Many construction companies are slow in adopting technological innovations. However, a shift is coming. According to McKinsey, artificial intelligence (AI) technology is gradually being taken up by construction companies. Advances in AI, in particular, computer vision and deep learning algorithms, are going to transform the construction industry.
The old ways of working have resulted in project delays, budget overrun and low productivity. With digital transformation, this can bring significant changes to this traditional industry. Digital transformation, based on research done by McKinsey, can lead to 14 – 15% in productivity gains and 4 – 6% in cost reductions. Hence, construction companies can leverage computer vision to enhance productivity and improve overall cost-efficiency.
Computer vision can perform tasks in the same manner as human vision, including “seeing” and interpreting the images. In other words, computer vision can perform image recognition and analysis to provide valuable insights. Besides, computer vision can also automate tasks within the construction worksite without needing physical human intervention.
In this article, we are going to look at how the applications of computer vision can benefit the construction industry in the long run.
What are the Long-Term Benefits of Using Computer Vision at Construction Sites?
1. Mitigating Safety Risks
Accidents are one of the main drivers for project delays and increased costs. As reported by OSHA, 1 in 5 workers dies and 1 in 10 workers is injured every year in the construction industry. These figures show the importance of increased safety at worksites is apparent.
Project managers usually use surveillance cameras to monitor the construction workers’ conformance to safety guidelines. However, a project manager is unlikely to sit in front of the screens to monitor workers’ safety compliance at all times.
With computer vision, the system can help to monitor the workers 24/7. It can detect safety hazards by analyzing the images captured at the worksites. Therefore, any breaches of safety guidelines will not go unnoticed. For instance, you will be alerted whenever workers are not wearing proper PPE or scaffolds are not set up properly. You can then take actions accordingly to eliminate safety hazards before any incidents happen.
In case of any accidents, computer vision can correlate the images captured with the accident and generate a report automatically. This will remove the hassle of collating evidence and writing reports manually.
To conclude, computer vision can help you to mitigate safety risks and greatly reduce the number of accidents in the long run without additional human resources.
2. Improving Productivity and Achieving Better Cost Control
According to McKinsey, the construction industry spends about $10 trillion on construction relating activities each year. However, the industry’s annual productivity growth has only increased 1% over the past two decades. It is common for construction companies to experience project delays and cost overruns. A change is imperative as companies need to improve on their productivity to stay competitive.
Computer vision can monitor the construction sites 24/7. Beyond accident prevention, computer vision provides you with real-time visibility on project development. Using features like facial, body, and object recognition, computer vision enables you to identify the under-utilized resources, such as workers, equipment and materials. Thereafter, you can allocate these resources to areas where they can be redeployed. Not only can you improve productivity by allocating the resources more efficiently, you can also reduce material wastage and achieve better cost control.
On top of that, computer vision can also identify defects in the building automatically. As such, you will be able to take actions promptly and rectify these mistakes at an early stage, preventing the need for costlier correction at a later stage and minimizes project delays. One large advantage of computer vision is that technology can do the above-mentioned things free from human unconscious prejudice. This provides you with a better accuracy review on the project progress and quality.
Large projects face greater risks in project delays and cost overruns as multiple subcontractors are involved to work on different aspects of the project. With computer vision and deep learning algorithms, you can analyze your subcontractors’ productivity performance. This is done by rating them based on risk scores such as under qualification, poor performance and punctuality issues. With these insights, you will be able to work closely with the high risks subcontractors to mitigate risks.
In the long run, the computer vision system will become more data-rich and better trained. The intelligence from using computer vision can aid you in achieving better project management, quality and cost control. Ultimately, it will recession-proof your business as computer vision can help you to greatly reduce the following risks such as time, quality, and cost risk.
3. Address Labor Shortage
Labour shortages due to the ageing workforce and skills gap have been a major issue in the global construction industry over the last couple of years. In 2018, only 9% of the construction workforce is represented by workers age 25 and below, whilst 22% of the workforce is represented by workers age 55 and above. Furthermore, a survey conducted by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) in 2019 revealed that 80% of construction companies have difficulty finding the workers they need.
With limited manpower, it is important to efficiently coordinate the labour resources at construction sites. Computer vision can track and evaluate workers’ productivity.
This enables you to know which worksites have sufficient or insufficient workers. You can then reallocate the additional manpower to projects that are lagging behind schedule. Furthermore, computer vision can also help you to free up human resources on monitoring the construction sites and workers.
Using AI-powered computer vision technology, you will be provided with more accurate insights on your project timeline and available resources. As such, it can aid you in better project management and planning of resources in the long run.
The Future of Computer Vision in Construction
In summary, we anticipate that technology advances will bring significant changes to the construction industry. By using AI-powered computer vision technology, it will help you to ensure safety at construction sites, improve productivity and achieve cost efficiency, thereby helping you to achieve long-term sustainability in your construction business.
First movers and fast followers will be at advantage.
Now is the time for you to invest and exploit the potential of AI. Here at groundup.ai, we will support and guide you through the process of implementing computer vision into your business. We also do not believe in a “one-size-fits-all” strategy, which means we will develop customizable AI solutions based on your strategic needs and wants.
Have a chat with us to see how we can help you to achieve long-term benefits and sustainability in your construction business.
Request a call from us today!