Residential construction is not always quick to embrace new technologies. You would be hard-pressed to find anyone these days, executive to a laborer, that is not using a smartphone to augment some part of their job. Meanwhile, more than 20 per cent of builders say they are experimenting with drones, but others report they are using 3D printers. And even those technologies seem minuscule in comparison with robots that could lay 1,000 bricks per hour or install steel studs, sheetrock, or tile.
Technology is taking over the house construction industry at a speed that would seem ridiculous to a person 20 years back. According to writer and construction attorney Barry LePatner, builders better get used to it if they are going to fulfil with the requirement for 100 billion additional square feet of living area by 2030.
Secondly, to drones, 3D laser scanners would be the most commonly used emerging technologies among contractors in 2015; they could capture details of a structure down to two millimetres worth of precision. Commercial builders already use drone-mounted scanners to measure stockpiles, and specialists say those applications will multiply as the technology becomes more affordable. Collected data, together with CAD documents, will become the foundation from which a range of technology to function autonomously.
As technology warms up, future job sites will contain swarms of intelligent life–not all human–as microchips substitute hammers. Superintendents may know nothing of nail guns or drywall mud, instead of applying the tenets of IT into the building envelope. Or even perhaps they’ll be figments of their imagination, generated by AR.