Automation in Construction and its Advantages
Automation in Construction and its Advantages
Construction automation has a wide scope and involves all the construction stages, such as the production of building materials, prefabrication of building components, on-site construction, operations and management, maintenance of building, and demolition of structures. Automation of construction counters various problems related to construction, such as shortage of skilled labour, low quality of products, poor weather conditions, safety of labour, and limited construction period which is nowadays a feature of projects.
    If construction automation is practiced, it will allow the companies to work continuously and consequently the construction period will be decreased. In this way, automation of construction will provide the companies with great economic advantages and help them grow at a faster pace. Moreover, it will improve the safety of the labour force and enhance the quality and of the projects.
      Advantages of Construction Automation
        • It replaces workers in tasks that involve difficult or dangerous physical work.
        • Automation provides more uniform and precise quality product as compared to the products produced by skilled workers.
        • It reduces costs and enhances productivity and efficiency at the same time. Also, it is claimed that many countries like Germany and Japan have improved their gross income and living standard substantially by employing automation in construction.
        • Automated construction enhances work environment as it saves workers from uncomfortable and unsafe work positions.
          Automation in Precast Concrete Industry
            It has been quite long since nearly 100 percent automation is being applied in the production of construction materials like steel, cement, glass, wood, and aluminium. A great degree of automation is applied in concrete precast component production. The automation of concrete components construction is highly advantageous. It provides products with uniform quality and also declines the waste of the factory. The factory waste is reduced by using the needed amount of materials which is estimated with the help of computer programming and planning.
              There are numerous apparatuses that are being used by construction companies for various purposes on the work site, such as concrete screeding, scrubbing, finishing, and cleaning.
                Automation in On-site Masonry and Prefabricated Masonry Construction
                  Automation plays a significant role in masonry prefabrication and offers several advantages to the construction companies. It’s because automation not only substantially increases the fabrication of masonry blocks but it also reduces manpower requirements and labour costs. Plants that produce masonry elements can be completely or partly automated. By doing so, the companies can make prefabrication of masonry blocks easier and less costly. In addition to this, automation is also applied for laying bricks on the construction site. It has the ability to lay up to thousand bricks per hour and help companies save a lot of time and labour.
                    Automation in Timber Construction
                      Automation in wood prefabrication is gaining popularity these days and have advanced to some extent in few parts of the world. Wood prefabrication has shifted from manual processing to automated processing using computerized machines. There are several automated timber producing plants that build prefabricated components for houses in a very short period of time and involve minimal hand work in the process.
                        Automation in Production of Steel Components
                          It’s been quite long since steel companies have begun applying automation in prefabrication of building components according to the demand of contractors. The steel components are manufactured off-site and then transferred to the construction site for erection. Automation, however, is not used in the erection process and manual welding and screwing is carried out for that purpose.
                            Although utilization of steel components in residential construction is very low but there are factories that prefabricate steel components for houses using robotics and automation. It is reported that these factories produce components for 5000-10,000 houses per year and have the ability to manufacture 120m2 in just 2 mins 30 secs.
                            4 Tips for Keeping your Construction Project on Track
                            4 Tips for Keeping your Construction Project on Track
                            One major reason behind out-of-control project costs is the inability to complete it on time. If you want your project to stay within budget, you have to make sure you it stays on schedule. However, as there are so many moving parts and unavoidable surprises along the way, it’s very difficult to ensure that the project is on track. But it isn’t impossible. There are some tricks that project managers can use to avoid unnecessary delays. We have covered them below. Whether you are a construction contractor working on an important project, a real estate investor, or a major developer, we have found 4 tips that will help you understand how the best professionals in this business keep their projects on track and also maximize profits while doing so.
                            • Minimize construction blockers and delays There are two main problems that may prevent a project from completing on time: blockers and delays. Expert contractors know how to detect and address each of these problems. A delay in construction occurs when things don’t go according to the plan. And as construction is mostly sequential, the delay is often unavoidable.  For example, according to the plan concrete was supposed to be poured within three days, but it ends up raining. So now the project will have to be pushed back three days and contractor will have to reschedule the tasks. Delays can also occur when subcontractors don’t show up on time or when material deliveries are delayed.
