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Construction Intelligence – Drones as Coworkers?

From intelligent infrastructures to the use of drones for bridge inspections, technology is finally carving its way into the construction industry.

Photo Courtesy MnDOT - Snooper vehicles hoist bridge inspectors over the side of a bridge. One department of transportation is testing the use of drones to do the inspections, replacing the traditional method.
Photo Courtesy MnDOT – Snooper vehicles hoist bridge inspectors over the side of a bridge. One department of transportation is testing the use of drones to do the inspections, replacing the traditional method.

With the exponentially increasing ability to capture and analyze vast quantities of data from objects—bridge piers and pavements, for example—the dream of an intelligent infrastructure is now within reach. Over time, the valuable feedback that this construction technology will give us will lead to the building of ever-better and safer infrastructures.

What kind of technology exactly?

Technologies such as sensors that gather data and drones that fly around infrastructures are being sent on construction sites. Years of research into technology that can monitor the structural health of piles, girders and decks – such as sensors, mainly – has led to the development of systems that deliver valuable design insight into the impact of construction, operations and the environment on the life of transportation structures.

After the 2007 fatal collapse of Minneapolis’ I-35W bridge that shook the nation faith in its bridges and other infrastructures, public demand is rising for intelligent traffic systems (ITS).


Not to worry, this technology won’t replace construction workers.

FAA-Evalutation-contruction-droneCurrently, drones can accurately inspect construction structures but cannot fully take over the job under current laws. The Federal Highway Administration’s National Bridge Inspection Standards state that a drone can be used to inspect a fracture-critical bridge span but cannot replace a crew of on-site inspectors. Furthermore, the Federal Aviation Agency prohibits the use of all unmanned aircraft for commercial use without the agency’s express approval.

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Solar-Active-Houses: The New Construction Trend

No other energy source compares to the energy potential of sunshine. Solar power in clean and limitless so it doesn’t come as a surprise to see it making its way into the construction industry. Solar energy is the most abundant energy source on the planet, by far. Continue reading Solar-Active-Houses: The New Construction Trend

New Jersey Commercial Construction News

Back in August, The New Jersey Economic Development Authority  sold $2.2 billion in bonds in a bid to finance construction of new school facilities and to refund debts, according to the pricing scale released by underwriters. This is good new for construction workers who will be able to bid on those projects. Continue reading New Jersey Commercial Construction News

Florida’s Commercial Construction Market

Miami-2020The commercial construction industry is looking good for the State of Florida. According to recent surveys, the South Florida metropolitan area had the second-most contraction contracts awarded in the first half of 2015. Continue reading Florida’s Commercial Construction Market