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David Cartwright

Technology - 6 min read

Automated Building Solutions to Help Cut Costs

David Cartwright

Senior Marketing Manager - Software

Nov 22, 2019 12:48:00 PM

Commercial builders face the most complex cost structures in any industry. Such companies often need to balance labour, material expenses, project planning, equipment, and subcontractors. Because each separate element has a different effect on cost, builders may find themselves with tight margins if they don’t plan accordingly.

Automation is an excellent way of ensuring that you’re in control of building expenses. There are numerous applications of automation in the construction industry. For example, construction software can be used to automate budgeting and accounting, while autonomous tools are capable of developing plans and scanning work sites for safety.

Here are several ways through which automated building solutions can help cut costs. 


1. Autonomous machines

Commercial builders operate heavy construction machinery such as cranes, excavators, and trucks. As useful as these vehicles are, they can cost a fortune to operate and maintain. From carrying out repairs to compensating machine operators, commercial builders may suffocate under the cost of equipment use.

Technology has now made it possible for you to automate the equipment handling process. By using modified software packages, autonomous features can be introduced to a wide range of construction machines. For example, a truck can be fitted with GPS sensors and wireless devices. From a central control unit, the truck can be programmed to follow a specific path on site. This frees up truck drivers to handle other value-generating activities while mundane tasks are being completed.

Autonomous machines are also easier to maintain because they alert operators of potential issues before they happen. From sending signals of pressure fluctuation in tyres to automatically detecting temperature and distance, critical variables are recorded and analysed in real time. 


2. Construction software

Construction software is an excellent solution for automating administrative functions. Whether you need to prepare material quotes or set up a budget for an upcoming project, having your workers use out-dated manual techniques can drive costs through the roof. Just take the example of using excel spreadsheets to keep track of project costs. A single mistake on Excel could result in thousands of dollars in losses. Even worse, a study revealed that 90% of excel spreadsheets have errors. If you’re looking to clean up costly errors and generate revenue, consider the tools provided by construction software.

Construction software automates budgeting, transaction records, and project planning. In this way, human error is reduced, and workflows become significantly more efficient. Construction software also automates the communication process by keeping information flowing freely. Instead of preparing daily reports manually, your teams can simply check the software to obtain the information necessary and applicable to their workflows. 


3. Drones

Scanning worksites before, during, and after a project can be critical to the success of some projects. This information reduces project costs by identifying risk factors and keeping employees safe during their daily job functions.

Drones are excellent tools that can take and transmit high quality images in real time. Drones can access hard-to-reach areas while giving commercial builders images they wouldn’t be able to otherwise obtain. This makes it easier for contractors to carry out feasibility studies before laying a single stone on site.


4. Machine learning for BIM (Building Information Modelling)

The modern building is the integrated building. Customers are looking for structures that are interconnected and easier to maintain- from the plumbing system to HVAC equipment. Therefore, builders need to develop techniques for designing and constructing integrated commercial structures. Automation provides the pathway through which you can achieve this goal. By combining connected devices with machine learning and data analytics, contractors can design and build more efficient structures, utilising BIM.

More specifically, automation is applicable when using data-driven insights to make better decisions. Algorithms can be used to program machines when sifting through large amounts of data, and different portions of the building can be designed and linked to the final structure in a highly interactive manner. Through resources such as the cloud, connectivity is maintained long after a building starts being used.  


5. 3D Printing

3D printing is taking over the construction industry by storm. Ever since the first fully 3D-printed structure was built, contractors realised just how much they can save by using this innovative technique. The process is automated, consistent, cost-effective, and increasingly versatile. You can use it to produce a specific building material or even an entire section of your commercial structure. 3D printing also allows you to focus on other aspects of your business, such as data analytics, risk management, and customer relations.

Adopting innovative building solutions enables you to focus your energy on more important aspects of your business. If you’re ready to make the transition to a digital future, look no further than Cubit, the natural estimating software designed to save you time and money. Discover the benefits with a 14-day free trial today.  


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