                            • Blockers, on the other hand, are tasks that must be completed before other tasks can be begun. For example, according to the schedule bricks had to be laid for your building on a certain date, but you can’t start that work until the foundation has been poured. Therefore, careful planning is very important if you want to avoid delays. And the blockers must be identified well in advance to prevent them from being an obstacle in the project’s progress.
                            • Have a detailed project plan 
                            • When it comes to keeping a project on track, nothing is more important than having a comprehensive project plan to follow. A good project plan that can be updated easily as the project progresses gives a bird’s eye view of the project, and allows the managers to timely identify the potential problems and solve them before they turn into costly delays. Many contractors start working on projects of different sizes without having a clear timeline and finalized drawings, or before communicating with the critical subcontractors. This is a big mistake. Your plan should be all-inclusive. It should include every single detail required to finish the project.
                            • Establish clear roles & responsibilities
                            • Commercial construction projects involve many contractors, subcontractors, workers, managers, and other personnel. If you fail to delineate the exact responsibilities of each party, it may result in critical tasks of the projects being ignored which in turn would cause significant project delays. therefore, you must assign roles and responsibilities clearly to each party involved. Establishing accountability is an important part of an effective project plan. Also, make sure to focus not only on what task needs to be completed, but also on who will be responsible for doing it and by when.
                            • Establish a clear communication channel between parties
                            • Sometimes minor issues can turn into major delays because of lack of communication between parties. When an unexpected problem occurs on the worksite, it is important that the project managers have a direct line to their team and that all the concerned parties are easily accessible for consultation. You must timely detect, assess, and communicate the issue to all the stakeholders and get everyone on board to find a solution as early as possible.
                            How to Select the Right Contractor for Your Project?
                            How to Select the Right Contractor for Your Project?
                            Even simple construction project can turn into a frustrating experience if you end up with the wrong contractors. Therefore, choosing the right building contractor for your project is critical for the success of your project. It is important that you hire a top construction contractor with years of experience and an impeccable reputation. The truth is, you will find more than enough construction contractors in your area to pick from. Most of them will probably be able to the job, but you don’t want to take any risk of making a wrong decision.
                              Choosing the right construction contractor means that the finished building will be all you want it to be. It also means that the construction process will go smoothly without any delays and defects. It is just not worth it to hire a construction contractor who will fail to keep his work up to your standards or who will not be able to deliver what you want without any hassle. You’d want someone with whom you can easily work and communicate.
                                Here are a few things you should consider when deciding which contractor to hire for your building project:
                                  • A good working relationship
                                      The contractor you hire should be someone who has a good track record of reliability and integrity, and who’s able to maintain a solid, close relationship with his clients from the beginning till the end of the project. You should be able to trust him completely with your project without any worries or doubts.
                                      • Referrals & References
                                          Many contractors provide references from their past clients with who they have worked. It’s very important to directly contact those references to get more information about the firm and people you’re considering for your project. Check if the list of repeat clients they have is long enough. Ask those references regarding the builder’s services after the project has been completed and the final payment is sent. Is that firm determined to provide quality services and earn their clients’ recommendations? Answers to all these questions will help you make the right decision.
                                          • Experience
                                              Experience does not only include how long a firm has been in this business, but also the type of they usually do. For example, it wouldn’t be right to hire a contractor to construct a clinic if all their experience is in building manufacturing facilities.
                                              •   Financial Stability
                                                  This is one of the most important things to add in your checklist. Make sure you check the financial references of the firm, like their bank & bonding companies. Ask the contractor for a certificate of insurance to confirm they’re properly insured. You want to be sure that you hire a contractor who will be around even long after completion of the project.
