The construction and design industries are currently being inundated with retrofit developments. The basis of these updates is to drive efficiency; whether it be energy efficiency, time efficiency or space efficiency, retrofitting has been deemed the answer to modernising and maximising the potential of our built environment.
However, it has become apparent that the built sector is not the only industry element that is getting a revamp. Industry practices themselves are feeling the productivity boost of a technology retrofit.
While technology has been weaving its way into various industry sectors for some time now, the construction sector is increasingly implementing the common practice of mobile technology use and zero-paper worksites.
Globally, the use of mobile technology on worksites is boosting productivity and safety. In Canada, only recently the use of tracking technology was tested for commercial use in order to put a stop to worksite theft and increase safety and productivity through a knowledge of the whereabouts of all tools at all times, whether on or off-site.
In order to further develop the use of technology in construction, the industry in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia is set to receive a large monetary boost.
The recently-announced Functional Information Technology (FIT) project includes a $525,061 funding injection in order to introduce the common use of technology onto worksites.
The investment scheme is funded by the provincial and federal governments and by the industry itself, with these three entities hoping to improve workplace communication and productivity.
“It will make an incredible difference for the construction management team, contractors, clients, everyone involved in construction projects,” says Paul Smith, project manager of the Central Nova Scotia Civic Centre, where the announcement was made. “The amount of paperwork is immense and time is money so we need to streamline things as much as possible.”
The types of technology the funding aims to provide include drop-proof electronic tablets, scanner and motion computers and product bar code readers.
Trent Soholt, the executive director of the Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council (NSCSC) states that the generational shift in the workforce means that upgrading technologies and maximising the use of productivity boosting tools is only way to truly be competitive as a workplace.
“The industry is embracing the idea that they need to adapt to compete and attract skilled workers, especially in a business that tends to rely more heavily on a younger demographic to do the work,” says Soholt.
The fact that techno-retrofitted worksites now have the competitive edge will mean an extensive boost to technology investment in the construction industry worldwide. With the positive results these kinds of tools are offering to the workplace, a new generation of more productive, cutting edge worksites will soon become an industry norm.