It’s official; we’ve reached peak geek in construction. 

The future is well and truly here thanks to breakthroughs in AI, construction robotics and UAVs (AKA drones). Innovation in construction doesn’t show any sign of slowing down, and we’re pumped for what’s to come.

2018 saw the rise of artificial intelligence and the use of drones on site. What could be cooler than robots and drones? With a look at increased importance on sustainable design and construction methods, 2019 is already pulling some nifty tricks out of the bag. We take a look at innovation in the industry across the globe.

Related: How to take advantage of the Auckland construction boom


Construction materials

One trend which particularly caught our attention is self-healing concrete. Yes, you read that correctly. Concrete has evolved to X-Men standards and is now… Self. Healing. This means a reduced need for maintaining, fixing and restoring roads. The science behind it is equally as impressive; when water enters the crack, it reactivates the bacteria that was mixed in during the mixing process and heals the crack. Science!

Another material generating a buzz in the construction space is transparent aluminium. While technically not a metal, aluminium oxynytride, or AION, is four times stronger than glass and almost as strong as steel.  A see-through material with herculean strength? We can’t wait to see how this will be used!

Wearable tech

Inspector Gadget, eat your heart out. Wearable technology in construction is set to improve comfort, safety and productivity.

Straight out of Bladerunner, the Smart Cap monitors brain activity to measure fatigue. When the cap recognises an imminent micro-sleep, it sends an alert to the worker to stop what they’re doing and take a rest. This ultimately improves safety and employee alertness on site.

Spot-R is another construction wearable set to massively improve workplace health & safety. The clip-on gadget alerts supervisors if a worker has tripped, slipped or fallen. Perhaps the most impressive feat is its ability to report those incidents in real-time, improving incident response times drastically. The site-wide evacuation feature of the app alerts workers if and when they need to evacuate the area.

Sustainable design & construction

With the rising threat of global warming, it’s perhaps not surprising that sustainability is such a hot topic this year. Project Managers will start to feel the heat (see what we did there) when it comes to energy efficiency compliance.

In Bali, bamboo cities are revolutionising the construction space. Erected from modular, interlocking bamboo structures, bamboo is a sustainable, renewable alternative resource. Stronger than steel and more resilient than concrete, bamboo houses are incredibly scalable and can grow in any direction, making them perfect for a city in the trees.

In London, vertical cities are making waves, spearheading the “build up, not out” movement. These tetris-style buildings where people can not only live but work and relax, act as space-savers. As the world’s population grows and space becomes more and more precious, building planners would be wise to adapt.


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