                                                  • Payment Process
                                                      Check what method they use for paying their vendors and subcontractors. How does the firm ensure the property owner that payments are being sent on time? And how does it protect the owner from any potential lien on his property? Ask around, because a firm that usually delays the payments of its vendors and subcontractors will have that reputation.
                                                      • Energy Efficiency & Sustainability
                                                          You may not really be interested in constructing a LEED-certified building, but most people want to know if their building will be energy efficient or not, given the increasing cost of energy. So make sure you ask the firm regarding their experience in sustainable construction. Also, do check if they have a LEED accredited professional in their team.
                                                          • Schedule and Budget Compliance Check the contractor’s past record in staying within the project owner’s budget. A low upfront price will be of no benefit if you are repetitively hit with change orders, as it will take the project over your budget. Also, ask their past clients how well the contractor does when it comes to complying with schedule and getting projects completed on time.
                                                          3 Major Changes that will hit the Construction Industry in Near Future
                                                          3 Major Changes that will hit the Construction Industry in Near Future
                                                          It’s a known fact that construction is very slow when it comes to adopting changes. Nevertheless, the development of new technologies has considerably contributed towards the advancement and modernization of the whole construction industry. A general need for new technology has emerged in the industry as result of serious productivity problems that have been in noticed in big markets all over the world.
                                                            Construction industry has already begun adopting some of the changes today and further readjustment of the entire sector is expected in the near future. We have listed down five most significant changes that are about to hit the construction industry in near future. Read on to know more:
                                                              • Construction Software
                                                                  This is one of the most major developments that will soon revolutionize the construction processes. Many companies have already incorporated construction software in their processes while the others are preparing to do so. To be more specific, this software has managed to empower the entire construction process by improving the communication between different teams and stakeholders involved in a project. One of the key elements that have made this software so essential now is the fact that it allows the project agents to exchange information in real-time. This results in a considerable decrease of task delays and budget miscalculations.
                                                                  • Virtual and Augmented Reality
                                                                      Virtual and augmented reality are becoming more and more popular in construction with every passing day. VR and AR have the potential to take construction processes to a whole new level. All thanks to this innovative technology, project managers can now have a thorough overview of their construction projects and plan ahead. Furthermore, with the help of this virtual projection of the building’s final form project managers can reduce task delays and prevent costly mistakes.
                                                                      • AR and VR also offer a significant advantage in terms of security and safety. It is currently extremely dangerous and expensive to put workers below the ground or underwater to work on technical tasks. Although pipe-fitting robots and robotic underwater welders have been developed, but majority of the construction firms still prefer and use traditional methods that involve human workers. Construction industry still needs time to prepare itself for artificial intelligence. So till then, VR and AR will be there to improve worker safety. By allowing the project teams to view everything in the field and control the tools and arms to get the work done, virtual and augmented reality will make a significant contribution towards workplace safety and security.
                                                                        • New Generation of Workforce
                                                                            By now, it’s quite clear that the construction industry is undergoing rapid changes and that a completely revolutionized sector will emerge in the coming years. This will definitely have a strong impact on the general profile of the industry, which includes its workforce type. The introduction of new technologies in the construction industry has provided it with an exclusive opportunity to attract educated and skillful young professionals. With extensive use of advanced methods and software, construction is transforming itself into a promising career field. Moreover, considering the current serious labor shortage in the construction industry, this will bring a great change. As the sector will gradually embrace technological changes, it will finally be able to offer long-term career prospects to the new technological savvy young professionals.
