No1 is presenting you with our new EDM series where we talk about suggestions of how to prepare for forecasted changes in the construction market, and discuss solutions that can help you and your business to survive, improve and grow.
In this Chapter: How Current Technology Can Help You Grow Your Businesses
The construction industry is facing many challenges in the 21st century, such as labour shortages, rising labour and raw material costs, environmental regulations, and project delays.
However, there are also many opportunities for innovation and growth, thanks to the emergence of new technologies that can improve efficiency, quality, safety, and sustainability.
In this article, we will explore four ways that current technology can help construction businesses to grow and endure hard times.
Cloud-based project management software is a tool designed to help professionals manage their projects easily, no matter where they are or what device they're using.
It's a system that makes it simpler for contractors to organise their work, communicate with their teams, and get more done. This software offers several advantages for roofing and construction companies.
One big advantage is how it improves teamwork and communication among team members and clients. By using messaging and file-sharing features, contractors can easily talk to their teams and receive feedback.
This helps everyone stay informed about the progress of their projects and who is working on what. Apps like GoTradie, for instance, allow all team members to share information within a project folder, making it accessible from different devices.
This real-time collaboration saves time and makes it easier to manage big teams and complex jobs.
Another major benefit is how this software saves time and money by reducing mistakes, the need to fix errors, and unnecessary waste.
Special systems like Nearmap use aerial imagery to measure roofs without the need for manual calculations or site visits. This results in more accurate cost estimates and invoices, which makes clients happier and more likely to stay loyal to the roofing company.
This efficiency helps companies save resources and focus on delivering excellent service to their customers.
Professionals also rely on BIM software for project management, which works as a shared space where architects, engineers, contractors, and other project stakeholders can collaborate.
It allows for the sharing of 3D models, drawings, schedules and project documentation in real-time, promoting better communication among team members, facilitating a more coordinated approach to project execution.
BIM software tends to also offer tools for scheduling, resource allocation, and task management. This allows for streamlined project management, efficient resource utilisation, minimised downtime and optimised workflow.
Most devices are able to be implemented with project management software and apps, allowing for all project stakeholders to have access to better documentation.
This facilitates conflict detection and risk mitigation, resulting in significant improvements in cooperation and efficiency on job sites.
Roof inspections are crucial for maintaining the quality and longevity of roofs, as well as detecting and preventing potential problems.
However, roof inspections can also be dangerous and challenging, especially for high roofs that are hard to access or have steep slopes. That is why drones can be a much safer option for roofers doing inspections on high roofs.
Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles that can fly and capture images or videos of roofs using cameras or sensors. They can be controlled remotely by a pilot or programmed to follow a predefined flight path.
Drones can help roofers to inspect high roofs without having to climb ladders, walk on the roof, or use scaffolding or harnesses. This can reduce the risk of falls, injuries, or damage to the roof or the inspector.
Drones can also provide more accurate and comprehensive data than manual inspections. They can cover large areas in a short time and capture high-resolution images or videos from different angles and heights.
They can also use thermal imaging or LiDAR to detect heat loss, moisture, or defects that are not visible to the naked eye. This can help roofers to identify and diagnose issues more easily and effectively.
In addition, drones can provide more environmentally friendly solutions for roof inspections. This is because drones do not require heavy machinery or vehicles that consume fuel and emit pollutants.
They also do not cause any damage to the environment or wildlife, as they do not disturb the natural habitat or produce noise pollution.
Considered by many as a better alternative for site inspections, drones are an innovative and effective solution for roof inspections that offer many benefits over traditional manual methods.
They are safer, faster, more accurate, environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and compliant with regulations.
BIM can significantly enhance project planning and design because it allows roofing companies to create comprehensive 3D models of buildings, enabling precise planning and design before the actual construction or repair begins.
With BIM, roofers can visualise the entire structure, including the roof, enabling accurate measurements, material assessments, and planning of complex roof systems.
This level of detailed planning reduces errors, improves decision-making, and ensures a smoother execution of roofing projects.
BIM facilitates accurate measurements and material estimates for roofing projects. Roofing companies can use BIM to obtain precise measurements and generate material quantity takeoffs.
This ensures that the right amount of materials is ordered, reducing wastage and saving costs. Having this level of accuracy in material estimation streamlines the procurement process, ultimately enhancing efficiency.
AR is a technology that superimposes digital information onto the real world, enabling companies to enhance their BIM models, helping different teams and stakeholders to experience them in 3D, anywhere, anytime, and at any point in the building cycle.
By combining AR and BIM, construction professionals can visualise and simulate complex designs, detect errors and conflicts, improve communication and collaboration, and reduce costs and risks.
AR can also be used to provide interactive instructions or guidance for construction workers or roofers. For example, AR can be used to display step-by-step instructions for assembling or repairing roofing systems.
Moreover, AR and BIM can work together to improve safety and quality control in construction projects. For example, AR can be used to simulate hazardous scenarios or emergency situations in a virtual environment before they occur in the real world.
This can help workers to practise safety procedures and protocols without risking their lives or causing damage to the site. AR can also be used to detect errors or conflicts in BIM models before they are built.
For example, AR can be used to highlight clashes between different systems or components that may cause delays or rework.
AR and BIM are two complementary technologies that came to revolutionise the construction industry by providing new ways of visualising, simulating, analysing, and communicating complex designs and data.
By leveraging the power of AR and BIM together, construction professionals can improve their productivity, efficiency, safety, quality control, and customer satisfaction.
New technology is also represented by creations in the building product line. Innovative building materials have the potential to revolutionise the roofing industry, offering roofers opportunities for growth and expansion.
These materials, designed with advanced technology and sustainability in mind, not only enhance the quality and durability of roofs but also provide a competitive edge for roofing businesses.
For roofers, the integration of innovative materials opens doors to new markets, better customer satisfaction, and improved operational efficiency.
Some great examples of engineered innovative products are real slate modular tiles, self-adhesive breathable membranes, and ridge ventilation products, which have significantly transformed the roofing landscape.
Real slate modular tiles, like ReadySlate, bring to the DYI market the first option of easy access to real slate roofing, without the labour intensive requirements of a traditional slate roof, offering a more efficient and cost effective product with all the benefits of real slate including their longevity and great aesthetics.
Breathable waterproofing membranes are also a product that are here to stay, especially after recent changes in regards of condensation management as per NCC 2022.
Some brands offer a self-adhesive option which allows for complete sealing of plywood substrates and open stud walls. As these membranes are installed, they instantly seal the space without the need of an auxiliary tape.
Once the roof or wall space is sealed, the building is waterproof and internal construction can keep going as roofers get ready to install the roof or wall cladding.
Ridge ventilation choices such as Vent-A-Roof or Rapid Ridge stand as well-engineered solutions, facilitating the release of hot air through the ridge line.
Aligned with new NCC standards, ridge ventilation serves as a beneficial addition to roofing systems, particularly when contemplating passive ventilation techniques and condensation control.
When ridge ventilation is complemented by eave/fascia air inlets, it creates a synergy that enables fresh air to enter the roof space, effectively dispelling heat and humidity. This combination contributes to the longevity and durability of the overall roofing structure.
The use of innovative building materials not only elevates the quality and efficiency of roofing projects but also positions roofers as industry leaders, fostering business growth through enhanced customer satisfaction, expanded market opportunities, and optimised operational efficiency.
Also, by using innovative solutions a company shows awareness of market updates and will have more tools to tackle difficult times efficiently.