21st October 2015

Back to the Future (of Construction)

For film fans everywhere, it’s a very special day – 21st October 2015, aka the day Marty McFly and Doc Brown travel to in Back to the Future II.

But it’s also a special day for another reason – today marks the first day of the inaugural Digital Construction Week event, which showcases the latest in digital technologies in the construction sector.

So to celebrate both momentous occasions, I thought I’d take a look into the future of construction at the emerging gadgets, technologies and innovations which have the potential to change the built environment.

Unfortunately, there’s no hoverboards or dehydrated pizza.


Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) – or drones to many people – are already revolutionising construction. Systems such as Falcon8 and Sirius which are manufactured by Tangerine client, Topcon, allow surveyors to inspect difficult to reach areas such as oil rigs or rural locations with ease. As well as saving time, UAS have huge health and safety benefits.


3D printing

As the UK struggles to tackle the housing deficit, it’s interesting to consider whether we might just print the house of our dreams in the future.

This one was printed in just 24 hours!

Smart roads

While arguably, as Doc Brown says, in the future we won’t need roads, in the meantime we could opt for these intelligent, interactive highways.

With glow in the dark lighting, charging points for electronic cars and dynamic paint that warns drivers of slippery surfaces, they could be a good interim measure.

A handy tool

Royal College of Art student, Morten Grønning has created the Happaratus which allows users to sculpt hard materials with their hands. It gives a completely new meaning to ‘give us a hand’.

Handy Tool

Virtual reality

While BIM is already helping the industry model buildings before their construction, technology such as Oculus Rift takes visualisation to the next level


Which technologies do you think will revolutionise construction?

By Jo Hart, B2B Senior Account Director