Automation in the Construction Industry
by Evan Hill | June 3, 2022
What is Construction Automation?
It’s no secret that there is currently a shortage of skilled workers in the construction industry.
Based on historical Census Bureau data, in 2022 an estimated 1.2 million construction workers will leave their jobs to work in other industries. Though this number will be offset by an anticipated 1.3 million workers who will leave other industries to work in construction, the industry will still need to bring in an additional 590,000 new workers to meet industry demand.
The age of the construction workforce continues to raise concerns as well. Veterans and seasoned professionals of the industry are retiring, while at the same time the industry is seeing the number of workers ages 25-54 drop by 8% over the last decade.
Automation technologies can help offset this construction industry labor shortage while enhancing productivity and increasing profits.
Many owners are experiencing delayed construction projects, derailed budgets, and the inability to perform to contract requirements because they are taking on additional projects with not enough skilled labor available.
The future of the construction industry lies in automating repetitive, time-consuming, and dangerous tasks to enhance efficiency and improve the safety of construction workers. Automation is an excellent solution for builders and project owners who wish to increase operational efficiency and cut down on task-related project costs.
Construction Automation Use Cases
Automation and technology in the construction industry are evolving daily.
Robots on job sites can lay bricks, pave roads, install drywall services, excavate to pre-specified depths, and perform pipework. Flying drones can perform surveying duties and site inspections. Drones can also monitor site hazards and safety concerns as they can quickly inspect buildings to find defects such as leaks, cracks, or variations from approved project plans.
Benefits of Construction Automation
Some of the benefits of automation are as follows:
- Automation can prevent unnecessary injuries by taking on the more dangerous jobs required on site
- Increased precision on repetitive tasks
- Reduced time to completion of repetitive tasks
- Data from automated inspections of the job site helps project managers and owners to take earlier corrective action
The Future of Construction Automation
Though automation plays a big part in the future of connected construction systems, the construction industry is centered around people.
Construction isn’t going away and humans will always be needed on job sites.
However, workers do not want to be using inefficient and outdated building methods when there is an easier (and more efficient) method available. Humans want a sense of achievement, pride, purpose, and community, but they also want to use modern equipment that contributes to safer job sites and drives project revenue.
Utilizing technology systems will give construction companies a fresh pipeline of talent.
New technology and automation in the industry can attract Millennial and Gen-Z workers who are not only comfortable with technology but thrive when using emerging tools and tech. The younger generations have seen how technology can help them in their daily lives and have grown up with and expect evolving technology. Construction companies that use the latest automation will be a huge draw for the millennial and Gen-Z workers.
Embracing autonomy is not just a way to mitigate labor shortages, but a way to attract more workers to the construction industry.
e-Builder is Ready to Partner with Futuristic Builders.
The future of construction is not one where robots and drones replace people. Instead, the future of automated construction is a workplace where robots work alongside humans to ensure job sites are safer, the work more efficient, and the project results more profitable.
With e-Builder Enterprise, project owners can fully automate their digital construction project management tracking systems, improve system efficiency, store job site data - such as data from automated inspections - and better predict or inform when project issues or problems might arise.
Key Topics Covered: automation