Top 10 Construction Technologies to Watch in 2021 | nCircle Tech
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Introduction: 

2020 was a landmark year for the construction industry. Why, you ask? It is because the worldwide pandemic situation has positively accelerated the adoption of digital techs in the Construction business. According to the tech report of JLL’s State Construction, the rate of digital technology integration in the construction industry reached a significant height in just nine months, which would have normally taken at least three years. Finally, some positive news amidst such chaotic Covid 19 pandemic scenarios.

To keep all the ongoing projects running without any major setback, digital technologies are getting readily Manused to enable virtual inspections, to connect with teams on remote locations, and to monitor project progression. 

It can be anticipated that new construction technology trends will continue to digitalize the construction industry in 2021 as well. Followings are much anticipated technological trends in 2021. 

 

CAD & BIM Interoperability

Interoperability is the ability of software applications to communicate and exchange data precisely, efficiently, and consistently, and to utilize that exchanged information effectively.

Any construction project involves multiple stakeholders and requires using diverse virtual tools. Architects, engineers, contractors, and project managers use multiple tools to perform different tasks which can lead to a problem with coordinating all the different phases of the project. 

Interoperability issues can cause unnecessary delays and wastage. Till the construction industry moves towards a Common Data Environment, interoperability issues among software will be quite obvious. Solving interoperability issues means efficient data movement, which helps in the faster completion of your project since you won’t have to spend time transforming files into compatible formats.

As construction teams are adopting better and more open collaboration models, they need to work out multiple interoperability issues to guarantee a seamless transfer of information. Better interoperability means reduced communication issues and conflict on job sites.

CAD & BIM interoperability involves seamless File Viewing, File Translation, CAD/ BIM Model Repair, Comparison & Validation, and Workflow Automation. Being able to efficiently share data between different stakeholders and teams has several benefits, most crucial ones are saving construction time and cost and reducing material wastage

Now, in 2021, we can expect to see more interoperability products to seamlessly convert CAD files to BIM and vice versa, which will eventually save time and cost. BIM CAD interoperability is revolutionizing CAD-BIM workflow by introducing easy and quick automation in the main workflow. With CAD-BIM interoperability concept engineers can now conveniently switch design data within mechanical and BIM environments without recreating the model in Revit.

At nCircle we work with interoperability solutions that can seamlessly convert CAD to BIM and vice versa to save cost and time.

We have designed a SaaS-based platform called BIM Connections to build connections between different CAD/BIM platforms which enables automatic data flow once the connection is set. 

Check out the Popular connections. 

We use multiple tools to revolutionize the engineering world by allowing engineers to conveniently exchange data between CAD and BIM environments without recreating the model. The user-friendly user interface and model simplification options make these tools effective for designing.

Many tech leaders Tech Soft 3D, Datakit, Spatial, and Core Technologie design special SDK to quickly read and write the major CAD formats.

Key Features of our CAD-BIM Interoperability 

  • Visualization and Interoperability based on IFC
  • Reading Family information from Revit File
  • Updating the Family Parameters
  • Reading DWG & DNG files to update Extruded Solid, Revolved Solid, & Swept Solid Features
  • Removing geometry and PMI data from DWG/DXF file
  • Conversion tool for DWG/DXF/DGN files to glTF file format

At nCircle, to offer CAD-BIM interoperability with multiple interoperability toolkit, we integrate various other project management tools like BIM 360, Procore, Aconex, Box(Grit ReConstruct).

 

Digital Twin

A digital twin is a virtual replica of physical entities that help businesses make model-driven decisions. The digital twin uses IoT sensors, log files, and other relevant information to get real-time data for detailed and accurate modeling. Digital twins can significantly improve the data-driven decision-making process. Construction professionals use digital twins to know the state of the physical entity, react to developments, and enhance operations.

The main objective of the digital twin is to run cost-effective simulations. Many structural and architectural components are too costly to simulate without a digital twin, which is why data scientists use data to create models that mimic the physical assets in digital space.

We at nCircle Tech have worked with many Digital Twin Platform companies in improving the customer experience and adding multiple advanced features. 

Listen to the Webinar recording where our Client Get Tech talks about their Digital Twin Platform Flair3D – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUkAJJY3TT4

 

IoT in Construction

The Internet of Things (IoT) is already an essential part of the construction industry. IoT includes smart devices and sensors that distribute data and can be managed from a single platform. IoT means that a more intelligent, more effective, and safer way of operation is now quite possible.

