The advent of computers in the construction industry can be backdated to the onset of the computer revolution in 1939. Since 1939 computers have come to be increasingly used in all sectors of the economy including construction. With the development of information technology many user specific programs, whether software based or hardware based has been developed.
Through the use of open source software’s like UNIX and Linux computer users have been able to change or modify programs to suit their preferences. This has enabled the production of user specific programs in the construction industry including specialized areas like carpentry.
IMPACT OF COMPUTERS ON CONSTRUCTION:
The construction industry involves many specialized sectors. These sectors form part of construction engineering. They include airports, bridges, roads, houses etc. in almost all of these sectors there is an inter-relationship between the kinds of skills required. For example to build a house we shall not only need a carpenter but we shall also require a civil engineer, a mason and a plumber. In order to make work easier and more accurate many computing software and computer generated programs and equipments have been developed.
In the specialized field of carpentry that involve woodworking skills in the making of furniture, buildings and other objects out of wood many computer generated software’s and hardware’s have been produced. These computerized tools include the cylindrical grinder that is used to manufacture precision rods, computerized testing software among many others. Computers have thus been used to design and develop new products into the market. Furthermore using computer simulations it has been able to construct safer, stronger, and suspended bridges since it has become easier to analyze the potential or maximum load that can pass through based on tare weight calculations and whether the vehicles passing through are single or multiple axle based.
Through manufacture of these specialized tools rescue operations have been enhanced using these tools. This is because some of these equipments produced, have been widely used in rescue missions and many lives have been saved in the process.
In general construction works like in the field of aircraft manufacture more planes that are safer and faster both for military and passenger flight operations have been manufactured. This has reduced air traffic disasters tremendously since it has become possible to simulate cruise speeds in relation to the altitude and cargo loads.
Through computer programs constructors even in the carpentry industry have been able to involve their clients in aiding them to produce more customer friendly or personalized goods and services.
In addition risk assessment has been increased through the use of software’s that have been specifically formulated to calculate the level of strain that maybe a certain kind of a structure can maintain. Through such analysis constructors may end up using maybe more wooden furnishings as compared to metallic furnishings so that they may not exceed the maximum weight that a certain structure is supposed to withstand.
Through computing the art of carpentry has also been added more value since it is now possible for woodworkers to design their intended materials using computers and then using these computer generated images they can be able to produce more varieties of goods.
When it comes to the real construction site e.g. the construction of a house the use of computers has relatively reduced the risk of injuries as well as effectively making work less laborious and cheaper.
The amount of paperwork required onsite has been largely reduced. In addition since foremen on a construction site are supposed to carry out many duties onsite like interpreting plans and drawings, procurement of tools, materials and equipments, the use of computers has greatly reduced this huge task off their shoulders.
In large scale areas of construction or carpentry the use of accounting software’s to regulate employees, procurements, and sales has been very instrumental in maintaining the organizational culture. These software’s include plan swift, Accubuild, budgetrac systems amongst others.
Computers and the art of computing have revolutionalized the construction industry. In order to construct more energy saving buildings it has been imperative that computer programs that analyze all the possible outcomes have had to be used. This has led to the reduction of the manual labor required as well as reducing the monetary burden. In addition through the use of computerized programs more job opportunities have been created in the information technology sector as more people with IT skills are entering the market to produce more user friendly and efficient construction engineering tools.
Byron W. Maguire (1988), Carpentry in Commercial Construction, Craftsman Book Company.
Rob Howard (1998), Computing in Construction: Pioneers and the Future, Elsevier.
Miller Mark R. (2004), Carpentry & Construction, McGraw-Hill.