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2023: The Year of High-Tech Construction

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By Satya Kaliki,Chief Technology Officer, Infra.Market

The construction industry in India is one of the fastest growing in the world. According to Global Data reports, this industry is expected to reach $1.4 Tn by 2025. Moreover, India is touted to remain one of the top five construction markets in the world, along with China, U.S.A, U.K, and Indonesia.

While this industry has evolved over the years, technology adoption has been relatively slow. Various studies report that companies across sectors are slowly increasing the adoption of emerging technologies. Further, enterprises, including traditional ones, are leaning on technology for scaling automation, streamlining the supply chain, and enhancing cyber resilience. Nonetheless, construction did not see a significant disruption like what E-commerce did for retail or Fintech for banking and finance. There remains a huge opportunity to create an ecosystem driven by technology to build revolutions. By adopting the right technologies, the construction industry can see considerable transformation in the supply chain, efficiency, transparency, and timeliness.

The government has also taken cognisance of the size and opportunity of technology in this
landscape. To that effect, they have identified 54 global innovative technologies under a Technology Sub-Mission of PMAY-U to start a new era in the Indian construction technology sector.  From drones and 3D printing to smart sensors and autonomous equipment, there are a plethora of technologies that continue to make a huge impact.

Let us explore some technologies that will redefine 2023.
 Autonomous Equipment
One of the most interesting breakthroughs is autonomous equipment or self-driving
machinery. As the construction industry is quite labour-intensive, technology can help to
streamline processes and complement manual labour. These can explore building sites and
do jobs without the assistance of a human owing to the sensors, GPS, and other cutting-
edge technologies. In some projects, autonomous equipment is already used to increase
productivity and safety. As the technology develops further, we anticipate wider use in
future years.

 Drones
Drones are being utilised in the building industry for site surveying and inspection. In the
future, drones can be used for 3D mapping, inventory management, and even material
delivery to difficult-to-reach areas on construction projects.

 3D Printing 
Several objects from models to complete buildings are being currently produced in the
construction industry using 3D printing. For instance, the IIT-Madras campus boasts India’s first 3D-printed house. Additionally, late last year, the Indian Army inaugurated the first ever 3D printed dwelling unit, a disaster-resilient structure, in Ahmedabad. In the coming years, we can see more firms experimenting with 3D printing to create intricate structures and components. By lowering waste and boosting productivity, this technology has the potential to revolutionise the construction sector.

 Augmented Reality 
Augmented reality (AR) can be utilised in the construction industry for project management, site visualisation, and safety instruction. As we advance, more firms will use AR to enhance project outcomes and increase cost efficiency.

 Building Information Modelling (BIM)
Building Information Modelling (BIM) is simply a digital representation of a building that
allows architects, engineers, and construction professionals to collaborate on a project in
real-time. With BIM, players can identify problems before they occur, optimise building
performance, and reduce costs. BIM has been around for several years but is expected to
become more prevalent in construction in 2023.

 Generative AI
Generative AI automates the design process, creating more efficient and innovative designs
in less time. It inputs constraints like building codes to generate multiple design options that comply with specific requirements. Additionally, it can analyse past data to identify and
mitigate construction risks. A technological revolution in the construction sector is imminent. The way we create, and design is undergoing a seismic shift. 3D printing, BIM, and AR, among others, have allowed us to enhance efficiency, alleviate errors, and bring about greater safety and transparency. The future is bright as we continue to integrate and embrace these technological advancements and maximise the potential of the construction technology industry.

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