Artificial intelligence and the construction industry

  • Guest Blog
  • 4 years ago

Artificial intelligence is taking over the construction industry, helping to shape the way we design and build. Artificial intelligence is where machines exhibit their own intelligence through using algorithms to solve problems using inputted data. By harnessing robotics, construction managers can utilise intelligent machines that can perform routine tasks that were once completed by humans, such as bricklaying. Alternatively, AI systems can collate and organise information for engineers to use within project planning and design implementation.

Here, Oasys assess the way that the construction sector is starting to use AI to complete projects. These projects contain fewer errors, fewer omissions, safer working practices, improved workflows and more on-time worksite completions.

The use of AI

In relation to the construction industry, we look at four different ways AI and robotics are used:

Construction planning with AI

When it comes to the construction plans being made, AI has become a key part of the process. Autonomous equipment is considered as AI as it is aware of its surroundings and is capable of navigation without human input. In the planning stages, AI machinery can survey a proposed construction site and gather enough information to create 3D maps, blueprints and construction plans.

This is a job that would once take a few weeks to complete; it can now be done in a day. This helps to save firms both time and money in the form of labour.

Managing projects with AI

Taking on a more advanced role, AI is now helping to manage and control the overall project and tasks that have been set out. For example, workers can input sick days, vacancies and sudden departures into a data system and it will adapt the project accordingly. The AI will understand that the task must be moved to another employee and will do so on its own accord.

Engineers and AI

When it comes to the specifics of a project, artificial intelligence can help engineers on this through database systems. For example, if engineers were working on a proposed new bridge, AI systems would be able to advise and present a case for how the bridge should be constructed. This is based on past projects over the last 50 years, as well as verifying pre-existing blueprints for the design and implementation stages of the project. By having this information to hand, engineers can make crucial decisions based on evidence that they may not have previously had at their disposal.

Construction sites are also developing autonomous machines that will help them operate at dangerous heights. Using sensors and GPS, the vehicle can calculate the safest route.

Implementing AI in the building

Once the construction process of a building has finished, AI can then be implemented inside. In the US alone, $1.5 billion was invested in 2016 by companies looking to capitalise on this growing market.

To better customer satisfaction, Wynn Las Vegas Hotel has pledged that by 2018 – Amazon Echo will be introduced to every hotel room. These devices can be used for aspects of the room such as lighting, temperature and any audio-visual equipment contained in the room. These systems can also be used within domestic settings, allowing homeowners to control aspects of their home through voice commands and systems that control all electronic components from one device.

A collaborative effort

So that buildings hold informative, historical information regarding their construction, building information modeling (BIM) can be used so that a building’s history from its construction to the management decisions alongside construction, up until demolition, are all recorded.

As well as providing much-needed information, VAs, otherwise known as virtual assistants, can start a conversation. By combining VAs alongside NFC (near-field communication), VAs can be given additional information to the building itself in real-time from various sensors in the building. For example, if there were structural problems with a building, then VAs could inform engineers specifically where the problem was and how it can be fixed.

To keep up the standard of work and quicken the process, building design software, VAs and AIs can help make cost savings. As the future of AI becomes more of a reality within construction, only time will tell how reliant upon intelligent machines we will have to be to construct innovative building designs.