Thursday, 26 November 2020

 How can technology improve construction?

The big question, how can technology improve construction? Well, as with anything, some people are more concerned about the impact technology will have than others. Obviously there is the worrying thought that it could take over some of the jobs that others are trained to do but I think we’re far from losing a full sector of people. That said, don’t forget, there actually need to be people designing these machines, apps, programmes, training to use them and even selling the new technology, all of which will provide work. I thought it was best to get that out of the way early on. 

Now, what improvements can be made? Technology doesn’t have human error, and assuming all of the set up is correct, the results are faultless. If there are any mistakes, it is usually ‘user error’ rather than anything else. 

Software and apps are some of the most used advances in the industry to date. These are there mostly to help manage scheduling and reports. They’re predominantly designed to streamline processes and improve productivity. The Cloud is used a lot, so when people aren’t in the office they still have the same access as if they were, which makes communication throughout the day between team members so much easier and more successful than before. 

AI (Artificial Intelligence) is storming our industry and quite literally has no bounds. This technology can improve the quality of work undertaken, which in turn reduces the amount of wasted time on site. It also allows for the direct input of data, which can then be assessed and predictions made on present or future projects.  AI doesn’t stop there though. We soon move into robotics, a big move but one which can save time and money in the long-run. Drones can be used to photograph and scan a site. The data and measurements received can then be analysed in order to provide accurate site details and potentially even a model drawing. This is by far the quickest option and quite frankly, the most accurate. This will save a lot of time on certain tasks and allow more of a hands-on approach where needed. 

For us, if we want to remain competitive within our industry, we really need to be able to adapt to the new technologies. In order to stay ahead of the game we must adopt these new strategies because this technology is here to stay. Soon, it will be the norm to be used on every construction site and you wouldn’t want yours to be left behind. Technology allows for information to be transferred in real time, by far the best, quickest and easiest option; what’s not to love?

Quite honestly, I think that sometimes we, as an industry have been slower to accept change but thankfully this doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. I really believe these advances are going to be the making of our industry. Yes, we have already adopted some of these changes and yes, they are helping us progress but, mark my words, there is a lot more to come!

Friday, 20 November 2020

How to get started in construction; construction careers

Firstly, you need to understand exactly why it is that you want a career in construction. Perhaps it’s the opportunities that await; the fact that the country relies heavily on construction workers to thrive. Or maybe it is quite simply what you know and love. Whatever it may be, as with any job, you need to do it for the right reasons. Is there a
particular area you’d like to focus on? Expand your knowledge or even have more of a desk role. Hone in on your skills and utilise what you already know. 

The construction industry is a popular choice for many people, partly because the career options can vary so much. Studying is more often than not the way forward and will give you hands on experience; learning a craft from actual experience is the best way into this field. It will also give you a good standing if an apprenticeship came up. From an employer’s perspective this is something they really look for, practical experience and knowledge. This is a popular industry so you need to make sure you’re the best you can be for the job!   

If you’re looking into studying but you don’t know where to start, do some research. Find a training provider that is recommended, or that also has connections with companies within the construction industry. Not only will they offer thorough training but there is also the potential to network for future positions. Don’t underestimate the importance of networking, build this up early, get a list of people you know in the business, then if a job or training ever comes up you’re already in the loop. 

This industry is full of skilled workers, from carpenters to painters and everything in between. If you have had the relevant training then obviously you will need your CSCS card (Construction skills certification scheme). This might seem like quite a self explanatory thing to say, but you’d be surprised at how many people overlook this detail. 

If you’re looking into architecture or to become a surveyor, for example, you really should be going, or have gone, to University. The amazing thing about construction is that there are so many different levels to think about. Are you looking to progress in your career? Have you been working in the industry for a while and are looking to move forward but don’t know where to turn? Have you thought about going to an agency? The agency will be able to match your skills with jobs they have available. Sometimes you need more experience to be able to progress up the ladder, so getting that under your belt where possible can only be a good thing. This industry offers positions that are on site, office based or even home based. There is quite honestly, something for everyone which makes construction quite different from other career choices. 

