At the tipping world of digitization, construction industry is still the least digitized sector compared to other industries. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is about the application of Information Technology that has aspects of communication technologies. ICT in construction industry includes the adoption of IT tools in design, construction, operation and management of infrastructure projects.
Several softwares are used for design and construction management such as 3D Civil, AUTOCAD, REVIT for architecture models; STADDPRO for design of structures; CATIA and SIMULIA for utility services designing using 3D modelling and simulation; OPENROADS for design of roads; PRIMAVERA, MSP for managing projects and EXALEAD type software for next level design by capturing social sentiments. Understanding of such latest softwares are the need of the hour.
Advanced technology such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and drones can be used to convert 3D from drone data images. LIDAR—Light Detection and Ranging—is a remote sensing method used to examine the surface of the Earth and used for the survey work of Infrastructural projects.
There is also increasing demand for automation of construction processes using Information and Communications Technology and Automation (ICTA), off-site manufacturing and pre-fabrication. Using predictive analytics traffic artificial intelligent (AI) systems can identify traffic patterns and prevent road congestion. Smart cities can integrate a traffic AI system with their Intelligent Transport System (ITS) for better traffic management.
Internet of Things (IoT) cloud-based sensors can monitor the health of infrastructure and analyze the actual load versus target load of the bridges. Computer vision and image recognition can be used to detect defects / cracks in concrete structures. Self-sufficient machines such as 3D printers and robotics can radically transform infrastructure engineering. Unlike old practices, digitization can also be used through responsive cloud-based applications or through Building Information Modelling (BIM) for greater life style collaborations.
In this digital era, the technologies are changing very fast with ease of business, time management, sustainability of construction with reduction in cost. It is the need of the hour that every civil engineer should learn latest technologies and their applications. Digitization in construction industry has got n plus possibilities with diverse applications.
In India, there are low levels of technology integration in construction projects till date. If the construction industry stakeholders are not able to catch up with the emerging trends and changes, the opportunities of tomorrow will become challenging. There is a need to change in the curriculum of education system so that industry ready professionals can be made available for industries.
- Dr. D. K. Sharma, Professor-Civil Engineering, JK Lakshmipat University, Jaipur
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