AI in Construction – How Artificial Intelligence is Paving the Way for Smart Construction

Sudeep Srivastava June 13, 2022
AI in Construction

Artificial Intelligence has definitely made our lives easier in multiple ways. We can access multiple benefits right through our smartphones with the power of digital assistants like Google Assistant, Siri, Alexa, and more.

In today’s world, multiple industries such as healthcare, e-commerce, financial services, etc., are leveraging the benefits of AI to the fullest of its potential. The technology has helped businesses grow in leaps and bounds with improved quality, security, and efficiency.

However, it is observed that engineering and construction are lagging behind in implementing artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions. The construction industry is worth more than $10 trillion a year.

Due to the complex challenges that the construction industry faces, the growth in the industry is severely limited. Dealing with challenges like cost and time overruns, labor shortage, health and safety, and productivity can bring revolution in the industry.

The construction industry has tremendous potential, and just by digitization, economically, the worth of the construction industry can be raised to $1.6 trillion a year. AI in construction can be instrumental in bringing this shift.

According to a report, Artificial Intelligence in the construction market is estimated to generate a revenue of $ 2,642.4 million by 2026, at a compound annual growth rate of 26.3% from 2019 to 2026. Technological advancements in AI and the Internet of Things (IoT) will create more opportunities for growth in construction and engineering.

Understanding AI in Smart Construction

Artificial Intelligence in the construction industry is undergoing a digital transformation. Focussing on technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning at every stage of engineering and construction, from design to preconstruction to construction to operations and asset management, is exploiting the potential of the construction industry to new levels.

The areas where artificial intelligence in the construction industry is bringing impactful difference by getting the tasks done in a lesser amount of time and in a cost-effective manner.

Planning and designing sub-segment of construction are expected to benefit the most. In the global construction industry, the Europe market is anticipated to top the growth rate.

This technological shift is set to positively impact all the stakeholders across the project – including contractors, owners, and service providers. With other adjacent industries such as transportation and manufacturing having already started working as an ecosystem, it becomes all the more important for the construction industry to adapt to the digitization of the processes.

As the technological shift is at a nascent stage in the engineering and construction industry, it will be advantageous for the companies that upgrade the technology. With artificial intelligence in construction, companies can comfortably tackle current issues while avoiding past mistakes.

With the use of statistical techniques of machine learning in construction, it becomes much more convenient and less time-consuming to scrutinize the data pertaining to changed orders, information requests, etc. This will help in proactively alerting the project leaders about the things that need critical attention. Safety monitoring also can be done with more efficiency.

Examples of Artificial Intelligence in Construction

We have established that AI is a critical component of modern engineering and construction approaches. Artificial intelligence in construction helps the industry solve its greatest challenges like cost and schedule overruns and safety issues. AI can be exploited throughout the construction project from inception and design, bidding, financing, transportation management, and operation and asset management.

Let us look in detail at how is AI being used in the construction industry:

AI in construction

Planning and Designing through Generative Design

AI-based Building Information Modeling (BIM) process has been helping architecture, engineering, and construction professionals make 3D model designs to plan efficiently, design, build, and repair the buildings and infrastructures.

With machine learning in construction, the industry uses AI-powered generative design to identify and collaborate the architecture, engineering, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing plan to ensure that there are no clashes within the sub-teams. Such measures mitigate the risk of rework. The algorithm of ML explores all the options and variations of the solutions to create design alternatives. Models with multiple variations are created and learned from each iteration, and this process is repeated until a perfect model is created.

It is expected that the planning and design sub-segment will grow exponentially with a CAGR of 28.9% between 2019 and 2026.

Measuring Site Progress

Construction companies can use AI-powered robots that are equipped with cameras. These robots can move autonomously through the construction site to capture 3D pictures.

With the help of neural networks, these pictures can be cross-checked with reference to the information from BIM and the bill of materials. The engineers managing large projects utilize this information to keep track of the progress of the work. It also helps identify quality errors at an early stage and keep a tap on financial information and time schedules.

It will not be an exaggeration to say that robotics and AI in the construction industry are ensuring the delivery of the best construction projects while saving costs and time.

Robust Fleet Management

Construction companies are exploiting the features of the Internet of Things (IoT) to manage the fleets of equipment and vehicles. With the inputs from the AI metrics, IoT provides solutions like location awareness, predictive maintenance capabilities, fuel and battery consumption, and much more.