Whatever stage you’re at in life, if you’re thinking of changing your job, or just progress in the one you have, you need to research. Look at what avenues you have available and what opportunities there are out there and what qualifications are required. Learning a trade is more than just building, it is a craft. Blood sweat and tears go into perfecting the art. 

Friday, 13 November 2020

 The most iconic buildings in the uk; clever construction

We have some brilliant construction here in the UK and we’re not done yet, not by a long shot. To look at some of the most clever construction over the years we actually have to go back in time. I realise the Pyramids aren’t in the UK but still, they are one of the most talked about ‘buildings’ to this day. The building techniques used to construct them are still on the table and up for discussion. This doesn’t mean that we haven’t come far in our techniques. We have many different materials now, some better than others, we have newer methods and we’re driving eco living into the future. We have a lot to be proud of and look forward to, but, what have we achieved? What builds amaze us in our homeland?

The Uk is full of stunning architecture, heritage and amazing builds. The Shard in London is a landmark that is recognised both near and far. It takes its name as it quite literally resembles a shard of glass. It boasts 95 stories and is over 1000 ft tall. This iconic build takes over the skyline and is the tallest building in the UK and Western Europe

The Uk, as mentioned, is full of stunning architecture but it isn’t all new. As I have said, the heritage we have here is like no other and this architecture has been around for years. You only need to take a look at the Cathedrals we have in the Uk, for example Ely Cathedral. This beautiful build has brought many a visitor over the years and has even featured in films such as ‘The other Boleyn Girl’. The Cathedral has also featured in the background of the cover of Pink Floyds album ‘The Division Bell’.  Stunning architecture has been in our landscape for years and it is documented forever. 

Another landmark, love it or hate it, is the Gherkin in London. This is one more for our capital city and again it is one that’s recognised all over the world, not only by sight but also by name. It has 41 storeys and is 591 ft tall. This building was constructed in the early 2000s and uses energy saving methods. It actually uses ½ of the energy than a ‘standard’ build of its size. 

Construction methods have changed over the years and now a lot of the focus is on eco technologies. In the Uk we have builds such as PWC (Price Waterhouse Cooper) building in London. This build uses many new technologies and has an Environmental Performance Certificate A and a BREEAM score of 93.31%. It is considered one of the best builds for the environment and one to look up to. 

As you can see, we really do have a collection of various different builds, which are not all in London or in the south, but are quite literally all over the UK. We are very lucky to be surrounded by this stunning architecture and clever design. It just means that we have a lot to live up to. Construction is at the height of its game, recognised and renowned all over the world. We really are learning from the best of the best. I wonder what the future will hold?  

Tuesday, 3 November 2020

What does it take to be an entrepreneur?

I honestly believe we each have an entrepreneur inside us, a smaller version of ourselves that is bursting to get out. All we need is a vision, a passion and a break. The most important thing is to find something that you’re interested in, not just marginally interested in, it needs to be a ‘thing’ that you have a deep-rooted passion for. The more passion, the better the outcome. 

Whatever business you decide on you must be able to execute your ideas. There is no point having a fantastic business plan but no idea about how to make it happen; ‘all the gear but no idea’. You don’t have to have an idea that isn’t already on offer but you do need to be able to make your business stand out from the rest. So, you will have competition but what makes your idea different? What are you going to do that will make people want to use you instead of someone else? Good execution and a positive twist are excellent ways to get started. Research, research, research! 

You will make mistakes, they make us who we are but they don’t define us. We learn from them and move on. The greatest entrepreneurs fail at some point, but they don’t let that stop them from achieving. Remember, no matter what, have passion, execute your plans, research and move on from mistakes. 

Throughout life we learn, we have the ability to discover new information daily, if we so wish. A true business person will thrive on this. You need to have the ability to continue learning, throughout life. Accept and appreciate that you can learn from anyone, at any time. Everyone has the ability to teach us something new, we just have to be open to accepting new information. 

Are you a risk taker? There is a lot of risk in setting up your own business. Some people don’t like the idea of this and much prefer sticking to what they know. If you’re happy to come out of your comfort zone, then you’re more likely to succeed. Yes, manage your risk level, don’t put silly things on the line if you’re really unsure as to whether you’re going to succeed but, with a solid idea and business plan, there is no reason that you should fail; have faith in yourself. 

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