AI is showing the way to the construction industry of the future
AI and its impact on our society is perhaps the hottest topic of conversation right now. While many people worry about the rapid pace of technological change, the opportunities are also huge. In the construction industry, data collection and automation have become an important and integral part of projects. There are many benefits of digitalisation and the best solutions occur when humans and AI can work together. Some examples of this are listed here.
Generative AI for supporting design, planning and preparation
Generative AI is the term used to describe the type of AI that uses training data to create new content, such as text, music or images. Based on the stated conditions, such as materials, budget, environmental requirements and site topography, this type of AI can help architects and project managers with design, construction drawings and project planning. AI can also be used to simulate and optimise the energy use of a building by analysing its shape, orientation, insulation, windows and heating system. Last but not least, AI is integrated into many BIM systems to provide support for 3D modelling, strength calculations and quality control.
More efficient and safer construction sites
Although a construction site is certainly a very physical workplace, there are many instances where AI can help construction managers and site supervisors. This includes the logistics of delivering building materials and planning the various stages of construction. Significant savings can be achieved by reducing downtime. Safety is a relatively new area in which AI has proven to be effective. Using video monitoring, AI can detect safety hazards and flag dangerous work to prevent accidents. AI can also be used to train staff in a personalised and customised way.
Predictive property management and maintenance with AI
Anyone who has been involved in building management knows that there is a lot of data that has to be kept track of and numerous complex regulations. Generative AI can help in this regard by continuously analysing data from sensors and inspections, and predicting when maintenance and actions will be needed, in both short and long time frames. This increases efficiency and safety while reducing costs. AI can also help with the control of ventilation, heating and lighting systems, to increase comfort and reduce costs.
Machine learning – a prerequisite for a successful outcome
These examples show how generative AI can help improve efficiency, sustainability and flexibility in the construction industry. But the foundation of all AI is machine learning. Data, rules and patterns must be learnt by the systems under the supervision of people who are experts in their respective areas. There is still a lot that needs to be done to realise the full potential of the technology. With continuing technological development and the integration of AI into the industry, we are likely to see more and more sophisticated areas of use in the future.
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