This year is done important to the construction industry and the technology that enables its workforce.
Data capture and measurement shows great promise this year thanks to the $550 billion in funding allocated to infrastructure projects as part of President Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The bill also includes $100 million for construction technology over the next five years.
Data enhances our understanding of a project’s success. Construction site knowledge is insight-rich, and technology can turn these insights into process benchmarks to improve overall performance, validate workers’ skills, and plan future projects.
Savings on even one task, such as rebar installation, allows supervisors to extrapolate that efficiencies to accelerated project timelines, leading to reduced overtime and a healthier work-life balance, as well as improved efficiency and safety.
Despite recent advances in construction technology, general contractors are still hesitant to implement new technology, with some struggling to secure organization-wide buy-in for new tools. According to JB Knowledge’s 2021 annual construction technology report (registration required), 35.9% of workers are hesitant to try new technology.
General contractors want to see proven, vetted technologies backed by peers in their industry that reflect not just how one person’s work has improved, but that of the entire team.
Timing is paramount to capturing the full value of data. The sooner teams deploy technology, the sooner they can start benchmarking.
Here are a few tips general contractors should follow to accelerate the adoption of new technology in this space.
Avoid week-long training sessions
After introducing a solution, the last thing general contractors need is a long training session, especially one that keeps them from doing their jobs. Such long training sessions should not be necessary for solutions that can be scaled immediately. In fact, the faster they are implemented, the sooner the solution can be optimized in project plans.
Data and analytics solutions can immediately begin evaluating and validating job site information without a lengthy training process. Data captured at the construction site (particularly by experienced crew members) serves as a guideline to upskill other crew members — which could be critical, as 41% of current construction workers are expected to retire by 2031, according to a recent McKinsey survey. report.