  • Intelligent machinery can be utilized to perform repetitive tasks. With the use of a sensor, any machine can be more effective and productive without any human interference. 
  • Footfall can be traced on-site and applications can be used to enlist and check-in and out – decreasing paper-heavy chores and saving time
  • By using geo-location, hazardous areas can be distinguished within a site and with the use of smart technology can inform any workers entering the area.
  • The use of smart technology can considerably decrease the carbon footprint of a construction project. For example, having sensors in vehicles to switch off the engines or measuring wastage can result in better planning the project.


AR/VR/3D Visualisation

The potentials of VR/AR/3D visualisation technologies added with BIM technology are endless. The initial step would be to construct a building model with BIM and then to take a walk-through with the help of AR/VR features.

Combined with BIM, AR/VR Technology can provide
  • Virtual tours/walkthroughs to help to experience how the layout of the design would flow
  • Project teams can work together regardless of their remote location
  • 3D Visualization provided by AR/VR technology helps in the accurate simulation of design changes [BR], automated measurements, and allows design revisions.
  • Asses and detect clashes between trades
  • Improve safety as well as support stakeholders in decision-making.

At nCircle, we help our clients to develop efficient software applications. We offer a complete customized solution and choose the best suitable toolkit for building your need-specific engineering app on the desktop. 

3D visualization Solutions that we offer 

  • Cloud-Based 3D Visualization
  • Desktop Based 3D Visualization
  • Mobile Based 3D Visualization
  • Virtual Reality
  • Augmented Reality

Check out our Unreal Development: CAD Import-Export and Viewer Enhancements

Video link >> https://youtu.be/Q6a1qqu3Qe0

 

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

AI and ML are already aiding to improve construction technology. The construction industry benefits from increased cost efficiency.

  • With the help of AI and ML, digital building twins can be created and costly clashes can be detected in the preconstruction stage.
  • AI and ML can result in the better design of buildings. Machine learning can be used to examine diverse variations and to create design alternatives, considering the MEP systems. ML can also ensure the routes for MEP systems do not conflict with any structural or architectural components.
  • Using AI-driven automation can take over repetitive tasks which can improve productivity and ensure safety.
  • By using historical data, AI can predict any cost overruns, realistic timelines and can support faster access to data.
  • AI can be used to control machinery to perform repetitive tasks without engaging the human workforce.
  • By using AI, sites can be monitored for potential risks.

With our profound CAD expertise and disruptive technology of Machine Learning, at nCircle, we have designed conventional ML-powered solutions that can be implemented as per our client’s specific requirements.

AI and ML solutions and Products that we offer at nCircle :

 

Workflow Automation

Automation helps to streamline a repetitive workflow. BIM-based workflow automation improves collaboration among teams. BIM automation ensures improved model quality, avoids human errors, and has notable benefits on project outcomes. 2020 has seen a surge in the implementation of BIM workflow automation. 2021 isn’t going to be any different. 

At nCircle, we specialise in understanding the current workflows of our Construction Customers and help them build workflow automation Solutions. 

Few of our Bespoke Workflow Automation Solutions built for our Construction clients:-

  • Ordering Tool Featuring Browser-based 3D Visualization of Construction Machine Parts
  • 4D Scheduling 
  • Product Configurators such Brick configurator, Steel Configurator, Window Configurator, etc.
  • Cloud-based Facility Management Solutions
  • Automatic Model Rule checker
  • 5D BIM (Cost Estimation & Quantity Take-Offs)
  • Parameter based Automated family generation
  • Custom rule-based validation module in Revit
  • Automation of routing between components, isometric drawing creation in Electrical CAD system
  • Allow modular construction using guidelines and library-based designs
  • Integrate BIM with CAD systems to sync data directly and automatically (Connected Construction)

 

3D Scanning 

A DroneDeploy survey conducted this year indicates a higher demand for aerial laser scanning among contractors. As high as 88% of the respondents to the DroneDeploy say they plan to invest more in Drone. The findings of the survey suggest that construction companies want to invest more in drone technology whereas they are planning to cut general and administrative costs. 57% of the construction industry respondents indicate they plan to expand their drone use beyond aerial maps in the coming years. DroneDeploy’s analysis suggests a certain growth in drone tech adoption in the construction industry. 

At nCircle, our ScantoBIM.ai solution is End to End ScantoBIM service with an ML-based BIM Entities Segmentation and further Automatic Modeling process. We also offer a well-managed scan to BIM service using our ScantoBIM.ai solution and ensure precision in the BIM models. 

