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Traditional Versus 21st Century Construction Practices

A significant distinguishing factor between traditional and new-age practices is technology. The disruption and changes encompass the simplest of things to the most complex of structures.

There is a form of rigidity when it comes to the old ways of doing things in these professions evidenced in the close-minded approach to designs, manufacturing, and overall proffering solutions. In contrast, those who have embraced the perks of digitalization now do things no longer for the sake of just doing but for optimum efficiency and ultimate functionality.

Cars are not just cars, neither are aircraft or farm machinery, they are systems that are now integrated into a large ecosystem of solutions by humans for humans. There is an exploration of out-of-the-box thinking and not simply following a stoic and limited set of steps in a text-book.

Traditional says that man, mortar, gravel, steel, and cement are building tool, technologically-driven says machines, bamboo, pre-fabricated materials, old tires, and upcycled materials should also be options, also energy-conservation and reduced carbon footprint should determine the choice of raw materials and design.

In the past, a typical work area of an engineer or architect most likely contained conspicuous designing tools, papers, lots of frustration and a lack of proper documentation due to the ridiculous amount of paper stash – for every project ever worked on. Making references to the completed project could be a chore especially if there is no formal structure for organizing those documents and there is also the risk of losing it all to fire, drink-spill, or a mistake. Automation, software, gadgets such as drones and satellite-enabled equipment have redefined traditional methods to a folder on a computer screen.

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Remote working and telecommuting also highlight a difference between the two eras. Silos of working professionals have been shattered and brought together simply by the use of some software. Construction sites can be perused from the comfort of your home and information can be passed on to key players through the internet. No matter the designation of the different individuals working on a project together, technology fosters their integration now better than it has ever done.

For the mechanical and electrical engineers, it could be said that traditionally, demand determines the products that would be developed, in the sense that there was a limited amount of stats and figures to work with. Only individuals like Ford could risk making products that were not already a popular commodity. However, these days thanks to the internet and better connectivity research can be carried out in any parts of the world, knowledge can be shared from any locations, and machinery can be designed, developed, and upgraded based on the findings of such research.

Clients are better involved in every phase, they are allowed to contribute majorly as they are briefed through visual aids such as the BIM tools on the intricacies of that project. This is especially true for architects. The alternatives can be explored and not left to chance.

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With all the wonders of technological innovations, there are still some individuals who are adamant to adopt better ways of practice. They cling tightly to rigid processes that suck out free-thinking and expressions. They would rather go by the books and produce less than optimal products than ride on the wings of creative thinking and the resources that the new age provides. Nevertheless, there is a significant difference between traditional and 21st-century practice.

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