                                                                              To get a better understanding of this, think about those construction firms that still use pen and paper in their construction planning and processes. There is a new generation of professionals out there that is more comfortable with the technologies emerging rapidly. When this generation get into workforce of top construction firms, there will be an accelerated shift towards hi-tech, revolutionary solutions.
                                                                            BEST COMMUNICATION PRACTICES DURING CONSTRUCTION EMERGENCIES
                                                                            BEST COMMUNICATION PRACTICES DURING CONSTRUCTION EMERGENCIES
                                                                            As construction is generally a high-risk work, emergencies are bound to arise. Workers can find themselves in dangerous situations with no instant means of communicating with other team members. This can lead to disastrous consequences. In large worksites or warehouses, this can be especially hazardous as some workers might get into an emergency situation without any nearby point-of-contact. That is why it’s essential for the construction managers to implement an effective and efficient safety communication protocol. By ensuring that an effective communication protocol is there during emergencies, the managers can make sure that all workers stay informed and ready when any crisis strikes, be it a natural disaster, an injury, or any other unforeseen event.
                                                                              Here are some of the best communication practices companies should use in construction emergencies:
                                                                                • Equipping the Workers with Radios
                                                                                    Most project managers provide their workers with some type of portable mobile device. Usually, this portable device is a cell phone. While cell phones are quite effective for normal communication, they may not be able to deliver immediacy required in emergencies. Whether a worker is caught in a hazardous situation or trying to warn other team members of an impending danger, using voicemail and dial tones can cost him valuable minutes. The project manager should therefore equip their workers with two-way radios. These radios are the most efficient way to communicate in emergency situations as they provide a direct line to other team members who need to be informed of the matter at hand.
                                                                                      Two-way radios also come with several other valuable emergency features, such as Man Down feature which allows the radios to detect if there is a lack of movement of if a radio is in horizontal position. This basically suggests that a worker has collapsed. It generates a chirp sound which notifies nearby radios that something has gone wrong.  Moreover, these radios have an emergency alert button which allows the workers to send out a network-wide alert in emergency situations with a simple push of a button.  This feature is especially useful in situations where dangers like fire, an incoming natural disaster, or suspicious figures on the worksite may be present.
                                                                                      • Implementing a PA System
                                                                                          If the worksite is more contained, then a PA system may be a more efficient route for communicating emergencies. This system allows the managers and operators to send a mass-announcement to employees on the worksite of an impending danger. There are many PA systems that have a reach of up to two miles, making them operational for even outdoor worksites. However, it is very important to limit the access of PA system to relevant departments, such as HR or management, in order to avoid false alarms.
                                                                                          • Encouraging “Buddy System” Among Workers
                                                                                              The project managers should promote buddy system among their employees to improve worksite safety. Buddy System is very crucial when it comes to communicating in emergency situations. On hazardous construction sites, workers who have to perform risky tasks should be encouraged to do them with a partner. Having a co-worker along is essential in situations where one worker gets caught in an emergency, as that other member can return to the management to seek help.
                                                                                              • Equipping Workers with Wearable GPS Devices
                                                                                                  These devices can easily be clipped on hip or wrist. Being unobtrusive, wearable GPS devices allow workers to easily continue their work without any interference, and they also help managers in keeping track of their workers’ whereabouts. They are helpful on larger construction sites, especially in a situation where an alert has been received from worker’s radio. It allows project managers and the team to easily locate the worker in danger, and thus reduces the risk of more destructive consequences.
                                                                                                What is Blockchain Technology and What Problems Can it Solve for The Construction Industry?
                                                                                                What is Blockchain Technology and What Problems Can it Solve for The Construction Industry?

