Given all the buzz (not to mention a few billion dollars), it’s hard not to get excited over NAHB’s recent study of how builders are adopting construction technology (or “contech” if you’re Silicon Valley cool).
Forget BIM and robot panel plants. We’re talking about everything from 3D printed components to tilt sensors that tell you the slab is 1º off level, caps that vibrate if a plumber starts to doze off, and “smart boots” that let you track every step your framers take (or don’t take) on the jobsite.
Contech is ushering in a whole new world, and there’s plenty to be excited about. Except for one thing, says NAHB:
Surveys conducted by NAHB in 2019 show that, although use of some factory-produced components like trusses has become widespread, the newer and more innovative types of construction technology, such as 3D printing and robots, have so far penetrated the residential market only to a very limited extent. This is true for both single-family home builders and residential remodelers.
On the other hand, the vast majority of builders and remodelers have incorporated a variety of devices and other forms of Information Technology into their businesses by now, especially smart phones and computers. Although they are now making significant use of IT to monitor construction sites and interact with customers, managing internal business operations remains the most common use of IT within the industry…