Con-Tech At Large
Construction Technology (ConTech) has been growing at an ever-rapid pace, but are the hundreds of iterations of tech viable? This is a question many have pondered as $1.08B has been invested in the space in the last 4 years with $433 million this year to date. This can potentially provide $1.6 trillion in value to the construction industry and increase productivity by 50-60%, according to a McKinsey study . Venture capitalist (VC) are vying at the opportunity to back something that will right the tide of one of the most inefficient industries that lacks the ability to automate basic task. Construction must still be built brick by brick, and wall by wall,so why can’t these processes be automated?
There are many disrupters in the realm of Financial tech (FinTech), Real Estate Tech (RETech) and ConTech. But when it comes down to the bottom line, stakeholders care about cost, schedule, quality, safety, and the technology that will tackle these concerns head on. By finding technologies that will benefit owners, design professionals, financiers, and construction managers, we can increase the overall efficiency of construction today.
One of the more interesting products in tech, also happens to be one of the most heavily regulated. DRONES. With millions of dollars in funding drone software companies for the construction industry, VCs are tripping over themselves at the opportunities created after the implementation of more relaxed regulations on commercial drones under 55 lbs. $53M and $30M are just a few funding rounds in the last two years for drone software as a service (SaaS) companies like 3DR and Airwave respectively. Timely news is on the horizon as the White House looks to leave drone regulatory oversight to local communities when flying under 200 feet. This could drastically change the uses for certain industries, but especially for construction.
This increased access to data drives the use case for drones in construction because greater analysis can be done, especially in terms of productivity and quality. As a tool it can provide information at a lower cost over laborious methods, which allows decisions to be made and not forgone in the interest of cost savings. Drone usage can help stakeholders with the development of as-builts, verification of stockpile quantities, topographic surveys for verification even as simple as progress photos on a construction site. These opportunities touch on cost, schedule, quality, and safety for a multitude of stakeholders including financiers, owners, consultants, and contractors. Providing up-to-date, relevant information allows for quicker decision making, faster course correction, and in the end greater productivity within the industry. I don’t think anyone will have a qualm with that.