                                                                                                What is Blockchain?

                                                                                                  Blockchain technology is becoming increasingly popular and being used in several industries including agriculture and banking sectors. It is basically a digital ledger that allows reliable integration and use of the data related to processes or transactions. Blockchain database stores all the important data and other information and secures it by cryptographic technology.
                                                                                                    Moreover, it lets the approved stakeholders access the stored information in the ledger with complete transparency and trust, via a secure and verified chain or records. The stakeholders can easily access and add to the quality assurance processes, multiple layers of design review, payment records, and project management transactions. Blockchain technology can help the company save a lot of time and resources by eliminating the need for intermediate steps and intermediary parties in a process

                                                                                                      What Problems Can Blockchain solve for Construction Industry?

                                                                                                      • Payment Processing
                                                                                                          One of the major challenges in construction is to make sure that payments have been timely sent to the stakeholders. Several regulatory requirements and frameworks such as defect bonds, security of the payment structure, project bank accounts, and retention trust are required to ensure that secure payments are made to subcontractors and workers. Blockchain technology has the ability to improve integrity and transparency of the payment processes by allowing traceable and secure payments.
                                                                                                        • Workplace Safety Management Systems
                                                                                                            Another challenge that construction industry is facing is the safety of its workers on construction sites. Every other day unpleasant incidents are reported on sites most of which involve workers. It has become extremely important for the industry to improve its workplace safety management systems. Currently, site events like failure of materials, safety incidents, weather conditions, and site conditions are logged manually via IoT tools and sensors. Blockchain technology can serve as a more secure source of Workplace Health and Safety (WHS), and other site information, with a high degree of accountability.
                                                                                                          • Supply Chain Management
                                                                                                              One of the many advantages of Blockchain technology is that it can be applied to every stage of supply chain management, including design, and material procurement, assimilation, and construction. Blockchain identifies the origin of construction materials, their suitability with the required specifications and quality standards, and secures the packing/delivery notes form the manufacturers. It also helps the firms in tracking the materials from shipping, customs, to the delivery site.
                                                                                                                No other technology or method offers this level of accountability for supply chain management. By incorporating Blockchain technology, firms can encourage trust and right behavior among their workers and stakeholders, and improve the efficiency of supply chain ecosystem.
                                                                                                              • Smart Contracts
                                                                                                                  Blockchain technology lets the firms create self-executing digital contracts known as “smart contracts” that automatically transfer money or an asset once it is verified by the underlying code that the predefined conditions have been fulfilled. Smart contracts can be used to track intellectual property rights, systemize payments, and transfer ownership of equipment and materials. This technology also reduces the need for intermediary parties and saves a lot of resources and time.
                                                                                                                • Building Information Modelling (BIM)
                                                                                                                    The combination of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Blockchain is a highly beneficial one. It enables the collection of high volumes of data from different design packages and presents it to the stakeholders in a dashboard format. In this way the information is securely shared between team members and stakeholders. This combination also allows the project managers to monitor and update the progress of the projects, and register and compare the work hours of both the workers and machines. BIM helps firms identify IP ownership, any problems in approved design and the quality of construction, and proposed improvisations or modifications and their impact on construction, and in this way improves the efficiency of design review and approval processes.
                                                                                                                  Is the construction Industry Ready for the Blockchain Technology?
                                                                                                                  Is the construction Industry Ready for the Blockchain Technology?
                                                                                                                  The construction industry is often criticized for its resistance to change. A lot of research that has been carried out on this subject indicates that a bad mix of practical and cultural barriers is present in the industry that hinders change and discourages adoption of new technologies. Considering these facts, it’s quite possible that the potential impact of Blockchain on construction will be undermined. A major obstacle that holds back change is the sheer number of regulations that the governments has imposed on the industry. Similarly, there are several other issues that serve as a barrier between construction and change. Due to these reasons, the introduction of Blockchain technology in construction may not be as beneficial as we think.
                                                                                                                    Here are a few major issues that the construction industry will have to overcome in order to reap the benefits of Blockchain technology:
                                                                                                                      • Infrastructure and Administration Gap The infrastructure and administration systems of construction are not fully prepared to adopt the Blockchain technology. They are still not capable enough for implementing crypto-technology in a way that its full potential is utilized. Remember that we are discussing the least digitized industry here; the industry where about 95 percent of the data produced is thrown away.
                                                                                                                          The companies still find it more convenient to continue with their traditional methods without realizing the long term benefits of the new technology. Lack of investment in technological innovations, structural fragmentation, and limited collaboration are few issues in the construction industry that are underestimated. If not addressed timely, these issues may pose a serious threat to the future of construction.
                                                                                                                          • Lack of Digitization The current practices of the industry have made it quite evident that before we introduce Blockchain technology, we will have to build a suitable setting to accommodate it. For example, we really need to reconstruct the building processes and bring them closer to the needs of supply chain. If that happens, only then we will be able to introduce smart contracts as supportive measure, otherwise it will only be a waste of resources.
