Callum Tasker, Construction Materials Online

Era of Connection: The top technologies revolutionising the construction industry

  • 16 Aug 2016

Callum Tasker, Operational Director at Roofing Superstore, a Construction Materials Online brand, provides an insight into some of the industry’s most disruptive new technologies, which are empowering customers, transforming construction and enabling better business.

The construction industry has firmly entered an ‘Era of Connection’, with technology radically changing the way buildings and products are designed, managed and used.

Technology is helping to shape everything from planning processes, to project supply chains – enabling greater productivity, reducing costs and encouraging an age of connection, collaboration and information sharing. So, which technologies are amongst those transforming the construction market?

Building Information Modelling (BIM)

Change is being driven by both customer demand and competition.

Critical to industry advancement is the adoption of Building Information Modelling (BIM), a technology which promotes more efficient and collaborative working practices. Initial uptake has been assisted by the Government’s plan to modernise the construction sector, with a ruling that Level 2 BIM must be employed on all Government projects of £5 million plus.

The process of designing a building collaboratively using an intelligent, 3D model-based process, rather than a set of drawings, is hailed by many as the future for mainstream project delivery. By cutting out long work processes, and by providing greater clarity over a project, BIM has the power to deliver value at every level – right through to the customer.

An example of its success has been demonstrated by water management systems firm, ACO, one of the first to market in the drainage sector to deliver its product data via BIM. 

The team committed to BIM in 2013 and today BIM files are downloaded daily by its users, accelerating the business by up to 2 years ahead of companies that have been slower to respond. And whilst the UK is led by its government directive, ACO’s global sister companies are now also requesting files; a direct result of an increase in demand.

Industry innovation

Virtual reality (VR) is making waves in building planning and specification. Construction companies are now able to visit a site and see a virtual picture of where pipework and cabling are to be situated, without getting their hands dirty.

Additionally, VR can dramatically impact the bottom line, with mistakes being rectified at design stage before moving to production, whilst also allowing users to explore creative ideas and potential efficiencies before final construction commences.

3D Printing

Recently, 3D printing technology has been used to build entire houses

3D printing is also a hot industry topic, and whilst it is unlikely to replace injection moulding anytime soon (particularly as building material components are produced on a mass scale), it has already been used to build entire houses and there is potential scope for it to achieve widespread popularity in creating bespoke items.

For example, it has been used to complete decorative renovations to covings and fireplaces, and in the creation of external ornamental items, such as gargoyles. It is a technology which demonstrates the best in creativity and design in the digital era.

Going green

This is one of the biggest industry trends to have taken off, with the market now calling for eco-friendly product alternatives. With greater government incentives for eco-friendly homeowners, sustainable products are more accessible than ever before, ranging from the truly innovative, to the cost effective.

Sustainability is an increasing priority for the construction industry, with anticipated progress in product innovation a result. Adoption of these products and materials often means quicker, less labour-intensive methods of installation, and the demand for ‘green’ technology and materials is likely here to stay.

Leave a Reply

Latest news


Vent-Axia welcomes editorial published in BMJ on ventilation reducing COVID-transmission

With further easing of lockdown restrictions on 17 May, pubs, restaurants, gyms, offices and other businesses should prepare for reopening by checking and improving their ventilation, says Vent-Axia.

Posted in Air Conditioning, Articles, Building Industry News, Building Services, Facility Management & Building Services, Health & Safety, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning - HVAC, Interiors, news, Posts, Research & Materials Testing


500,000 homes later: Barratt revisits past seven decades of homebuying to mark major milestone

Leading national housebuilder Barratt Developments PLC is celebrating the completion of its 500,000th home, with the launch of a new digital tool which takes a nostalgic look back through the past 60 years.

Posted in Articles, Building Industry News, Building Products & Structures, Building Services, Facility Management & Building Services, Information Technology, Innovations & New Products


Senior brings its aluminium solutions to the ‘Steel City’

Leading manufacturer Senior Architectural Systems has successfully delivered the full aluminium fenestration packages to two new contracts in Sheffield.

Posted in Aluminium Products, Articles, Building Industry News, Building Products & Structures, Building Systems, Case Studies, Curtain Walling, Doors, Facades, Glazing, Restoration & Refurbishment, Retrofit & Renovation, Walls, Windows


Centre of excellence for special educational needs is improved with Selectaglaze secondary glazing

A new school and centre of excellence for special educational needs in Chester’s historic Abbey Square features Selectaglaze secondary glazing. This is part of the refurbishment of two Grade II* Listed Georgian buildings.

Posted in Articles, Building Industry News, Building Products & Structures, Building Services, Building Systems, Case Studies, Glass, Glazing, Lighting, Posts, Restoration & Refurbishment, Retrofit & Renovation, Windows