Construction 4.0: The future of the sector lies in sustainable construction techniques

The construction industry is one of the driving forces of our country’s economy. But it is also among the most inefficient sectors. Digitalisation of the sector is slow, and there is still a long way to go before sustainable construction techniques become the norm. However, Construction 4.0, a concept that was born from the Fourth Industrial Revolution, is paving the way for the transformation that this sector has been in need of for a long time.

In about 30 years time we will see that the construction of houses will be completely different and buildings will be entirely sustainable. They will use new technology and materials: robotics, BIM (Building Information Modelling), IoT (Internet of Things), 3D printing, among many other sustainable construction techniques.

Sustainable construction techniques: BIM methodology

The BIM methodology is an unstoppable phenomenon that is inevitably beginning to change the way construction has been conceived up till now and that drives the sector towards Construction 4.0.

BIM is fundamentally about “putting order” in construction projects. It is a collaborative work methodology for the creation and management of construction projects. Its goal is to centralise all project information into a digital information model created by and for all stakeholders involved.

BIM is the future of the sector: it will shorten deadlines and reduce budgets as well as allowing for projects to be carried out in a more efficient and sustainable way. But construction has a long way to go before reaching this future. However, there are already sustainable construction techniques that are driving the sector to achieve these goals of efficiency and respect for the environment.

Waterproof membrane

One of the European Union’s climate goals is to achieve 100% energy efficiency by 2050. A difficult task for construction but for which different technological advances and sustainable materials have already been developed.

One of the new innovations being applied in buildings are thermoreflective insulators, such as COOL-R. This is a highly reflective waterproof membrane that manages to reduce the temperature of the building’s roof by up to 70%, which guarantees the building’s thermal insulation and energy efficiency.

Dry construction

Dry construction is a construction model in which the materials used, as the name suggests, do not require wet conglomerates for the assembly of structures or other components. It breaks with the classic process of building with bricks, sand and cement.

It is a technique that has great advantages over the wet construction system. It shortens the time of projects, reduces costs and generates very little waste in the course of construction. The latter is due not only to the absence of cement, lime and sand, but also to the fact that it is a simple, fast and clean technique, as it does not require chipping and generating debris.

Dry construction work offers great thermal and acoustic comfort. Insulation allows a home built with this system to be cooler during the summer and warmer during the winter, leading to significant energy savings.

This energy saving combined with using less water and energy throughout the process, mean works built using this technique have a lower carbon footprint, which makes the building more sustainable.

Development comes to everyone, including buildings. New construction techniques respond to a global reality where sustainability and efficiency must guide the projects of architects, engineers and, in general, of all stakeholders involved in the construction sector.

Sources: Espacio BIM, Building Smart, Barbieri

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