Future of Preconstruction

Preconstruction Technologies that are Transforming Construction

Preconstruction is a dynamic process involving multiple stakeholders and significant data collection and manipulation. A new class of preconstruction management systems are emerging to help owners and general contractors (GCs) plan, estimate and track projects more efficiently.

Preconstruction management platforms streamline workflows and eradicate common risk factors that emerge during preconstruction, making time and budget estimates more reliable. This ebook will look at how technology has revolutionized the construction industry and explore the advantages of popular tools.

We'll cover:

  • Problems affecting the construction technology,
  • Benefits of implementing technology as a solution,
  • Specific tools that can help your business.

By the end of this post, you will better understand how preconstruction-specific technology in the construction industry can be transformative.

Emerging Trends in the Construction Industry

The construction industry is changing rapidly due to external pressures and the absorption of new technologies. 2023 opened amidst economic uncertainty, with some analysts predicting a 64% chance of recession. This turbulence may lead to a contraction in the residential and nonresidential construction sectors. 

The biggest trends in the industry, however, are technological. These trends include: 

1. Smart Cities

Smart cities optimize city functions through data analysis and integration with Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Infrastructure within smart cities is built with IoT in mind, increasing data collection and promoting efficiency.

60% of building managers were familiar with IoT technology in 2019, and 43% believed that it would shape their construction over the next few years. Since then, the smart city market has grown significantly. International Data Corporation (IDC) posits that smart city investments will hit $203 billion by next year. 

2. Drones

Drones are used to survey worksites, evaluate progress, and inspect hard-to-reach areas.

Drones can also help eliminate building-related waste. Data shows that using drones to measure materials stockpiles increases accuracy by 61%.

3. Modular Construction

The global modular construction market is expected to swell from $91 billion in 2022 to $120 billion by 2027.  Modular construction is attractive to GCs because it reduces costs and shortens time to project completion. The best construction technology frees human resources for more complex and value-adding tasks.

Common Construction Problems for Owners

Project owners must stay on top of multiple tasks. Poorly managed projects run the risk of cost overruns and preconstruction challenges that can be inconvenient and costly.

Some of the most common problems include:

Schedule Delays: Time management is critical for a successful project. Construction projects are often complex and involve many moving parts, which can make it difficult to predict when a project will be completed. Inadequate planning and resource allocation often lead to expensive delays that hurt the bottom line.

Communication Issues: Effective communication keeps everyone on the same page and ensures tasks get completed on time. Owners may struggle with coordinating with engineers, general contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers, leading to delays and mistakes.

Quality Control: Quality control should be a top priority for project owners. Substandard performance can result in costly repairs and project termination.

Poor Organization: Owners must manage a significant amount of information and documentation throughout the project lifecycle. Poor organization can lead to lost documents, missing deadlines, and mistakes that impact overall success. Paperwork must get tracked in real-time for maximum efficiency.

Bad Forecasting: Accurate forecasting is essential for managing budgets and resources. Bad forecasting can damage your funding and lead to missed opportunities.

All of this challenges can be resolved while increasing revenue by implementing a project portfolio management solution uniquely designed for commercial construction owners.

Common Construction Problems for General Contractors

General Contractors (GCs) also face unique challenges. Let's examine the main issues GCs have to deal with:

Subcontractors Management: GCs depend on their subcontractors to complete projects on time and within budget. They must manage qualifications and increase MSWBE/HUB requirements while validating and tracking cost and time estimates. As the work progresses, GCs must also complete significant paperwork and maintain contact with stakeholders.

Labor Shortage: Both in the office and in the field, labor shortages increase project costs significantly. These blindspots are especially damaging during peak seasons. Unfortunately, labor shortages will continue to be a real threat in 2023.

Risk Management: Risk management is a component of every construction project. GCs must assess and mitigate risk throughout the entire project timeline. Failure to do so can result in mistakes that erode profit margins.

Contractors can adopt project controls to transform your project delivery by integrating and tracking cost and schedules from kickoff through delivery to reduce risk and increase project predictability.

