Being a fast-growing sector and a real economic driver, construction is a field in constant evolution, in fact, it is beginning to undergo major changes. However, despite the rise of the IoT (Internet of Things) and the digitization of companies, construction is still seen as a sector that is not very innovative and suffers from low productivity. Including artificial intelligence (AI) in the day-to-day operations of construction companies will therefore increase efficiency, productivity and safety.
Artificial intelligence makes it possible to collect and analyze data and automate processes and machines. With a good application of AI in construction, costs could even become reduced by 20% by limiting costly errors, reducing accidents on construction sites and increasing work efficiency.
It’s a fact, AI in construction makes sites smarter, more efficient and safer. So let’s look at the benefits of integrating artificial intelligence into the construction world.
Index of contents
Contributions of Artificial Intelligence to the Construction World
The possible applications of AI in the construction field are very numerous. We can say that requests for information, problems to be addressed and corrective orders are commonplace in the sector. Integrating artificial intelligence, therefore, represents an assistant capable of examining all this data providing the following benefits:
Avoid Extra Expenses
Most mega projects are not on budget, regardless of whether they are in the hands of the best teams. Artificial neural networks are now becoming used to predict different cost overruns, depending on factors such as project size, contract type and the skill level of the project managers.
Historical data, such as planned start and completion dates, become used in predictive models to realistically define future project schedules.
AI in construction also helps teams to access training materials remotely and thus develop their skills and knowledge quickly. This reduces the time required to integrate a new resource, resulting in accelerated delivery of the work.
Better Designed Buildings Through Generative Design
Building information modeling is a process that is based on 3D models and provides architecture, engineering and construction professionals with useful information for the efficient planning, design, construction and management of buildings and infrastructure.
Now to plan and design the construction of a building, the 3D models must take into account the architectural, engineering, mechanical, electrical and plumbing drawings, as well as the sequencing of the activities of the various teams. The challenge is to ensure that the models for each of the sub-teams do not conflict.
The industry is now trying to use artificial intelligence in the form of generative design to identify and limit conflicts between the different models generated by each team during the planning and design phase in order to avoid rework. There are even software programs that take advantage of machine learning algorithms to explore all variations of a solution and generate alternative designs.
AI in construction is then used to specifically create 3D models of mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems while ensuring that they do not conflict with the building’s architecture. Especially since it learns to propose an optimal solution at each iteration.
Every construction project involves risks in various forms in terms of quality, safety, time and cost. The larger the project, the greater the risks, because several subcontractors are involved.
Today, contractors use AI solutions to track risks and set priorities so that the team can focus their time and resources on the main risk factors. In this case, artificial intelligence becomes used to automatically prioritize the problems encountered.
More Productive Construction Sites
Some companies are beginning to offer autonomous construction machines to perform repetitive tasks more efficiently than their human counterparts, such as pouring concrete, building a brick wall, welding and demolition.
Excavations and earthworks become carried out with autonomous or semi-autonomous excavators capable of preparing the site for a job, based on specifications defined by a human programmer. This allows employees to concentrate on the construction work and reduces the time required for the project.
Project managers can also monitor progress on site in real time, using facial recognition, on-site cameras and other similar technologies to measure productivity and verify compliance with procedures.
In the construction world, employees suffer five times more fatal work accidents than workers in other sectors. Moreover, many studies find that the main causes of death in the private construction sector (excluding highway accidents) are falls, impacts with objects, electrocution, and crushing.
Today, some companies have begun to develop algorithms that analyze photos of construction sites, identify hazards (such as workers not wearing protective equipment), and connect the images and reported accidents. So they can assess the risk level of a project to warn workers when a major hazard becomes detected.
AI, after all, is being used to plan electrical and plumbing networks in new buildings and to develop safety systems for construction sites. It also allows real-time monitoring of the interactions of workers, machines and objects on construction sites and alerts managers to potential hazards, errors or productivity problems.
Despite the expected significant job losses, artificial intelligence in the construction world will certainly not replace the human workforce. It will, on the contrary, change the economic models of the sector, limit costly errors, reduce the number of accidents on construction sites and make work more efficient.
Ultimately, construction industry leaders should prioritize investment in areas where AI can have the greatest impact on their business needs. In this way, they will benefit from the innovations of this technology in the short and long term.