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Growth of AI in Construction – Creating safer, optimized build environments


Artificial Intelligence has been the talk of the town recently. While its full capabilities are still being explored, it has demonstrated its potential to optimize workflows across various industries. AI in construction is a particularly interesting avenue. We are seeing rapid growth as firms are using technology to boost productivity and improve on-site safety. The construction industry’s use of AI is poised for monumental growth, and there’s a new report that gives an idea of just how much!

According to Research Dive’s report, the market size of AI in construction was USD 496.40 million in 2021 and they predict the number will rise with a CAGR of 34.1% to reach USD 8,545 million by 2031.

Market size of AI in construction is expected to reach USD 8,545 million by 2031

The report states that the growth is expected to be driven by the “need to improve worker safety on building sites and lessen health risks in the construction industry.” Advancements in big data analytics, cloud storage, and IoT will also contribute to the growth.

Safety on construction sites is something that obviously cannot be overlooked. The report, citing O Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), states that the construction sector accounted for one in five worker deaths per year by 2020. While BIM (Building Information Modeling) and remote sensing technologies like LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) have helped identify hazards beforehand, the potential of AI to enhance safety and automate operations further is even greater.

Revolutionizing Building Security: How 3D LiDAR is the Future of Surveillance and Threat Detection

Bringing AI into Construction

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a technology that, if implemented properly, will prove to be a powerful tool for achieving optimization and efficiency goals. It can be used for real-time monitoring, automated scheduling, quality control, and several other areas to enhance productivity, safety, and sustainability on construction sites.

Let’s look at a few applications of AI in construction-

Real-time monitoring

While cameras and sensors are already used on construction sites, integrating them with AI can improve their capabilities. By integrating AI, these tools can be programmed to automatically analyze data and detect patterns, anomalies, and potential hazards in real time. This can help to identify safety issues or quality control problems that might have gone unnoticed using traditional methods.

Furthermore, AI algorithms can collect feedback and learn from past data to improve their accuracy and reliability, making them more effective at identifying potential hazards or defects. This will reduce the workload on human operators and allow them to focus on other tasks, resulting in increased efficiency and productivity on construction sites.

Predictive maintenance

AI can help construction firms gain valuable insights regarding the performance of their machinery. AI algorithms can study sensor data to predict when machinery is likely to fail, enabling proactive maintenance efforts and reducing downtime.

This will enable firms to allocate their resources and schedule operations more efficiently, leading to a streamlined workflow!

Automated scheduling

By considering factors like weather, availability of equipment and workforce, and project deadlines, AI can optimize construction process schedules. This benefit will enable firms to better scheduling of different construction phases, reduce delays, improve resource allocation, and avoid unnecessary down times.

Automated scheduling can also reduce costs and improve profitability by saving time and reducing the need for manual labor. Ultimately, automated scheduling using AI can help construction companies to streamline their workflows, complete projects faster, and achieve greater efficiency and productivity.

Quality control

Data from various sources, like cameras and sensors, can be analyzed to identify issues or defects in machinery. Unlike human inspectors, AI algorithms can analyze the data more accurately and consistently, enabling construction companies to identify potential issues and defects with greater precision. This can help ensure that projects meet the highest quality standards and reduce the risk of costly errors or rework.

With AI, the data can be analyzed in real-time and potential issues and defects can be identified at an early stage. This will enable construction companies to take corrective action before the issue escalates. This can help reduce the risk of delays or cost overruns, which can have a significant impact on the success of construction projects. Furthermore, AI can help in identifying areas where there is a scope for improvement like selecting better materials or using efficient techniques for better results.

Safety monitoring

AI can be used to monitor worker behavior and detect potential safety hazards. Firms can deploy AI algorithms that will analyze video footage to detect workers who are not wearing the required safety gear. The AI can then be a snitch and notify the manager about it!

Resource optimization

AI can study project timelines, worker productivity, equipment utilization, and weather patterns, to suggest ways of improving resource allocation. It can predict when certain resources, like equipment or materials, will be needed and in what quantities. This will enable the person in charge to make an informed decision about allocating them efficiently.

AI can also help in adjusting workloads and reassigning the workforce to a high-priority task. Additionally, firms can implement AI to optimize the usage of materials and energy consumption to avoid them being used in unnecessary excess.

Is it easy to bring AI into construction?

The benefits we covered above sure sound good. But then why isn’t everyone doing it? Implementing AI into the building environment, or the entire construction industry for that matter, is not so easy.

Research Dive’s report states that “Artificial intelligence-assisted work in the construction sector demands both technical and domain expertise get the desired results. The entire project prediction and off-site construction work are lost if the worker doesn’t have a firm grasp of it, which can cause a sizable loss for the organization and expose it to a number of project-related difficulties. These factors are anticipated to restrict the artificial intelligence in construction market growth in the coming years.”

To overcome this barrier, training the workforce to make them competent in using AI-powered tools is a must! Construction firms can provide hands-on experience with technologies like UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) for remote sensing, conducting workshops, and more. The more workforce gets familiar with AI-based tools, how to use them, and how to maintain them, the better.

An initiative must be taken to promote innovation and the use of new technologies in the construction industry. BIM has been around for a long time and there is still some hesitancy in implementing it. Today, there are companies like Hypar who are already going a step further with Text-to-BIM technology! With the help of AI, companies achieve net zero by finding new ways to decarbonize construction and make a significant sustainability impact!

Small steps to sustainability – Giant leap for humanity

Only time will tell where AI will take the construction industry. For now, we can be sure it’s AHEAD!

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