Building & Construction: Build Smarter with Artificial Intelligence

built smart with AI

A drone comes into view and drifts over your construction site. After a few moments, the tablet you’re holding lights up with observations the drone has made:

  1. A worker in section B is not wearing his helmet.
  2. A few of your excavators are not fully engaged in their work.
  3. A dark patch of earth in section D suggests the area is too wet.

This kind of useful information is the promise Artificial Intelligence (AI) in construction brings. Right now, no AI technology offers this level of functionality, but there are many businesses trying to build technology to improve the construction industry.

AI in Construction

AI is a term used to define how machines can be trained to copy human cognitive functions like identifying patterns, learning from experience, or understanding images. AI in the construction industry uses these technologies to make building sites safer, reduce waste, and increase efficiency.

While AI in construction is one of many major innovations in construction technology to have emerged in recent years, it’s expected to grow immensely. 

The Benefits of AI in Construction

Process Improvements

It’s challenging to track the process of a construction site from the very beginning. With AI-powered applications, construction managers can handle task-scheduling and reallocation. If a manager suddenly gets sick or takes a vacation, the smart schedule scans the workloads of other employees with the right skills and transfers the most critical tasks. Such software allows for continuous improvements to project planning and efficiencies.

Cost Reduction

Cost overruns are a challenge for any business. The good news is that AI can evaluate factors like job complexity, project size, materials, or contract type and approximate costs based on similarities to previous projects. Imagine being able to calculate the overall cost, while automatically taking into account challenges and risks from the past.

Accident Probability Reduction

The construction industry has a high-risk of injury on the job, so companies need to use AI to their advantage. This is possible through observations of images and videos from safety cameras in real time.

Off-site Construction

An increasing number of construction companies rely on off-site factories to produce building materials through automated processes. Structures like walls can be finished assembly-line style by self-directed machinery, leaving on-site workers to finish the detailed work like plumbing, HVAC, and electrical systems.

Risk Mitigation

Every construction project has some risk associated with it. Risk can come in many forms such as quality, safety, time, and cost. The larger the project, the more dangerous, as there are multiple sub-contractors working on different projects, the more potential for risk. Check out our case study on how we helped SmartSite USA build a custom subcontractor parallel in order to manage multiple sub-contractors on various projects.

Luckily, AI and machine learning solutions are helpful in monitoring and prioritizing risk on the job site, so project teams can focus their limited time and resources on the biggest oversight software system.

AI and Big Data in Construction

At a time when a huge amount of data is being created every day, AI systems are exposed to an endless amount of data to learn from and improve constantly. Every job site becomes a potential data source for AI. Data generated from images captured from mobile devices, drone videos, security sensors, building information modeling, and more have become a pool of information. This indicates an opportunity for construction industry experts and customers to analyze and benefit from the insights generated with the help of AI and ML systems.

AI for Post-Construction

Building managers can use AI long after the construction of a building is complete through building data modeling, BIM, or store information about the structure of the building. AI can be used to monitor developing problems and even offer solutions to avoid problems in the first place.

Embracing Smart Construction Solutions

While it’s easy to assume that AI will take over the world and jobs will become automated, it’s actually quite the opposite. AI is unlikely to replace the human workforce but instead, it will alter business models in the construction industry, diminish expensive errors, reduce worksite injuries, and make building operations more proficient.

Dash Technologies has years of experience in AI development services. We partner with you to develop innovative ideas and prototypes for AI and other emerging technologies. Contact us today if you are interested in learning more about our services.

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Mark Senior

As with so many things in construction, AI will only live up to its full potential if the industry embraces the very best data gathering tools. This includes reality capture tools and software to make the point cloud data these files use accessible to AI programmes. Without these, AI will fall rather flat!

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