The outbreak of COVID-19 has affected industries and communities globally, and the reported number of cases is still on the rise.
While other industries have been prompt in adapting technology to reap the benefits, the construction industry has been traditionally slow changing and hesitant in embracing new technological innovations.
As a multi-trillion-dollar sector, the construction industry is one of the largest and most profitable industries in the world.
According to a report by McKinsey, if this industry adopts new tools and technology, along with other measures, the output is estimated to increase by $1.6tn per annum.
According to data published by Dubai Statistics Centre, in the UAE alone, the construction industry contributed around 6.4% to the country’s GDP in 2018.
With many Dubai Expo-related projects, expected market recovery post-lockdown and mega-residential projects in the pipeline for completion, some suggest the introduction of digital technology will witness a surge in every facet of the construction sector in the UAE and across the region.
So how can technology help the construction industry create a new norm post the pandemic?
COVID-19 has expanded safety and security to include viral contagions prevention. And since communal surfaces are feared as potential sources of contagion, construction companies will need to invest in technology and change the way they design, build and operate, placing greater emphasis on contact-free technologies to maintain cleanliness and hygiene in high-traffic environments.
To actively address the unique and growing needs of the health and safety of all individuals, companies involved in the construction of critical infrastructure projects such as residential, commercial, healthcare and education properties will have to introduce strict measures to battle and contain the outbreak of the virus.
Also, as employers across the globe are re-emerging following shutdowns, organisations are looking at deploying solutions that reactivate businesses while protecting the health, safety, and security of employees and the general public, propelling the growth for touchless technologies to help prevent cross-infection, allow smooth passage of individuals at entrances and to avoid any physical contact.
Touchless access solutions will help the industry address the growing concerns of governments and businesses for the safety of its residents.
With increasing demand for social distancing and safe infrastructure in place, businesses are redesigning their spaces, adapting them to the ‘new normal.’ Touchless door solutions can provide seamless access that is aligned with those new requirements and provide quality experience.
According to a report by ResearchAndMarkets published in April 2020, the touchless sensing market is projected to reach $15.3bn in 2025 from $6.8bn in 2020 at a CAGR of 17.4%. The growing digitization across several industries has further accelerated the integration of multiple technologies with gesture control.
The transition to a “new normal” would lead construction companies to source solutions that are touchless, scalable, and rapid. With the introduction of new touchless access control by solution providers, businesses can take the advantage of mobile enabled multi-technology readers that are designed to simplify access control, while easing the transition from an existing proximity system to a secure encrypted card technology or mobile solution at their own pace—without having to change readers.
Automatic operators are designed for applications where pedestrians operate the door electronically without the requirement of touch, utilising a motor gearbox and control box to perform the opening and closing functions.
Actuators provide a signal that activates the automatic operator, including ‘wave to open’ motion or contactless readers.
These no-touch actuators are installed in place of push buttons and comply with ANSI 156.19 low-energy standards and safety sensors also known as motion sensor actuators, packaged with ANSI 156.10 sensors.
The pandemic could see a brighter future for cutting-edge technology in the industry such as contact free technology, mobile enabled multi-technology readers, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), building information modelling (BIM) and much more.
These technologies actively encourage health and safety in the industry whilst helping employees meet social distancing requirements.
They are set to stay and develop further long after COVID-19 vanishes.