While investment in technology is not always high on the agenda for the construction industry there are a number of products around that can the benefit the construction process. Solutions such as SMART Boards and video conferencing not only improve communication in construction work teams but also have a positive effect on budgets, timescales and deadlines. Measuring ROI on technology in the construction industry isn’t just a case of looking at soft skills though; there are tangible financial advantages too.
Some of the advantages of using technology in construction projects include:
Most building projects require the collaboration of a large team of contractors as well as other experts such as health and safety officers, buildings inspectors and so on. It can be very difficult arranging meetings when everyone can attend, especially if contractors are already working on other projects around the country. Using video conferencing or interactive white boards you can gather your entire team for meetings without contractors actually having to be in the room. For example, using SMART Boards and SMART Bridgit software means your contractors can attend the meeting via their iPad; installation of a mobile Podium on site links the construction office with the board room to enable instant communication so problems can be solved quickly.
Many building projects grind to a halt because there is ineffective communication between contractors, perhaps because not everyone was consulted at an early stage or teams have different versions of the plans. By using SMART Boards with BIM software, including AutoCAD and NavisWorks, you can give everyone access to 3D models and plans right from the beginning. You can write over and highlight features of the model and then save the meeting notes and share them with everyone so there’s no misunderstanding or lack of information. You can also get projects off the ground much more quickly by getting sign off during the meeting – all writing on the board, including signatures, is instantly saved for future reference.
No nasty surprises
One of the biggest problems construction companies face is the nasty surprise that hits them partway through the project. Whatever the nature of the problem, it’s likely to escalate budgets and delay schedules, sometimes with serious results. By enabling all your contractors to collaborate from the start of a project using technology such as SMART Boards, you can spot any potential problems early on and limit their effect on project deadlines.
Turner Construction is one of the biggest construction companies in the world. They have been using SMART Boards with BIM for many years now, and they find the technology a key part of their project management. They have also achieved tangible ROI on using technology. For example, they recently used BIM and SMART solutions during the preconstruction phase of the building of the Sea-Tac airport car rental facility in Seattle, USA. Part of the design included two helix-shaped parking ramp structures and staff spotted a significant constructability issue in the ramps. If this issue had not been identified so early in the construction process, it could have caused serious problems later on. As it was, they were able to address the problem on their SMART Board and they believe it saved the Seattle Port Authority around $2 million.
To hear more from Turner Construction about how they use technology in their building projects, watch the video below. If you’d like to discuss how SMART solutions could benefit you, call us today on 0118 336 0010 and speak to one of our experts.