How would emerging construction technology create new job roles?
Technology in the construction industry is advancing at a rapid pace. It is impacting the way the designing and construction teams interact, how the construction process is monitored, how presentations are done etc. What was once merely an idea has today become a necessity in the construction industry. As the new decade commences the impact of new technologies like augmented reality, BIM Services, robotics, drones etc. in the construction sector is going to be undeniable. However, there are also certain concerns which come with new technology, the biggest prevailing concern being that the new technology could potentially lead to loss of jobs. We offer a point of view in which the jobs might not be lost, their roles might simply evolve.
In the current article we look at the three job roles that we believe will be quite popular in the coming years.
1. Drone Manager:
Drones are already being used in construction. COVID-19 has in fact fast paced its adoption as it provides a good way of reducing physical presence and also allows to follow social norms. Drones are used to survey sites, monitor the building process, conduct inspections etc. They can also be used for Facility Management to ensure the optimal performance of all the building components. This is however, just a beginning. The future envisions drone swarms which could perform complex tasks like construct rope bridges. This would require extensive coding and supervision. The movement of the drones need to be minutely planned in a manner that they don’t clash with each other and also so that there are no errors.
2. Robot Coordinator:
Robots in construction are no longer a pipe dream. They are being successfully tested and perhaps in the next 10 years robots will take over all the manual tasks. There are already robots which can be used for brick-laying and masonry. Today, robots have already been successful in building entire street at one time. Utilizing robots can increase speed and quality and can also improve the safety of the workers in a sector already plagued by injuries. There are also autonomous vehicles which can be used to transport goods. Though the potential of robotics in construction is limitless, human intervention in the form of coordination and supervision will be necessary. Robots could get uncontrolled or under the wrong instructions be potentially dangerous. The robot coordinator would be in charge of the robot or a group of them, and must have the skill and the clearance to override them in case of any malfunction. This is a complex task that may require ethical judgements and technical knowledge and expertise required to control the robot.
3. Oceanic Architect:
This may seem like a farfetched idea or something out of the sci-fi novels but the science behind them is already in motion. One prime example is Palm Dubai which sees humans take control of the Persian Gulf. The oceans cover 70% of our planet and the increasing population could potentially see the humans taking to the waters. To build on waters is an entirely new class of engineering which requires architects, engineers and designers to study and train. They must in their designs answer questions about water pressure, water tightness etc. The question also arises if it would be built on water, or will there be ocean scrapers? However improbable if it turns into a reality it is sure that people in charge of it will have to be extremely careful ensuring everything is extremely perfect otherwise the result could be quite adverse.
These ideas may today seem very far-fetched but a few years ago the idea of constructing a digital twin of the structure and planning every aspect of the construction project virtually was a novelty. Today, there are simply many available software like Revit, ArchiCAD, Tekla etc. which allows to make the best of BIM technology. Revit Modelling Services can be used today to streamline the construction project. It allows to detect clashes, get quantity-takeoffs, know exact costing etc. It also provides tools that can be used to create sustainable designs and enhances collaboration between all the involved parties. What was once a new technology not used by many has today become essential for any big construction projects.