Technology has been evolving rapidly over the last few decades. As it continues to evolve it affects our world in unprecedented yet helpful ways. The construction management field is not immune to these shifts. In recent years many technologies have been introduced into the world of construction that have pleasantly altered the way the job has been done in the past. Here are five ways in which the field of construction management has changed.
1. Digital Time Sheets
Before the technological boom, construction project managers used to manually enter workers' hours and wages. This would take a large chunk of the manager's time that would have better been devoted to other tasks. Now a project manager can use a digital construction time sheet to monitor their workers. With resources like this payroll takes up a small fraction of the time that it used to. This sort of technology is so efficient that it can organize workers' payroll information and export it to other non-industry specific payroll software, help managers see real time photos of their project when not on site and provide GPS locations of heavy equipment and workers.
Cad is an acronym for Computer Automated Design. Computer Automated Design is a relatively recent development that architects and interior designers utilize to draft floor plans using a computer program. This technology allows architects and designers to quickly and accurately update information in many different ways. For example, if an architect brings their computer to a job site to show some preliminary CAD drafts for a section of the floor plan that needed changing and realizes that they need to use a different scale, they can alter the scale in a few clicks. This is a drastic change from the long delivery times of hand drafted plans. Being able to see, understand and use CAD allows construction management to access and distribute floor plans and other detail work much easier.
Most people have heard of this particular technological advancement in different contexts. Now they have a place in construction management! For those who do not know, drones are remotely controlled flying vehicles. In construction, drones are being used as surveillance vehicles. Project managers can now get a bird's eye view of their site from the safety of the ground. This allows for a manager to spot any problem areas before they become too difficult to deal with or even to inspect parts of the project that are too dangerous to access on foot.
4. Health and Safety
It may seem straightforward but this has been a key area of improvement in the industry. Prior to OSHA's (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) implementation of legal standards, many workers would pride themselves on being the toughest ones on the job site. Some would refuse to wear important safety gear for fear of being ridiculed by their peers. Now that there are consequences for those who do not follow the OSHA standards, it is rare to see a worker or manager not being the safest they can be.
5. Digital Blueprints
Blueprints used to be large hand drafted, paper documents that had to be rolled out and paper-weighted down just to be seen. If a team member was not there to see that paper, then they needed to access it at a different time or have a copy drafted just for them. Now construction managers can utilize software that transfers CAD blueprints into images they can access on their phone and send via text message to someone who needs to see it at any given time.
As new technology is introduced technologically oriented minds in the construction field have adapted by creating and implementing their modern ideas. These ideas have transformed the way things work in construction by speeding up logistical processes, making information more readily available on the job site and holding construction workers to a higher standard with transparency and ease. It will surely be interesting to see how things continue to change in construction management in the future.