Features of our Scan to BIM service

nCircle is one of the most trusted companies providing ML Powered Conversion Service for Scan to BIM Model. Now, why do we use ML in our Point cloud to BIM model service? The Use of ML in Point Cloud Data in the BIM process enables faster segmentation which facilitates modeling and saves up to 50% of time.

  • Artificial Intelligence supported Labelling
  • Highly scalable Scan to BIM process with consistent performance of the output model
  • AI Engine that learns from the prior data and delivers better output every time.
  • With the security-first strategy, you will never lose any data.
  • Our ML-powered Scan to BIM process offers constant output every time.
  • Input: e57 or las. Output: Revit, Autocad or IFC Format

 

Modular Construction

The commercial construction sector experienced a whirlwind of changes in 2020. The construction industry observed rapid preferences shift toward data centers and medical buildings. In 2020, demand was overwhelming, as a result, material costs skyrocketed. The answer to managing these crises was an increase in prefabrication and modular construction.

Uncertainties have rocked the construction industry to its core and left many companies and industry leaders wondering what should be the next step. As the economy is still showing a downward line and the pandemic is continuing, finances that were before designated to construction projects are either lost or reallocated. While construction businesses are facing setbacks like labor shortage, material cost hikes, prefabrication, and modular construction is coming to the rescue of even mountainous construction projects.

Let’s look at some benefits of modular construction:

  • Reduced construction scraps: Since many constructions are taking place simultaneously, excess materials from one can be used on another, which saves considerable material costs.
  • Lower emissions: Modular construction decreases carbon emissions since most of the jobs are performed in a controlled factory setup. 
  • Can be optimized by machine learning: Optimized modular construction can further reduce waste and increase efficiency

nCircle Helped DPR Construction in building a Mobile based onsite Panel installation app to aide Modular Construction – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xitQ_rbe68

 

Robotic Automation

According to Mckinsey, the construction industry represents 13% of the global GDP. However, after the downturn of the global economy during the pandemic construction industry hanging on by its fingernails.

The global construction industry has experienced only 1% of productivity growth over the past decade; costs and time overruns are considered norms and EBIT is only 5% on average.

Post pandemic, the construction sector is experiencing further slumps in productivity, mainly due to skilled labor shortage and material cost hikes. The long-term impact of the COVID-19 crisis is still unclear.

Complete automation and robotics however not widely adopted in construction is anticipated to be the factor that inspires future growth. Michael Perry, vice president of business development at Boston Dynamics tells, ” We anticipate to witness growing adoption of robotics, fueled by an increasing need to exclude workers from unsafe work and automating the jobs that are unlikely to automate with traditional tools…”

However, Robotic automation in the construction industry is still a distant dream, but a number of proposals are on the table as many industry experts examine ways to deal with a labor deficit and the demand for social distancing.

Read how nCircle helped one of the largest Japanese companies who is on the mission to clear Fukushima debris by enabling Interactive Robot Planning and Simulation on a Terrain obtained by conversion of scanned point-cloud data to mesh file.

Read the Case study on Robot Automation

 

3D Printing

2020 has forced us to wonder; how readily can we think of a new model of work? Work now has to be more dependent on virtual platforms. With COVID-19 largely impacting engineering and construction industries, industry leaders are realizing the promising and untapped potential of 3D technologies, including 3D Printing.

3D printing technology is being predicted as a solution for the housing crisis globally. The printing of buildings results in a lot of latent benefits as compared to traditional construction methods. 3D printing or contour crafting has proved to be effective for lowering labor costs, improving construction quality and less to no waste production.

With 3D printers now able to print walls, the technology can definitely support reshaping construction as we know it. But is 3D printing in construction just a short-lived trend or is it here to stay by resulting in key long-term solutions? Only time will tell for the technology is relatively new. However, in 2021 3D printing is surely going to be seen more in the construction industry arena.

 

Future of Technology in AEC 

In 2020, the global pandemic has provoked several unusual resistance in the construction industry just like in every other industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the GDP from the US construction industry has gone down to $615.80 billion from $665.10 in the second quarter of 2020.

With the onset of 2021, industry experts are predicting some positive changes in the commercial construction market. The construction industry trends shift at every level, whether it is isolated working, improved collaboration, a shift in resource allocation, trying out new technologies, or cash flow interruption. However, this year the AEC industry is ready to expand its horizons against all the odds.

 

Conclusion

Overall, in 2021 we can expect to see some groundbreaking transitions among digital techs in the construction industry.  It’s going to be an inspiring year for construction technology. Improved technologies are becoming more readily available towards a safer, more productive, and smarter working environment.


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