Why Preconstruction Technology is the Answer to Construction's Toughest Questions

Preconstruction technology has become the answer to many of the toughest questions facing the construction industry today and allows owners and GCs tackle their problems head-on. Innovative and sophisticated tools created from the preconstruction industry have helped to streamline various processes, enhance communication, and ensure that construction projects are completed on time and within budget.

Here's how these technologies can handle each problem:

Schedule Delays: With the help of AI and machine learning, preconstruction teams can create more accurate schedules that account for a wide range of factors, reducing the likelihood of delays and other issues, in a matter of minutes instead of days.

Using Building Information Modeling (BIM) can also help to identify scheduling conflicts and potential delays before construction even begins. By identifying potential problems beforehand, project owners can adjust schedules accordingly, ultimately avoiding costly delays.

Communication/Collaboration Issues: Preconstruction software like Relay keeps everyone on the same page. Stakeholders can quickly review project plans, documents, and schedules. Relay also includes a two-way messaging system for direct communication between all involved parties to ensure instant collaboration data sharing.

Quality Control: Prefabrication and modular construction are two ways to improve quality control. Using prefabricated units cuts labor costs and eliminates most risks associated with traditional projects while reducing overall waste.

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies get used for training staff and new workers on-site before they even begin their job

Poor Organization: Project management software and preconstruction software like Relay can help GCs stay organized. Real-time tracking of documents, resources, deadlines, and budgets ensures everybody is on the same page.

Bad Forecasting: Bidding and estimating platforms like Relay help contractors quickly and accurately bid on projects. With Relay, you’ll have access to historical project costs and schedules based to forecast more precisely on future projects and audit past actuals to find areas for improvement.  

Lack of Skill: The construction industry is facing a shortage of skilled labor, which can lead to quality issues and delays.Fortunately, robots can work in areas lacking employee skills, allowing projects to progress smoothly despite subcontractor inexperience. AR can also be used to provide training for new workers or those in need of upskilling.

Inadequate Risk Management: Drones and robots can get to dangerous places where humans cannot, improving risk management. The Internet of Things (IoT) devices should get used for labor, equipment, and material tracking on the job site.

Labor Shortages: Software like Relay can help you work around labor shortages by optimizing your team's time and reducing rework and data entry. AI in construction can take on the tasks of multiple employees. Building Information Modeling (BIM) lets you accurately predict the labor needed before starting, so you can spot the gaps and know which technology to employ. 

Overrun Costs: Using BIM, Relay, drones, AI, and machine learning can clearly depict the job and its progress at any given time. This accuracy helps keep budgets in check and eliminates overruns caused by poor planning or other unforeseen issues.

A Glimpse into the Future of Construction Technology

The construction industry has already embraced several emerging technologies. However, there are countless more that can revolutionize the sector even further. For example, Digital Twin and 3D Laser Scanners can help create a virtual replica of a building from conception to completion. This way, builders have an accurate picture of any design changes needed before breaking ground.

Robotics is another rapidly evolving field in construction technology. Autonomous robots can help automate processes like surveying, paving, and welding. These machines work quickly and precisely to get the job done in a fraction of the time it would take humans to do so.


Preconstruction technology isn't just a future solution. It's here now and ready to help you tackle construction's most challenging problems with confidence.

From forecasting costs more accurately to improving quality control and minimizing risk, the power of these tools is immense. Preconstruction technology is upgrading an industry that has remained relatively unchanged for centuries, helping contractors work smarter and faster while improving the overall quality of construction projects.  

The possibilities are endless. Relay's preconstruction software allows for clean, structured, and accessible data collection, which can improve the accuracy of cost and schedule estimates, increase efficiency in project planning, enhance risk management, and improve decision-making. 

As the construction industry continues to evolve, Relay is committed to staying at the forefront of technological advancements, always striving to provide solutions to the industry's toughest questions. By utilizing our preconstruction technology, construction companies can improve project outcomes, optimize resource allocation, and build more projects each year with lower contingencies because of increased confidence in planning. Overcome common construction problems with the help of Relay. Contact our team of experts today!

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