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

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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