Since the Great Recession, the construction industry has yet to recover from skilled labor shortages. This is true due to the loss of millions of jobs between 2006-2011. As the industry is withstanding thousands of unfilled positions, construction companies are now using technology to make up for the construction labor shortages. While employment is running low, technology is allowing construction companies to do more with less by discovering new efficiencies. These new technologies are improving the construction of bridges and creating opportunities for engineers to keep track of their progress on the work site. In turn, bridge construction is booming with benefits and elongating bridge lifespans.
The Need for Construction Technology
The world’s population is expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050. In other words, the need for construction is at an all time high. Due to skilled labor shortages, workers in the industry believe that incorporating construction technology can help alleviate this issue. Modern technology enables connectivity between the worksite and office, allowing for more flexibility among laborers. Also, it is gradually changing how we collect and analyze information, both of which can increase the efficiency of construction. Whether it is a bridge or a building, technology is able to transform and reduce the duration of construction projects.
The prominence of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technology in the construction industry is increasing. Companies are beginning to use data to plan for labor distribution and machinery among jobs. Some of these high tech AI machines allow managers to track and evaluate job progress.
Artificial intelligence is changing the design and construction of bridges.
AI in construction is practical during the planning process. Artificially intelligent equipment can gather blueprints and maps of the site to further construction planning. New machinery are replacing human capabilities as we know it. While not entirely, companies are using technology as automated machinery to complete repetitive tasks at a faster pace. For instance, at U.S. Bridge we create virtual models of every project during the rendering process. This allows customers to visualize their project and ensure the best results.
Technology is facilitating projects for workers by cutting the cost of labor and reducing the amount of workers needed for complex projects. To that end, drones have evolved to contain sophisticated 3D mapping capabilities. These missiles include a camera and fly high above construction sites to create accurate models and representations of work progress. Taking the place of manually difficult tasks, drones are able to capture and relay photographs or other important data. Conveniently, site managers can monitor site progress remotely. Much of the manual work done by engineers have been replaced by these high-tech machines. Tasks that are otherwise time consuming can be done in minutes with the use of a drone. This is especially useful for the construction of bridges.
Technology Sensors for Public Safety
At U.S. Bridge, we highlight speed and quality. In fact, every detail of your bridge is met with a level of attention and efficiency to ensure it is delivered on time and delivered to your specifications. Part of the quality aspects of bridge building at U.S. Bridge is taking measures to ensure public safety. Now construction companies can embed sensors into new and existing infrastructure that allow workers to see continuous feedback on the condition of structures.
The Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil-Integrated Bridge System (GRS-IBS) is an innovation that helps to reduce the time and cost of bridge construction. Also, this system can get a month’s worth of work done in weeks. This is due to readily available equipment and materials. The benefits of this system are safety and less exposure on the work site. GRS-IBS consists of three components:
- Reinforced Soil Foundation
- Integrated Approach
With layers of granulated fill and geosynthetic, each bridge sustains itself on the soil. It creates a stable, composite material that is stable enough to carry bridge loads. GRS-IBS bridges are built easily, complete projects faster, save up to 60% in costs, and allow an environmentally friendly design
U.S. Bridge’s Proven Process
The shortage of skilled construction labor along with the demand for building projects is compelling the industry to consider its need for technology. Even today’s bridges can benefit from tech to facilitate projects. Therefore, at U.S. Bridge we stay up to date with all there is to know when it comes to construction technology. Contact us to start your project today.