How AI is Being Used to Advance Construction in the Construction Trades in 2023

November 21, 2022

By: John Tomblin, Senior Solutions Architect
GlendaleBizz, a division of Sofvue, LLC
Printed with permission of Data Titan, Sofvue, LLC and the author

The construction industry is one of the world's oldest, most complex, labor-intensive industries. It is also responsible for a significant portion of global GDP (12%). However, it has only been in the past few years that the industry has started leveraging technology like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

With the advent of Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) based applications, construction companies are able to optimize construction workflow, produce safer working environments, and reduce costs, all while improving quality at every stage: design, finance, construction, operations, and maintenance. These tools also play a vital role in helping identify potential health and safety issues that might arise.

What Is Artificial Intelligence?

There are many interpretations of what AI is… and how it works. While some people conjure up images of the “Machines” from James Cameron’s “Terminator” and “Terminator 2” films, others think of IBM’s “Watson” super computer whose beaten every living chess champion, but fundamentally, AI is, as its name implies, the ability for a machine or computer to simulate and solve what otherwise would be required by a human being to solve.  

Many people conflate AI with Algorithms, but they are not the same. Algorithms perform a rigid, pre-defined set of tasks when specific triggering events occur within an application or mobile app platform. AI is more. Not only can AI encompass numerous and complicated algorithms, but it is also capable of learning, meaning that it can solve problems and create solutions that through algorithms, have never been scoped or defined. The most common example is the self-driving car, capable of making decisions, while driving, regardless of its location. If you put a self-driving car in the middle of traffic in Los Angeles, it will drive itself. If you then move the car to downtown Las Vegas, it can begin driving itself, even though it’s never “visited” Las Vegas before. With algorithms, each path of a car’s journey must be known and followed. With AI, the car calculates and learns how to navigate, despite the fact that it’s environment is constantly changing.

According to Global Newswire, and Market Research Future (MRFR), a comprehensive research report, “AI in Construction Market information by Stage, by Components, by Technology, by Application and Region – forecast to 2030” is slated to reach USD 2512.8 million, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 33.2% by 2030. This then begs the question of how AI is being used in the construction industry. Let’s take a look.

Role of AI in Construction

Although AI cannot replace human workers in the construction industry, it can help alert supervisors of potential safety issues, track the real-time details of workers and machinery, and eliminate productivity problems.

1. Design

AI can help with the design of buildings and infrastructure by allowing engineers to use AI to design new products and optimize their performance while minimizing production costs. Examples include using onsite virtual reality tools to “see before you build” and place construction components virtually while standing on a job site.

AI can also assist designers in creating new materials by analyzing properties, such as strength, stiffness, resistance to impact, and more. This also includes analyzing how these properties will change under different conditions (i.e., temperature and humidity).

2. Building

AI companies have begun using drones to control robots remotely while performing construction tasks, such as laying bricks or placing beams into position for roof construction. AI can also be used to improve the construction process by optimizing scheduling and workflow management, while simultaneously minimizing waste using innovative approaches such as automated robotic manufacturing systems (ARMS).

ARMS can produce large components with superior quality at a lower cost than traditional methods such as CNC machining or molding. ARMS facilitate higher volume production, especially when larger machines are capable of handling larger parts assembly, and with greater precision. This ensures consistent fabrication throughout the production lifecycle. This also minimizes defects caused by temperature fluctuations during production cycles or thermal expansion post production cycles.

3. Health and Safety

The next area where AI is used heavily is to monitor and predict health and safety risks. AI does this by analyzing data on work site conditions, equipment usage, weather patterns, etc., to identify potential issues before they occur.

For example, suppose an operator routinely works outside during windy conditions without wearing a hard hat or other protective gear. Using onsite cameras or periodic drone “flyovers”, the system, using AI vision systems, can alert a supervisor that the employee is not wearing their hardhat and then automatically send the employee an alert to their phone reminding them to put their hardhat on.

AI vision systems can also generate automated alerts when certain hazardous conditions arise. For example, when someone is standing too close to moving machinery, an alert can be sent to their mobile phone telling them to move. Another example is having the ability for heavy equipment, using Wi-Fi technology, to send alerts to nearby employees when a heavy piece of machinery is within 50 feet of their proximity.  

Information captured using these and other AI technologies can then be analyzed using machine learning algorithms trained to recognize patterns associated with different types of injuries or incidents. The results of this analysis can then produce field reports that help managers identify workers who may need additional training or medical attention to prevent future injuries, or in other cases, identify, by incident rates, which employees need additional training… or warnings.

4. Using AI for Construction Site Management

AI software can also be used to predict future maintenance requirements, failures, and costs. For example, AI can monitor equipment inventory in real-time and analyze the data to identify problems before they occur. For example, using AI vision systems, AI software can measure tire treads on tractors and send notifications that the tires need replacement.  Another example is sending camera equipped drones into a building to validate work completion during different phases of construction. Based on the type of AI software being used, these drones can locate mechanical, plumbing and electrical sections of the building, “see” the construction status and report back to an engineer that current work status or completion rate of the expected work.

In addition to predicting future problems based on current conditions and patterns, AI is also useful for analyzing historical data to find trends related specifically to past construction projects, and armed with this information, better plan and streamline processes for future projects.


Residential and commercial construction is a time consuming and complex industry that is responsible for approximately 12% of global GDP. It produces tens of millions of skilled jobs, produces buildings that last decades, generates billions in revenue for the development industry and providing society with safe housing and business facilities that all of us take for granted. That said, AI is bringing value to the industry, producing better construction tactics, promoting safety and reducing time and costs with development. I for one welcome the expansion of AI into the construction industry. Not only is it a “perfect fit” but using AI and AI vision systems can only help in allowing development companies the ability to build longer lasting, functional, safer buildings that will stand decades to come.   

How Can Glendale Bizz Help?

GlendaleBizz is a full-service mobile app development company serving Glendale and the entire Maricopa County small business community. We have designed and developed over $22MM in solutions for companies coast-to-coast, and across numerous business segments. Our software architects and engineers understand artificial intelligence (AI) software and mobile app development models, and we can help you design, engineer, and build the right technology that serves your company’s business goals.  

We provide extensive experience building apps using Java, C#, PHP, Objective-C, Swift, and Xcode, among others. We also use technologies like AngularJS and NodeJS to ensure your apps are dynamic and functionally engineered to meet all your business goals. Give us a call to learn more about our recently completed projects, read recent letters of recommendation, and to discuss how we can serve both your project goals and your company.

Read this blog: Understanding and Choosing the Right Software Development Model for your Project

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