From start to finish, new home building technology has managed to take the construction industry by storm—even if it's a rather slow-moving storm at the current moment. Construction has been one of the last sectors to embrace the modern, but it won't stay that way for much longer. The innovations offer too many benefits for any serious professional to ignore. While every company is progressing at their own pace, it's helpful for everyone to know how the trends are likely to influence the future of home construction from beginning to end.
Settling on a Site
Before construction can ever get started, leaders have to know where to build. And thanks to scouting technology like drones and 3D scanners, the task has never been easier. Now, investors, developers and construction foreman alike all the visual shots they need to determine if the property is viable. Aerial footage will not only show the range of the property but also the potential obstructions that could stand in the way of progress (e.g., droves of trees, stockpiles, etc.). If there's a dispute, 3D scanners can be used to provide further insight into the current state of the land. These advanced scanners will give the exact dimensions (within 2 mm) of any physical feature of the property.
Training the Staff
Fatalities in the construction industry have unfortunately been rising, which signals a lack of preparation or proper training. When each job has its own specific set of instructions based on the topography and the blueprints though, it can be difficult to determine the most effective means of education. Instead of relying on manuals and hypotheticals, now construction crews can use virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) to allow workers to practice their skills without the possibility of getting hurt. VR/AR has come a very long way in a short period of time, allowing workers to get the full experience of how they should conduct themselves after they clock-in.
Collecting the Materials
When people are hurt, they have immune systems that can come to their rescue. When concrete is damaged or paint is marred, they don't have the defenses they need to protect themselves—until now that is. Nanoparticle paint and self-healing concrete are just two examples of new materials being developed to minimize the amount of maintenance a homeowner will have to do and potentially extend the lifespan of the home. Currently, the focus of self-healing concrete is on roads and bridges (to save tax dollars), but it's only a matter of time before that technology becomes popular for homes everywhere.
Laying the Bricks
The advantages of robots are hard to beat, and their existence is coming at a time when construction jobs are dropping in popularity. As more people go to college, there are fewer left to lay the bricks of new homes. A brick-laying robot can work at a rate five times faster than that of human, and they're now capable of handling interruptions in their work without shutting down completely. Brick-laying robots are not able to reload the materials without the help of human hands, nor can they work with the most complicated architectural designs. Still, the new method of brick-laying could make it much easier for developers to hit their deadlines.
Building the Homes
A 3D printer is a novelty to most people today, mostly turning up in news articles or at the rare event. However, to a social worker or a needy family, it can be a literal lifesaver. Start-up companies like Apis Cor are literally printing homes in hours for just a few thousand dollars! Some start-ups have been able to construct a home for just $4,000 in less than a day. These homes are up to code and ready for move-in, but they're still considered a novelty right now. As revolutionary as the technology is, 3D printers are extremely expensive to make and the home's stability will be difficult to judge if a traditional home or building inspector has to sign off on it. But even with the current obstacles in the way though, this invention could change the very face of real estate in ways we can't even predict.
How New Building Technology Can Improve the Quality of Life
Modern building technologies and practices are also making life better for the people who will use those buildings. Better understanding of the effects design has are making buildings healthier, less stressful places to be. As the effects of better technologies are observed, they are being incorporated into third-party certifications such as the environmental quality LEED certification and Fitwel's certifications for building health.
In the Victorian era, sweeping staircases were typically the centerpieces of multistory buildings. In subsequent design eras, however, staircases were often tucked away for reasons related to both aesthetics and safety.
However, new designers have discovered that people are more likely to use prominently displayed staircases. As a result, people in the building get in more steps per day. More walking means better health, less stress and better cognitive results.
More Natural Light
Researchers have learned that natural light has a number of benefits for health and well-being. People who are exposed to high levels of natural light, for instance, report lower levels of depression and anxiety. Additionally, natural light is a high quality white light, which provides visual benefits.
The challenge has always been getting natural light inside without causing new problems such as excessive shadows and glare. New technological advances allow builders to address these issues. For instance, filtering of light can remove damaging UV rays while still allowing bright light to pour in. Motorized and automated helidrons can also track the sun's progress to compensate for changes in light throughout the day.
The trends in building technology point in one direction: better homes, faster construction, and cheaper building methods. With the advent of the new inventions on the scene (and the almost certain likelihood that competition will increase), real estate gets closer and closer to hitting their goals. It's only a matter of time before future Southeast Calgary home buyers begin to shift their view of what a home is and how it's made.