The construction industry is repeatedly criticised for being inefficient and slow to innovate. The basic methods of construction, techniques and technologies have changed little since Roman times. But the application of innovation in the construction industry is not straight forward.
Every construction project is different, every site is a singular prototype, construction works are located in different places, and involve the constant movement of personnel and machinery. In addition, the weather and other factors can prevent the application of previous experience effectively.
The term ‘advanced construction technology’ covers a wide range of modern techniques and practices that encompass the latest developments in materials technology, design procedures, quantity surveying, facilities management, services, structural analysis and design, and management studies.
Incorporating advanced construction technology into practice can increase levels of quality, efficiency, safety, sustainability and value for money. However, there is often a conflict between traditional industry methods and innovative new practices, and this is often blamed for the relatively slow rate of technology transfer within the industry.
The adoption of advanced construction technology requires an appropriate design, commitment from the whole project team, suitable procurement strategies, good quality control, appropriate training and careful commissioning.
Advanced construction technologies are commonly described as including (amongst many others) advanced forms of:
Building information modeling (BIM).
Computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM).
Computer numerical control.
Construction Innovation Hub.
Modern methods of construction.
Prefabrication and preassembly.
Research and development.
Site investigations and surveying.
GPS controlled equipment.
NB: The similar term ‘Modern methods of construction’ (MMC) refers specifically to ‘…processes adopted to produce more, better quality homes in less time’.