Most homeowners know that home building and home tech has definitely made some advancements in the past few years. From robots to 3D technology, developers and construction foreman now have plenty of options if they're looking to upgrade their process. And while this progression may not be happening as quickly as burgeoning technology companies would prefer, the trends are already pointing to some rather notable achievements.
Before a construction crew even gets started on a site, they first need to be informed of the specific hazards they'll face when working on the property. This isn't always easy to do—especially if the foreman hasn't first correctly identified all of the risks. That's why virtual or augmented reality programs can help construction workers protect themselves before they begin the work. It gives them a chance to practice their skills in a digital environment where no one can get hurt. So instead of paging through a generic workman's manual, they have a much more hands-on way to prepare themselves for the dangers that lie ahead.
Photographs and Scans
There are two major devices helping developers of today find the best possible locations before they break ground.
- Drones: One of the most popular pieces of technology today, drones show architects, developers, and investors the lay of the land without their having to visit it. It streamlines the process significantly so projects can be completed faster and with less confusion. Viewers see not just the scope of the land, but also the obstacles that would impede construction.
- 3D scanners: A 3D scanner can roam around a several acre property and take measurements of what's located on site. So if there was a stockpile sitting square in the middle of the proposed building site, the scanner would show its dimensions to within 2 mm.
The state of abandoned land is not always a pretty picture. This technology gives real estate professionals a way to verify its usefulness without having to tour the entire property.
Robots on Sites
There are two notable ways that robots are stepping in both on and off construction sites. A brick-laying robot can be employed on site for relatively simple projects while robotics off-site can put together pre-fabricated components of the home. A bricklaying robot has the ability to operate at five times the speed of the average human bricklayer. Computerized machines can manufacture an entire frame for the home, including windows, wiring, and insulation, before it's shipped out to be placed on the site.
This technology is still in its infancy in many ways, but it does get better by the day. For example, an original bricklaying robot may have been shut down due to an unanticipated flaw in the land whereas new technology has improved their ability to handle obstructions. The construction industry has faced a shortage of workers in the past few years, which has partially spurred the need for alternative technology to fill the gap.
One of the biggest complaints of any homeowner is the long-term maintenance their home needs over the years. So it should come as no surprise that new materials are debuting on the market that cut down on the number of repairs. Nanoparticle paint is not just designed to resist everything from scuffs to stains, but can also fend off oil- and water-based damage alike. But that's not the only new addition on the market. Much like nanoparticle paint' can self-clean' itself, a new type of concrete on the market can self-heal itself. Shape-memory polymers can be used in concrete so if it's damaged, it can revert to its original structure.
The Future of Home Building
Some companies are skipping the process of pre-fabrication in a factory and going straight to the site itself. New tech companies like Apis Cor have developed a 3D printer that can make simple homes in hours for just a few thousand dollars. The few models that have been built are said to be up to code and move-in ready, which could drastically reduce the amount of time needed to complete a project. As of right now, 3D printers of this caliber are extremely expensive to build, but it could spell a major change in home building in just a few years.
New trends in building technology point the way to what homeowners can expect in the future. For example, a Peachland home buyer of tomorrow can ask their real estate agent if there are any homes made with self-healing concrete. As the efficiency of home building increases with the help of robotics and new machinery, buyers may even see home prices start to fall as well.