Three Technologies Revolutionizing the Construction Industry

The future success of construction relies on the innovative use of technology. As one of the industry’s top innovators, we incorporate and develop the latest virtual design and construction technologies into many of our projects to deliver projects quicker, safer, and more efficiently. Here are innovations helping to revolutionize the construction industry:

1. 6D Facilities Management

What it is: An application that makes finding building operations and maintenance information quick and easy for clients.

How it works: 6D Facilities Management is a place to store all of a building’s operations and maintenance manuals, including warranty and manufacturer information, in one, user-friendly software application. The design and construction teams input information about the building into the software, including elements from air-handling units to plumbing fixtures. Clients can then either scan a barcode on the piece of equipment or navigate a 3D model of the building to access information about that piece of equipment at their fingertips.

How PCL uses it: Go into the depths of an old building, and you will most likely find a room the size of a typical office stacked floor to ceiling with boxes and boxes of manuals. Before 6D models, if something in the building broke or needed attention, the client had to sift through the boxes trying to find who the manufacturer is, the warranty, or instructions on how to fix, maintain, or replace the item. 6D Facilities Management expedites that process for PCL clients, who can access all this information anywhere from their mobile phones or desktop. This technology was especially helpful for the APK State Library and Archives project.


2. Robotic Total Stations

What it is: A technology that changes the way we do surveying.  

How it works: Simply put, Robotic Total Stations (RTS) draw building information in from a 3D model, then shoot a laser to where the building elements need to be placed on-site. Once it is confirmed that the 3D design matches the on-site layout, construction can begin.

How PCL uses it:  Traditional surveying methods can be a time-consuming process. The RTS changes the game, especially for large-scale projects like Orlando’s luxury Citi Tower. In the past, stakeholders and subcontractors were apt to have differing data points and models. With RTS, everyone can work from the same page to ensure that all of a building’s elements are placed correctly according to the 3D model, including floors, columns, plumbing, and electrical. Instead of having to pull out a tape measure to check specific placements, the RTS shoots a laser and communicates the correct placement.


3. Power BI

What it is: A data analytics tool that is part of the Microsoft 365 suite.

How it works: Power BI allows us to collect data from different sources and brings it into one place for analysis. It generates compelling visuals and allows users to track, compare, and analyze data no matter the source.

How PCL uses it: The possibilities are endless with Power BI. It’s an extremely user-friendly way to digest information. (Anyone can work with it!) With Power BI, we can quickly see if a project is experiencing challenges and use data to view areas that need extra attention. PCL has begun inputting monthly status reports from every project into Power BI. It now takes one-quarter of the time to gather all the information, put it into a report, and deliver it to project stakeholders. Power BI has helped us understand the immediate and potential impacts of such items as financial changes and quality challenges. It provides a simple means of examining data from different sources in ways that otherwise wouldn’t be possible.

Find more information on how PCL is revolutionizing the construction industry.