                                                                                                                              Similarly, in order to use Bitcoin or any other established cryptocurrency it is important to create a smart contract. To make this happen, the companies would need data derived by a real-time project management software, a checklist application for inspection, and a drone for monitoring and certifying that the building is being constructed as its 3D design. With all these problems being present, it is evident that for an all-inclusive implementation of Blockchain technology in the construction industry, we first need to heavily invest in technological innovations. When the industry will become sufficiently digitized, only then Blockchain will be beneficial for it.
                                                                                                                                We should remember that all industries are different from one another. The fact that Blockchain technology has been successfully implemented in other industries such as E-Sports and accounting does not necessarily mean that it will be the same for construction industry. This statement can become stronger if we take some of the advantages like data-driven decision making and real-time project updates etc. that Blockchain technology is providing into consideration. It is because these advantages can be acquired through other construction software as well. In that sense, Blockchain isn’t really necessary for construction industry.
                                                                                                                                  Blockchain technology is undoubtedly an incredible technology regardless of the industries in which it is implemented. When it comes to construction, there is no doubt that this technology could help the industry improve its processes through bitcoin and smart contracts. However, it’s important to consider whether the construction companies are ready to adopt crypto-technology and whether it is really that necessary for the industry.
                                                                                                                                ALL ABOUT HYBRID CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION
                                                                                                                                ALL ABOUT HYBRID CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION
                                                                                                                                What is Hybrid Concrete Construction?
                                                                                                                                  This method basically involves integration of precast concrete & cast in situ concrete to gain advantage from their diverse intrinsic qualities. The speed, accuracy, and high quality finishing of precast concrete is combined with flexible and economical in situ concrete to produce buildable, simple, yet competitive structures. The construction companies, by employing this construction method, are able to deliver the client a better value product. Increased off-site manufacture, faster and safer construction, and steady performance benefits both the clients and the contractors.
                                                                                                                                    Precast and in situ concrete are used together in several different ways to expand the design horizons for engineers, architects, and contractors. Both these elements can work independently in combination. Moreover, a structure may comprise both precast and cast in-situ concrete working together, compositely. There are numerous types of hybrid precast and cast in-situ systems among with some are widely used.
                                                                                                                                      Advantages of Using Hybrid Concrete Construction
                                                                                                                                        • Lower cost of construction Although the cost of building’s structural frame represents only 10 percent on the total project cost, the materials used for the frame have significant consequences for the following processes. Hybrid concrete construction offers great quality, speed, and reduced overall cost on a project. The use of concrete has many additional benefits in estimating the whole-life costs as well. For example, due to the thermal mass of concrete, energy demands in heating and cooling buildings can be moderated. This factor is important to the building owners, residents, and PFI operators.
                                                                                                                                          • Buildability (or Constructability) Hybrid concrete construction is used where it is most appropriate. By doing so, construction processes become relatively simple and rational. The use of precast and cast in situ concrete encourages the decisions regarding design and construction to be resolved at the design stage.
                                                                                                                                              Using this construction method also means that a certain percentage of the structural frame is being manufactured by a skilled labour force in a weatherproof factory, which results in faster and better quality construction.
                                                                                                                                              • Increased Safety During Construction A high percentage of work for hybrid concrete construction is carried out in a precast factory. The use of this method on site helps ensure that all the safety plans are drafted on the merits of individual projects. Hybrid concrete construction can also reduce the chances for accidents by providing work platforms on less cluttered sites.
                                                                                                                                                • High Sustainability of Hybrid Concrete This type of construction allows to exploit the thermal mass of concrete by uncovering the soffit of precast concrete slabs. This energy storage capacity of the structure can help control temperatures in naturally ventilated, low-energy buildings. The shape and finish of the exposed concrete units also have the ability to reduce noise levels and even the distribution of lightening.
                                                                                                                                                    In today’s time, the operational energy of building is far more than that used during its construction, but in case of concrete buildings this might not hold true. It is because concrete buildings use thermal mass which can reduce energy consumption by minimizing the need for air-conditioning. Due to this reason, hybrid concrete construction is the best choice if you want to build an energy-efficient structure.
                                                                                                                                                    Structural Actions of Hybrid Concrete Construction
                                                                                                                                                      • Independent Action: It involves precast cladding that adorns in-situ framed buildings. The complicated portions of a structure usually lend themselves to in-situ construction whereas simple and repetitive sections may lend themselves to precast concrete construction.
                                                                                                                                                      • Combined Action: In this case precast units replace the in-situ elements directly. For example, hollow core floor units or stair flights within in-situ frames.
                                                                                                                                                      • Composite Action: It involves in-situ concrete toppings that are added to precast concrete floors for additional stiffness, strength, and robustness.
                                                                                                                                                      ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FLAT SLAB CONSTRUCTION
                                                                                                                                                      ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FLAT SLAB CONSTRUCTION

