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Last edited 28 Sep 2021
In very broad terms, 'digital' refers to signals or data that are expressed by the digits 0 and 1.
Digital technology refers to the systems, hardware and processes that use digital data or signals to achieve a particular set of user-defined results. It pervades most walks of modern life and is the basis for telecommunications, computer systems, navigation and photography, but also manufacturing and finance, to name but a few.
In construction, digital technology has caused a cultural shift and comprises the set of tools that use and manipulate digital data to help improve, deliver and operate the built environment. These tools include:
- Use of drones to facilitate site surveys
- Facilitating remote meetings (eg Skype)
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning.
- 3D printing
- Communications such as email.
- Software such as computer aided design, computer aided manufacture and building information modelling.
- Internet of things.
- Cloud-based computing
- Virtual reality
Digital technology has brought about improved collaboration within the building team, and between it and other stakeholders. It has also resulted in new materials and processes, greater innovation and buildings that would have been either very difficult or impossible to design and construct before the advent of the digital revolution. Digital technology is not only achieving better results at every level, but is also helping to make construction safer, more collaborative and more efficient.
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