Construction worker standing beneath a building with the words “2022 Construction Technology Trends” superimposed over the top of the image.

10 Construction Technology Trends to Watch in 2022

A new year means new and exciting trends to watch in 2022 in the construction industry! Technological advancements are constantly shaping the construction industry's future, making it imperative to stay up to date with the latest tech trends. As technological evolutions continue to make construction work safer, easier, and more efficient, many construction companies are capitalizing on the additional benefits of advanced tech to help improve their workflow, productivity, and overall efficiencies. 

The pandemic changed how the construction industry does business. New technology continues to change how business is done on and off the construction site. As the construction industry becomes more competitive and the market shifts, it will be essential to understand these industry trends to stay competitive! To ensure that your company can stay ahead of the game, we've compiled the top 10 Technology Trends to watch in 2022.

 

10 Construction Trends to Watch in 2022

1. Advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI):

Artificial Intelligence is one of the fastest-growing trends to watch for this year! AI and the Internet of Things (IoT) are quickly improving construction companies' long-standing inefficiencies and low productivity. AI can monitor workers and construction sites for potential safety concerns, construction errors, and productivity issues. There are also advancements in AI technology, such as smart construction webcams, allowing easy access to construction data and imagery to help document and streamline project management.

 

2. 3D Printing:

Although this technology has been around for a while, there are new and exciting applications of 3D printing to help meet the growing demand for affordable, efficient construction solutions. Did you know that engineers have invented a 3D printer that can print asphalt? Construction companies can also use 3D printing to understand the current environment, to better simulate and envision towns, cities, and communities. At this point, physical and digital are no longer two separate realities but rather one robust way to visualize construction projects.

 

3. Drones:

While the use of drones for inspections and land surveying is not new, their use by the construction industry has recently increased drastically! According to Goldman Sachs, commercial drone development will likely reach about $10.9 billion in 2025. And a recent BigRentz report noted that drone use had increased 239% year-over-year. By using a drone, surveyors can survey a site in a fraction of minutes, saving plenty of time and money, given that process traditionally could take weeks or even months. Drones can also provide greater accuracy and precision, mapping large areas over long distances and producing real-time, actionable data that can be used to aid decision-making in the construction process. Additionally, drones can be used to perform certain jobs in place of human workers to prevent injury.

 

4. Digitizing Workflows: According to commercial real estate services firm JLL's State of Construction Tech report, the construction industry adopted more technology in one year than what would have usually taken three due to COVID-19. Although we're now a couple of years into the pandemic, the tech trend continues to grow. Due to the increase in work, digitizing workflows has become necessary to keep up with demand. Also, face-to-face interactions are now less frequent, forcing construction companies to shift toward a more digital/paperless model. Digitization provides a seamless experience regarding design and materials management, scheduling, crew management, and much more. Digital workflows help construction companies boost their efficiency and productivity while improving the quality of life from the office to the project site. 

 

5. Advancements in Sustainability: Many other industries are committing to becoming net zero in the coming decades, and the construction industry is no exception. Public interest in fighting climate change and consumer demand for environmentally-friendly projects drives many companies to become more sustainable. This trend can be seen in everything from sustainably-sourced materials to buildings that help create carbon-neutral communities. Additionally, local, state, and federal government incentives to help the environment drive the construction industry to become more sustainable in 2022 and beyond.

 

6. New Construction Materials:

Construction companies are looking to source cost-effective, sustainable building materials to balance profits and sustainability. This can be seen in the current trend toward utilizing new construction materials such as Engineered Cementitious Composite (ECC) - aka bendable concrete, and engineered timber, which is created by bonding several types of softwood. The result of using new construction materials such as these is a decreased carbon footprint, fewer emissions and less waste during the manufacturing process, and less time and money spent on repairing cracks and breakage.

 

7. Declining Workforce: While a shortage of workers is not necessarily a new trend in the construction industry, the surge in increased demand for construction services in recent years has exacerbated this trend. Since 2014, Deloitte found that construction job openings increased by 50%, while new hires lagged behind at 14%. This means that construction companies are being asked to take on more construction projects without enough laborers to ensure the seamless execution of the project. This reality is also one of the driving factors for construction companies to digitize their workflows and look for other ways to improve their efficiencies to support their workers.

