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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Building a Better Future: China’s Construction Industry Leads the Way with Tech Innovation

ChinaBuilding a Better Future: China's Construction Industry Leads the Way with Tech Innovation

The construction industry in China is currently experiencing a significant transformation, driven by the adoption of innovative technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), and the internet of things (IoT). These advanced technologies are making the construction industry more intelligent, efficient, and safe. In fact, a smart robot can now complete the binding of a reinforcement cage of a bay window in just 70 seconds, demonstrating the incredible speed and accuracy of these machines. With the introduction of prefabrication, building houses has become as easy as building toy blocks, making construction faster and more cost-effective.

Building automation systems are another technological advancement that is being widely adopted in China’s construction industry. These systems can sense body movement and automatically control indoor temperature and lighting, providing a more comfortable and energy-efficient environment. The use of these systems is becoming increasingly popular in residential and commercial buildings.

In a bid to improve the quality and safety of buildings, China is currently promoting the use of advanced construction equipment and smart construction methods. At a construction site in Chongqing, Lu Lijun, who is in charge of the site, explained that every crane is equipped with a “black box” that connects to a smart platform, monitoring the working conditions of the crane in real-time to ensure safety. This technology helps to prevent accidents, reduce downtime, and optimize crane usage.

Another impressive development in China’s construction industry is the use of data-collecting robots with caterpillar tracks. These robots can measure buildings within 60 meters at 360,000 points per second, providing accurate and detailed information with two-millimeter accuracy. The robots are able to plan their routes and avoid obstacles, making them highly efficient and cost-effective.

Despite these impressive technological advancements, the Chinese construction industry has faced significant challenges in the past. The industry has been heavily reliant on resource factors and massive investment, leading to extensive production models, low efficiency, and high energy and resource consumption. However, the adoption of new technologies is helping to address these challenges and transform the industry into a more sustainable and efficient sector.

Smart construction has the potential to drive the high-quality development of the construction industry. With the use of new technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT), the Chinese construction industry is becoming more intelligent. This will not only help to increase efficiency but will also promote stability and growth in the industry.

Changsha, located in central China’s Hunan province, is an excellent example of how smart construction can boost the industry’s growth. The prefabricated building industry in Changsha has seen its annual output exceed 100 billion yuan ($14.5 billion), and more than 400 major enterprises are engaged in the sector. An official from the city’s municipal department of housing and urban-rural development has said that the technology-driven smart construction industry is closely correlated with many other industries, which helps promote synergetic development.

In addition to attracting investment, smart construction creates a consumption market for new-gen information technology. As such, it’s an essential measure that advances the green and low-carbon transition. With the development of smart construction, the industry can reduce its carbon footprint and adopt sustainable practices that are in line with China’s goals of achieving a green and low-carbon future. The use of prefabrication in building construction, for instance, can significantly reduce carbon emissions by decreasing the amount of waste produced and the energy consumed during the building process.

Furthermore, smart construction can help to reduce labor costs and improve construction safety. With the use of robots and other automated equipment, the risks of accidents and injuries can be reduced. At the same time, smart construction can improve the quality and safety of buildings. For instance, with building automation systems that can sense body movement, indoor temperature, and lighting, indoor environments can be automatically controlled, ensuring comfortable and safe living conditions for occupants.

The integration of smart technology in buildings is revolutionizing the construction industry in China. A prime example of this is the smart office building in Chengdu, which boasts automated sky ceiling control that adjusts to weather changes. The building also features rooftop photovoltaic panels and an underground power storage facility that regulates charging and discharging in real-time. By utilizing these smart devices, the building saves approximately 1.86 million kWh of power and reduces carbon emissions by 1,027 tons per year.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development recognized the potential of smart construction and designated 24 cities, including Beijing, Tianjin, and Chongqing, to carry out a three-year pilot program to explore new paths for the transformation and development of the construction industry. This program aims to promote the use of smart construction technology in various stages of building construction, such as design, construction, operation, and maintenance. By doing so, it can improve the efficiency, safety, and environmental friendliness of buildings.

The adoption of smart construction technology is a significant step towards achieving China’s green and low-carbon transition goals. With smart technology integrated into buildings, energy consumption can be optimized, waste can be minimized, and carbon emissions can be reduced. The smart office building in Chengdu is just one example of how technology can help make buildings more environmentally friendly, and similar advancements can be implemented on a larger scale.

Overall, the pilot program for smart construction in 24 cities is an essential step towards the transformation and development of the construction industry in China. Through the integration of smart technology, buildings can be more energy-efficient, safe, and environmentally friendly, which is crucial for the country’s green and low-carbon transition goals.

Smart construction can drive the high-quality development of the construction industry in China. The use of new technologies such as 5G, AI, and IoT can help to reduce costs, improve safety, and increase efficiency. Additionally, smart construction can promote sustainable practices that are in line with China’s goals of achieving a green and low-carbon future. With the continued development of smart construction, the industry will be able to meet the demands of a growing population while adopting sustainable practices that ensure a prosperous and sustainable future for all.

The pilot project launched by China’s Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development aims to accelerate technological innovation and improve the development quality and benefits of the construction industry. With a focus on typical application scenarios in digital designing, smart production, and smart construction, the project also seeks to strengthen digital management of the quality, safety, schedule, and cost of engineering projects to increase benefits and reduce consumption and emissions.

In one typical application scenario, the use of BIM (building information model) animation has helped construction engineers avoid potential collisions of prefabricated parts. For instance, at a nursing home under the phase-III expansion project of Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, the use of BIM software helped constructors avoid possible collisions of gigantic prefabricated parts.

Moreover, the project aims to develop tailored city information modeling and smart construction platforms that display the progress, quality, and other information of construction programs on mobile apps. According to Yi Chao, chief engineer of the resettlement program with China Construction Fourth Engineering Division Corp. Ltd., the application of advanced technologies has reduced the construction period for every storey by six days on average.

China’s Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development plans to strengthen enterprise-led integration among industries, universities, and research institutions, and implement strategic, comprehensive, and forward-looking projects to tackle major technological challenges. Additionally, the cultivation of world-class construction enterprises will be fast-tracked to achieve high-quality development of the industry.

The success of such pilot projects can have far-reaching implications for the country’s construction industry, as it not only improves the efficiency and safety of construction but also reduces energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. As China continues to pursue sustainable development, the construction industry’s transformation through the application of advanced technologies is a crucial step in achieving a green and low-carbon future.

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