management, quantity surveying, services, and structural analysis, design, and management studies.

Some examples of advanced construction technologies are commonly described as including (but not limited to) advanced forms of 3D printing, materials procurement, building information modelling, cladding systems, computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing, smart technology, GPS controlled equipment, temporary works, substructure works, water engineering, prefabrication and assembly, as well as more modern methods of construction which benefit from factory conditions and mass production techniques.

Advanced construction technology in 2016 still has a few barriers to uptake including approval delays, regulatory complexity, and inadequate certification, not to mention the training needs of site staff. The issue, essentially, is not the product. It’s about skills, logistics, planning and project management, which is the forte of Civil engineers.

A recent study by the NHBC Foundation which was published in June 2016 found that 75% of organisations using modern methods of construction cited a faster build programme, and more than 50% of firms felt that their projects had a higher build quality as result of advanced construction techniques.

The adoption of advanced construction technology requires appropriate design, commitment from the whole project team, suitable procurement strategy, appropriate training, commissioning, and good quality control – yet it pays off considerably as incorporating advanced construction technique and technology has been proved to increase efficiency, sustainability and value for money, as well as the undoubtedly paramount ideals of safety and quality.

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