The construction industry is a big business with endless resources, endless employees, and a unique position as an industrial harbinger for its host nation and economy. If the economy declines, then so does construction—the reverse is also true. The construction industry encompasses mining companies, contractors, material manufacturers, architects, engineers, governments, real estate, etc.  However, this successful industry is not known to be the most technologically advanced. Their sometimes retroactive business methods can result in less efficient results with escalating rates of waste. A study by McKinsey & Company reveals that, unlike other industries, industry productivity has stabilized in the face of abundant technological progress.

This may be why tech startups are the wave of the present in the building industry. The phrase “BuildTech” refers to the development of new tools and applications to enhance the manner in which companies design, plan, and execute projects, seeking to resolve difficulties that have hindered the industry for ages. Now drones, 3D printing, laser cutting machines, and virtual and augmented reality are finally being introduced to the building industry, where BuildTech is making construction processes more efficient and innovative. Thus professional decisions can be made with greater advanced knowledge, resources can be managed better, and the workforce can be led and directed more accurately.

Designated apps are designed to help track and report security incidents on site, while others empower managers to disperse alerts and safety suggestions to all employees. Still others pertain to the management of inventory and materials tracking. Even at the initial survey stage, drones are traveling to the farthest reaches where humans rarely go to devise accurate surveys. With the development of the monumental building information modeling (BIM) process, digital and remote collaboration is finally facilitated, uniting all participating designers to the same virtual environment and identifying possible project bottlenecks. The manufacturing of machined parts apart from the job site can be determined with several clicks.

At the construction site, augmented and virtual reality directs the building of complicated pieces, display invisible layers, or predict potential problems for both the building professional and the building. In addition, robots are replacing human workers to introduce production to unfriendly spaces with a higher percentage of accuracy and safety. Balfour Beatty predicts the existence of human-free worksites in 2050.

Every construction project stands as a sizable collection of interrelated data. All project events and occurrences can serve as educational tools to be used on future sites. BuildTech relates how to interpret this information, and when to act upon it for the good of the project. It empowers site managers to manage a few builds simultaneously—gauging their progress in a specific and results-oriented manner. More advanced technology means enhanced efficiency and lower production costs. And construction as a whole will run faster and better.