                                                                                                                                                      What is flat slab construction?

                                                                                                                                                        Flat slab construction method basically involves reinforcing concrete slab supported by concrete columns directly without any use of beams. This system is usually defined as a single-sided or double-sided support system with the entire load of slab being placed on supporting columns and a square shaped slab known as drop panels.
                                                                                                                                                          These drop panels play a major role in this construction method as they expand the sturdiness and capacity of the flooring system below the vertical loads and in this ways boost the cost effectiveness of construction. Generally, the height of drop panels is almost two times the height of the slab.
                                                                                                                                                            Flat slabs are suitable for most of the construction, especially for asymmetrical column layouts like ramps and curved shaped floors etc. There are several advantages of using flat slabs like flexibility in design layout, flat soffit, and depth solution. Although building flat slabs can be a bit costly but it gives architects and engineers immense freedom in designing. The advantages of flat slabs do not end at layout and design efficacy, they also help the construction teams by easing off installation process and saving considerable amount of construction time.

                                                                                                                                                              Types of Flat Slab Construction

                                                                                                                                                                There are four major types of flat slab construction:
                                                                                                                                                                  • Simple flat slab construction
                                                                                                                                                                  • Flat slab construction with column heads
                                                                                                                                                                  • Flat slab construction with drop panels
                                                                                                                                                                  • Flat slab construction with both column heads and drop panels

                                                                                                                                                                    Uses of Column Heads in Flat Slab Construction

                                                                                                                                                                      • They increase the sheer strength of flat slabs.
                                                                                                                                                                      • They reduce the moment in flat slabs by reducing effective or clear span.

                                                                                                                                                                        Uses of Drop Panels in Flat Slab Construction

                                                                                                                                                                        • They increase the absolute strength of the slabs.
                                                                                                                                                                        • They increase the negative moment capacity of the slabs.
                                                                                                                                                                        • They stiffen the slabs and thus reduce deflection.

                                                                                                                                                                        Advantages of Flat Slab Construction

                                                                                                                                                                        There are several advantages of flat slabs, including:
                                                                                                                                                                        • It is a known fact that flab slabs without the use of drop panels can be manufactured in very less time as the framework of structure is diminished and simplified. Therefore, in such a case, the construction time is significantly reduced.
                                                                                                                                                                        • Flat slab construction can significantly reduce floor-to-floor height especially in cases where deep false ceiling is absent. It is because flat slab construction does not restrict the placement of horizontal partitions and services. This can be very beneficial in terms of reduced cladding expense and pre-fab services.
                                                                                                                                                                        • In case the client wants to make changes in the interior plans and use the accommodation according to his changing needs, flat slab construction is the best choice as it offers flexibility in terms of design and layout. This flexibility is mainly possible due to square lattice and absence of beam that makes allocation of partitions and channelling of services difficult.