With IoT devices and tags, it is now possible to predict the equipment breakdown possibility, which is an invaluable tool that saves time and money.

Creating Safer Job Sites

Construction sites are prone to accidents for various reasons. Analyzing and predicting risks with machine learning can avoid many such accidents. Monitoring the sources like photos and videos through the software can flag the potential risk that the site manager can address at the right time.

Reports pertaining to potential safety risks, such as unsafe scaffolding, waterlogging, and personnel missing protective equipment like gloves, helmets, and safety glasses, can be accessed by the user to rank the projects.

Alleviate Labor Shortage

As mentioned in the introduction, there exists huge scope for tapping the potential of AI in construction management. There always is a dearth of labor in the construction industry as it involves risks and is a physically demanding job. The average turnover rate in the construction field is way more than in any other industry.

In such a scenario, AI-powered robots empower the project managers to oversee the real-time situation and resource requirements of multiple job sites. Based on the requirements, labor can be shifted to either a different part of the project or a different job site. The robots monitor the site to find the pain areas.

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How AI can boost Smart Construction

Companies that want to stay ahead in this competitive edge should quickly upgrade their technology. Smart construction can be enabled by incorporating AI. Let’s explore how AI in construction is significant.

How AI can boost Smart Construction

Enhance Project Design Process with AI-powered Insights

The current process of construction design is outdated and thus slow. By taking insights from building data, material data, and environmental data, you can optimize your project design.

Integrate AI Automation in the Project Management Workflow

When done manually, the building process tasks are tedious, time-consuming, and error-prone. The project manager spends most of his time assigning work and managing employee records.

However, Artificial intelligence can automate many such mundane tasks that can be performed with minimal or zero errors. AI automation can additionally take care of task delegation based on the data gathered from the employees. This not only streamlines the workflow process but also encourages workers to focus on their field of expertise.

Collecting and Analyzing the Data Collected from Job Site

With camera-enabled robots or AI-enabled construction equipment, data can be collected in different formats. By feeding these details into the deep neural network, the project’s progress can automatically be classified from various aspects.

Such data empowers the management to know and address the minutest error or problem in the initial stage mitigating the subsequent major issues.

Increase Productivity with AI-driven Vehicles

Employing self-driving construction machines can perform repetitive tasks tirelessly, efficiently, and quickly, such as welding, bricklaying, pouring concrete, etc.

Similarly, you can employ automated or semi-automated bulldozers for excavation and pre-work. Once the exact specifications are fed into these machines, they complete the job exactly as per the specifications. You can free up your human workforce for actual construction work and reduce the human risks involved in performing these tasks.

Perform Land Survey and Mapping with Geospatial AI and Drones

You can dramatically reduce the time in performing the land surveys in detail and taking aerial photos of the job site for better project management. With the help of drones, Geospatial Information System (GIS) and Geospatial AI (GeoAI) will help you keep track of project progress status and problems on the construction site while leveraging you with better decision making for efficient project management.

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Future of AI in Construction

With the inception of technology, the construction industry will have cobots and robots working alongside workers. Robots take over the tasks that can be automated, and cobots are designed to work autonomously or with limited guidance.

Such an arrangement will help speed up construction, reduce costs, injuries, and better decision-making. AI in construction will not only overcome the labor shortage issue but will also lead to alterations in business models, and reduce expensive errors, making building operations more efficient. Thus, it is advised that business leaders at construction companies should focus on investment based on areas where AI can have the maximum impact based on needs.

Early adopters of this digital transformation are sure to gain the lead in the business. Getting an edge will make them leaders in setting the direction and reaping short-term and long-term benefits.

How Appinventiv can help gear AI in smart construction

The construction industry is lagging behind in technology adoption. Now is the right time to get your processes automated and leverage AI in civil engineering.

Harness the power of automation with Appinventiv and take your construction goals to next level with functionally beautiful building designs.

As an AI development company, our team believes in molding their expertise based on our client’s requirements as we have successfully done in the past helping business transformations.

Talk to our experts to tap the full potential of Artificial Intelligence in construction with Appinventive AI and ML development services.

Final Thoughts!

From planning to designing to construction, AI has been spreading its benefits in all the sub-segments of construction. Future of construction with AI will oversee the complete construction project while advising on risk management, schedule adherence, structural integrity, and much more. Harnessing the potential of AI in construction will boost the profits, and reduce the injuries and risks involved.

THE AUTHOR
Sudeep Srivastava
Co-Founder and Director
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