 

8. Building Information Technology (BIM): Like AI, this is one of the hottest construction industry trends, promising greater accuracy to the building process. BIM is a software modeling process that construction companies use to collaborate on a building's design, construction, and operation. This technology enables construction companies to improve their resource management, enhances collaboration, and helps increase communication throughout the project. BIM can also help construction companies tackle challenges such as budget overspending, QC issues, and project delays. As construction technology evolves rapidly, BIM will be a game-changer in 2022 and beyond.

 

9. Augmented Reality (AR):

AR and Virtual Reality (VR) are technologies that are being used increasingly often in the construction industry. AR, in particular, is emerging as a more powerful tool than VR. As buildings become increasingly "smart" and complex, VR can facilitate in detecting design and coordination errors. AR can also present BIM data, which can help facilitate coordination between consultants, designers, and construction teams. Construction companies can also use AR as a tool to discuss their projects with clients.

 

10. Increasing Ransomware Threats:

According to a recent study by NordLocker, construction is the #1 industry hit by ransomware. This computer virus takes over the target device until the victim agrees to pay a fee to regain access—victims of ransomware attacks in the construction industry range from small, family-owned companies to large corporate entities. Construction companies are most vulnerable to attacks through emails, malware, ransomware, and siegeware, specifically targeting smart building technology. So how can construction companies protect their online assets from ransomware? That's where we can help! Our team of experts is available to help secure your construction technology and answer all your questions

We know that it takes a lot of effort to stay on top of these growing trends in 2022 and beyond. Technology requires considerable maintenance and upkeep to ensure it's in the best shape to continue to serve your business' long- and short-term success. That's where we come in! 

Whether you're interested in digitizing your workflow, investing in Building Information Technology, or protecting your construction company from ransomware, our expert technicians will become part of your team. We'll work to support your company's investments in any of these technological trends, including the best construction mobile app picks.

We'll answer any questions you may have on your journey to capitalize on one or more of these construction technology trends. Just contact us to get started!


Image of a computer screen, tablet screen, and phone screen showing elements of PlanGrid’s mobile app

Everything You Need to Know About PlanGrid

When it comes to the construction industry, we know that every minute counts. Discovering ways to save an hour or even minutes each day could result in significant budget savings when considering the rise of material and labor costs. One of the ways we can help our construction clients is by increasing their efficiency and management of their projects through mobile app integration. 

Since construction companies' work in the field is spread across multiple project sites, managing so many moving parts (literally!) Some of the benefits of using mobile app integration for construction companies include: 

  • Improving planning and scheduling 
  • Improved communication and collaboration 
  • Increase project management workflow 
  • Easier file access and sharing
  • Effect budget management 

Utilizing mobile app integration can save construction companies valuable time and resources, both of which are particularly scarce these days! Yet keeping time on projects requires a commitment to continuously improving and implementing new processes and technologies. One of the most exciting new technologies that we use to help our construction clients manage their projects and workflow, is PlanGrid.

 

How PlanGrid Saves Time in the Construction Field

Photo credit: PlanGrid

PlanGrid is an incredible tool that can help organize construction plans on a mobile device. It is used by major construction firms in 400,000+ projects, storing 30 million pages of blueprints in digital format. Currently, it’s considered one of the most downloaded construction management software. One of the things that makes this tool so powerful is that PlanGrid constantly evaluates how it can equip construction teams to build faster while retaining a high-quality standard.

