Outdated aspects of the construction industry moved into digital age

by Liv Croagh
0 comment

Victoria University (VU) researchers have been developing state-of-the-art technology that is working to improve the vastly outdated construction industry. 

The construction industry in Australia has one of the highest rates of preventable accidents and deaths of any sector in Australia, but now Professor Zora Vrcelji and Professor Yuan Miao alongside their teams have improved safety training with new technology.

Using a construction simulator (COSI) paired with virtual reality (VR), the team at VU’s Werribee Campus worked on reducing workplace injuries and deaths. With the fully immersive and VR technology, construction trainees are now provided with high-tech goggles and equipment to explore through the simulation and learn about on-site safety. The change from learning from instruction booklets or outdated computer modules is enormous, and will contribute significantly to a decrease in on-site incidences, say the researchers.

What does the simulator put the user through?

Using the simulator, trainees will learn to climb ladders, move equipment, work in a confined space, and walk along narrow scaffolding – mimicking real life situations that are common in workplaces, but without any of the risk.

Already being used throughout city councils, construction giants are starting to adopt the new technology. Simonds Homes was an early adopter of the simulator, with the Victorian Building Authority expressing interest. Professor Vrcelj says that the project is a huge leap forward for the construction industry, which has lacked digitisation, leading to worksite injuries alongside a lack of quality control.

Research also improves building inspections

The researchers are also helping to modernise the profession of building surveying. Traditionally, surveyors conduct mandatory inspections of buildings during construction with a clipboard and a checklist, as they assess the framework, electrics, plumbing, and design of a building.

“The surveyor comes, checks that everything is up to code, ticks the boxes, then leaves. But if something changes that affects the build before the next inspection, no one has any idea what’s been done or where the alterations have been made,” says Professor Vrcelj.

Instead, the VU researchers have developed a cloud-based platform where photographs and 360-degree scans of the building are uploaded, and can be accessed remotely in real time from a smartphone or iPad, further modernising archaic health and safety measures in the construction industry.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More