New technology can be pricey. Many contractors operate under the assumption that cutting edge innovation is out of their price range. In reality, they couldn’t be more wrong.
A lot of the most value-creating new technology in the construction industry is quite affordable for independent general contractors. Much of that technology integrates with tools you already use, such as cloud-based contractor software, to create a seamless management experience.
Here are five examples of construction technologies that are easily accessible to general contractors right now:
Photo documentation is an old standby for contractors who want to protect their investment. However, new technology designed to store, document, and share images has transformed the way construction site photography works, and introduced new workflow efficiencies for contractors. Now, you can use photo documentation to lead subcontractor scheduling, quality check completed work, and much more — all done remotely from a mobile device.
Photo documentation can also streamline necessary processes by days or even weeks. Images are uploaded within 24 hours, so the GC can confirm the payment submissions of their subcontractors and verify the quality of their work on an ongoing basis.
When a GC needs to submit an RFI or change order, they can quickly grab a supporting image from the project’s updated visual documentation, then use software like Procore to submit a response. That way the request can be fulfilled in a matter of minutes, preventing unnecessary delays.
3D imaging builds on the value added by photo documentation services by incorporating exciting new functionalities, including a capacity for delivering to-the-millimeter measurements from documentation images. 3D image technology is new to the scene, but it’s already changing the way GCs capture measurements, verify work, order materials, and avoid rework.
Multivista offers 3D Images powered by the Leica BLK3D. This handheld imager enables inspection grade, real-time 3D snapshots that can be used to produce detailed measurements on everything from small component pieces to massive piles of demoed material. These images can be used to verify as-built details even after the item in question is encased (even without going to the job site at all).
UAV technology is among the most exciting innovations in the construction world. Drones can do a number of jobs that could otherwise put workers in danger, and instantly provide bird’s eye perspectives that were previously inaccessible.
When paired with powerful 3D mapping technology, drones can produce detailed maps of the job site that can be used to measure stockpiles, monitor progress, plan for site logistics, and more. Drones also make some pretty engaging marketing videos to share with the project stakeholders or prospective clients.
Video documentation is often a requirement ahead of turnover. It makes sense that ownership teams would want to capture the knowledge from the teams who built, installed, programmed, and verified the various building components and systems throughout the build.
Using a trained construction video documentation team is often less expensive than tying up valuable resources to coordinate all the various subject matter expert schedules. Construction video professionals, who are used to the noisy conditions on site, will ensure sound and video quality is sufficient and handle the editing, closed-captioning, and chapterizing. These higher quality turnover video deliverables create an inexpensive value add for your client while ensuring your team can remain focused on what they do best.
Virtual 3D walkthroughs allow GCs to get a complete view of progress, starting from a wide perspective and then zeroing in to key features as needed. This immersive technology transports GCs to the job site from anywhere, and enables remote inspection, monitoring, and validation of job sites. In addition, it allows users to “walk” the site, examining different parts of the build as needed. When a project nears completion, stakeholders can validate as-built conditions from anywhere in the world.
As technology evolves, the construction industry will become safer, smarter, and more profitable for general contractors. Getting started now gives your company a leg up on the competition.