Online Modeling, Drone Mapping, and Virtual Reality Are Changing Construction

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September 28, 2016

The building industry is leaning on new technology to keep projects on track.

The Wall Street Journal reports that big builders and start-ups are using digital tools like drone mapping, 3-D printing, and virtual reality to cut down on delays and cost overruns. For instance, experts say that data-driven planning, surveillance, and maintenance could save the industry as much as $21 billion a year globally.

Robots are also becoming more sophisticated.

Brawdy Construction recently used SAM to build a two-story headquarters for a company in Buffalo, N.Y. The builders did the job with a six-man crew alongside SAM, says Jim Brawdy, the company’s president. “We’re laying a brick every nine seconds,” he says, adding that a human crew averages about 30 seconds. And “the robot needs no coffee, lunch, bathroom or smoking breaks.”

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