Here are a few of the top features of PlanGrid mobile app that will help save time on construction management: 

  • Document management: Construction projects can generate hundreds of thousands of documents, and a lack of solid organization of these materials can result in costly schedule delays or rework. PlanGrid’s mobile app allows for quick and easy uploading of documents and an automated sheet publishing flow, saving hours of saving and manual uploading efforts. Each document will be scanned, linked, and labeled before being loaded onto devices used by the office and field teams. Any document revisions are organized, so all team members are guaranteed to be working from the latest set. 
  • Task management: PlanGrid’s mobile app also allows for the simple creation and management of tasks for planned work or to keep track of issues that need to be resolved. That feature enables teams to track work through all construction phases by creating planned work tasks. Whether an architect uploads a spreadsheet of punch list items for subcontractors to complete, or maps planned work items, this tool handles all of this with seamless and immediate integration across the entire team’s devices. Check out PlanGrid’s video on Task Sheet management for a deeper dive into this feature. 
  • Task Reports: Throughout any construction project, the client and/or stakeholders must be informed about costs and scheduled impacts. PlanGrid’s Task Report feature allows users to customize task reports to share relevant information and ensure consistent communication with all team members. 
  • Field Reports: Construction teams need to complete various forms - such as timesheets, daily safety inspections, job hazard analysis, etc. - daily. The Field Report feature allows for teams to quickly complete and submit these reports, which can then be emailed to any team members who need to monitor those reports.
  • PlanGrid Connect: Construction projects are complex and often require integrating technology platforms to serve the needs of certain projects. PlanGrid Connect allows construction companies to customize how they share information between their teams' applications. The number of integrations that PlanGrid Connect offers are constantly expanding!

 

Pricing Plans: Pros & Cons

 

Photo Credit: CompareCamp.com

Depending on your construction company’s needs, PlanGrid offers three different pricing plans:

  • Free Trial
    • This plan is great for those looking to try the program before purchasing. The free trial lasts 21 days. 
  • Nailgun: $49/month
    • This plan includes access to 550 sheets. When billed annually the cost is decreased to $39 per person, per month. 
  • Dozer: $69/month
    • This plan allows for up to 5,000 sheets. When billed annually, the cost is $59 per person, per month. 
  • Crane: $139/month 
    • This plan provides access to unlimited sheets. When billed annually, the price is $119 per person, per month. 

The plans include unlimited projects, photos, and documents (other than blueprints).

For those interested in pricing for multiple users per month, PlanGrid suggests reaching out to them to discuss pricing plans. 

After exploring several reviews of PlanGrid, here are the top pros and cons to consider regarding this construction program: 

Pros

  • Easy to use and learn
  • Information and documents are shared in real-time
  • Markup feature on documents is easy to use and makes collaboration with teams streamlined and straightforward both on and offsite
  • Great at writing Requests for Information (RFIs) and tracking them. It’s also each to allow others to see an answer
  • Automated organization of plans 
  • Excellent mobile access through the app

Cons

  • Training is considered a premium service and must be purchased separately. 
  • If you have multiple users, they will all need their own plan and license. This includes subcontractors and anyone working on the project who needs access to the software. This means additional costs for collaborators.

How PlanGrid Matches up to Competitors

Several other programs on the market offer similar features to PlanGrid. Here’s a review of a few of their top competitors:

ArcSite

PlanGrid is one of the best and most highly utilized apps during the construction phase. It allows teams to communicate and collaborate using the most up-to-date plans, punch lists, and daily reports. ArcSite is better suited to the early sales phase of a project. It focuses on sales, surveying, collecting field data, discussing plans with customers, and drawing site plans in real-time.

Raken

Raken gets rid of the paperwork associated with daily reporting on construction sites. Raken is a construction management app specializing in connecting office reports with team members in the field and field reports, while PlanGrid focuses on all aspects of construction needs and requirements.

Procore

Similar to Raken, Procore’s goal is to replace the pen and paper processes of the construction business. Procore’s functionalities span from payroll to punch lists. It boasts a digital process for the entire project lifecycle and a strong support team. Both construction platforms have widely different focuses. PlanGrid is much more robust than Procore in its features. since it is designed to focus on all aspects of construction needs and requirements.

Reviews

Plangrid is a robust software designed to handle every aspect of your construction project. It is loved by foremen and project managers alike. 

When it comes to making a decision about the best technical solution for your construction business, we’re here to help! As an industry leader, we have the latest construction technology and the team to deliver a solution that works for you. Whether it’s utilizing PlanGrid or another program, we’ll help maximize your cost savings and efficiency.

For more info about Intuitive Network’s top mobile picks, check out our latest blog post. If you have any questions, we’re here to help! Contact us and we’ll answer all your construction technology questions.