                                                                                                                                                                        Types of Flat Slab Design

                                                                                                                                                                        Several methods and processes are involved in the designing the flat slabs and assessing these slabs in flexures. These methods include:
                                                                                                                                                                        • The empirical method: This method is usually used for designing smaller frames.
                                                                                                                                                                        • The sub-frame method: This method is usually used to design irregular frames. Their designs are conceptualized by using appropriate software. However, using sub-frame methods for very complex designs can be very costly.
                                                                                                                                                                        • The yield line method: This is the most cost effective method that is best suited for homogenous installation of reinforcements. A detailed visualization and thorough examination of cracking and deflection is needed since this method utilizes only collapse mechanism.
                                                                                                                                                                        • Finite-element analysis: Application of this method is very advantageous in case of structures that have floor with irregular supports, bear heavy loads, or have large openings. Finite-element analysis can also be used to calculate cracked width and deflections.
                                                                                                                                                                        3 Ways Advanced Robotics Will Affect the Construction Industry in 2020
                                                                                                                                                                        3 Ways Advanced Robotics Will Affect the Construction Industry in 2020
                                                                                                                                                                        Despite all the recent technological innovations, construction industry still relies on many manual labour processes, which are the basis for several major series of operations or tasks. Many believe that the productivity and efficiency of the construction industry has still not met its true potential and has a long way to go.
                                                                                                                                                                          However, certain technologies are being developed and implemented in the construction processes that will play a major role in shaping the future of this industry. Among these innovations, advanced robotics have the potential to replace or considerably improve the existing construction processes, making them more accurate as well as more efficient. But unfortunately, in the present time, robots are not playing any major role in the construction industry. This is true for all commercial, residential as well as renovation-based projects. This role of robots, however, is expected to change in near future and it will lead to an incredible transformative experience that will reshape the entire industry.
                                                                                                                                                                            Considering all these expected changes, we’ve listed down five ways in which advanced robotics will affect the construction processes in the coming year:
                                                                                                                                                                              1. Reduced Operating Costs
                                                                                                                                                                                By implementing advanced robotics and automation in construction processes, the overall operating costs will reduce leading to a considerable cut in overall project cost. The related tools and equipment also tends to be more precise, efficient and less expensive when compared to manual labour. On the other hands, these advanced robots will reduce replace the human aspect of construction operations. Although in the beginning this change may be a bit problematic because craftsmanship is highly valuable for construction projects. Collaborative robots, also known as cobots, may serve as a solution to this problem. Cobots are basically designed to work together with human workers instead of replacing them completely. These advanced robots tend to boost and improve productivity by performing tasks that would otherwise consume extra time of the employees. They also considerably lower the operating costs by reducing the amount of labour required for a project.
                                                                                                                                                                                  It is also worth noting that cobots will have a major effect on collaborative work and work-related related relationships. It is obvious that they will alter the way we interact with each other and the world. This could lead to a dynamic shift within the development and construction teams where workers not only change roles but also adapt to less interactive tasks. If someone has to work with a robot all day instead of another person, it is possible that his feelings about work will change, in a good or a bad way. However, we still have to see how this will affect worker’s performance.
                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Increased Productivity on Repeatable Tasks
                                                                                                                                                                                      Human workers have to deals with several personal as well as environmental elements that robot do not experience. For example, humans get burned out, tired, or sometimes even bored with work. Their personal or family problems may also affect their performance. Robots, on the other hand, have none of these problems. They can continue to work indefinitely at the same quality and rate. Due to these reasons, robots offer a considerably higher level of efficiency as compared to human workers. Their work, however, can be hindered due to lack of maintenance or some other type of failure. This possibility can be eliminated by preventive maintenance, keeping the robots running for a longer period of time.
                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Better Operation Management and Handling of Logistics
                                                                                                                                                                                          Artificial intelligence can be used to handle logistics and other work operations in a more efficient way. Workers can be equipped with mobile devices through which they can communicate with their team members and other officials and update them regarding the work progress, forward requests and information, and alert them in case of any problem.  This setup can lead to improved productivity, improved safety, and better planning of collaborative tasks. It can completely transform the way construction teams work.