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By: Léa Plourde-Archer
Advice for contractorsWork-Life Balance: A Struggle Affecting Workforce Retention in the Construction Industry
The working world is undergoing radical shifts, and these changes have without a doubt impacted Quebec’s construction and renovation industry.
The issue at hand here is the critical labour shortage, the workplace conditions it enables, as well as the shift in priorities the workforce experiences in terms of quality of life.
Over the course of the ensuing paragraphs, we will delve into the following three aspects surrounding the relationship between work-family balance, the renovation industry, and how it can affect you as a business owner.
Whether you have been in business for 2 months, 2 years or 20 years, you have likely been among the many business owners struggling to recruit new employees as of late. Over the last few years, this has been a widespread phenomenon.
While the number of deals signed may have increased or even boomed, you may have been one who had to turn down projects because there simply were not enough hands on deck.
As a result, workers who are already part of a crew find themselves overworked, often having to work overtime to the detriment of family time. This can even make the shortage worse, as some employees can no longer live and work under these conditions, and therefore are deciding to find a job that is less demanding and more accommodating.
This is further supported by an article that was published in February of this year in La Presse (the hardship construction workers are faced with when it comes to work-life balance), based on a study conducted by the Ministère de la Famille. The article stipulates that 45% of construction workers have reported that their work has had a massive negative impact on their lives.
Nearly half… We can therefore conclude that the work conditions in the industry, exacerbated by the shortage, greatly affect the work-life balance of construction workers.
Seeing your kids grow up is priceless!
For many workers, work-life balance has become a key factor in job satisfaction. As a result, employers in the renovation industry must factor this preference into their employee recruitment process and business management decisions.
Since it is highly coveted by most employers, potential hires can demand more flexibility to which bosses are more inclined to respond affirmatively. In other words, as the expression goes, they have the upper hand.
Life is short; take advantage of all the time you have with your loved ones.
As a business owner, admittedly, balancing work and family life is tough as it is. Being an entrepreneur—in any industry—is demanding, yet rewarding, but it also requires a lot of planning to reconcile the other areas of your life. With all the developments that have occurred in the construction industry in recent years, the challenge is even more daunting.
Maintaining one’s well-being is an essential part of all of this too as a lack of balance will eventually catch up to you. So, how do you go about it?
The answer is not that straightforward, and unfortunately, there are no silver bullets in this situation. Moreover, it is not likely that all solutions are appropriate for all cases. Still, here are a few time-tested tips to help contractors better manage their own work-life balance, as well as that of their team:
Family dinners are a time during which family can gather after a long day at work or school.
In conclusion, this article paints a picture that many would qualify as discouraging (others might see it as a motivating challenge!), so here are a few tips that could be beneficial when it comes to retaining your employees, establishing a good reputation as an employer, and enticing other workers to join your crew. The tips below will enable employees to achieve a better work-life balance.
For more tips like these, check out our article: Renovation Company: 6 Tips to Reduce Employee Turnover.
A team who works well together is more likely to stick together!
RenoQuotes.com can help you get more contracts. Every day, we receive quotes from clients looking for trusted professional contractors. Simply fill in the form on the homepage (it only takes a few minutes) and get information regarding new clients by way of our service.
Last modified 2023-05-09
Cynthia Laferrière • 22 Jul 2022
The construction industry spans a broad set of players from various fields (contractors, manufacturers, haulers, specialized trades, crop farmers, etc.) and significantly contributes to Quebec's economy. When imagining a construction job site, one often thinks of plowed lands, heavy pollution-ridden machinery, and a workforce prone to injury at any time. Nevertheless, the current climate calls for continuous progress in this ever-growing industry. As an entrepreneur, chances are you want to stand out, add value to your company, and positively contribute to society. To do so, your projects, in terms of how they are managed, developed, and executed, must reflect the impact you want to have on the economy, environment, and society. As a matter of fact, positioning yourself favourably in mainstreaming goals aimed at a circular economy is beneficial to your reputation, clients, and your investors. Methinks it is easier said than done and a tad utopian... Well, we all have to start somewhere when it comes to improving our eco-friendly practices. ESG Criteria This initialism first arose within the financial sector and is now spreading to other areas of society. Aiming to be socially responsible, intelligently managed, and leave a less battered planet to future generations, these criteria contribute to making better decisions when pursuing your entrepreneurial activities. E Is for Environmental Source: Flickr Measure the impact your company has on the environment, climate, and pollution. Try to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions, water and electricity consumption, and biodiversity footprint around the work site. Efficiently manage the use of natural resources and recycle your waste. S Is for Social Source: Tumisu – Pixabay Analyze and improve the impact your company has on your clients and all the people who are involved in the construction process (suppliers, citizens, employees, etc.). Ensure security as much in terms of confidentiality, and banking transactions, as physically on work sites. Create a work environment that fosters learning and training. Honour rights, standards, accessibility, and inclusion. G Is for Governance Source: Ameen Fahmy – Unsplash Improve your relationships with shareholders and clients. Clearly structure the different administrative and management positions. Be fair, forthcoming, and collaborative across the board and in all departments (sales, sourcing, and management policies...) How to Apply ESG Criteria While these eco-friendly practices are strongly encouraged, there is no one size fits all consensus, nor are there any clear, sharp, and detailed guidelines. Even a subject as well-known as the carbon tax is seemingly murky. It all comes down to a matter of ethical commitment, individual subjectivity, and greater knowledge. However, on-site, good old-fashioned common sense applies and everyone has their own (yet tried and tested) methods depending on their goals and project requirements. For example, the same guidelines will not be applied to a start-up project as to the renovation of a century-old structure. Reduce Your Ecological Footprint In other words, to have a positive impact on the environment, start by upgrading your fleet of vehicles to electric cars. Then, collaborate with organizations that salvage and manage waste from your work site in an eco-friendly way, or perhaps educate you on how to repurpose waste for a later project. Draw up architectural plans that will result in the use of technologies that will generate energy and heat transfer between sections of the building or that will allow for renewable energy, such as solar panels. Ideally, aim for a carbon-neutral construction and create biodiversity within the building. Consider materials that have a myriad of functions essential to preserving the environment. For example, wood absorbs carbon, emits little GHG throughout its life cycle, and is derived from a renewable source that is locally grown and processed. Besides being versatile and durable, it blends in with any décor. Improve Your Commercial and Management Performance Favour sites that promote client autonomy and encourage the use of nearby services. Work with suppliers with ESG strategies and learn from the younger generation who are committed to aligning their personal values with those of the company. Promote equality and gender diversity by adopting a zero-tolerance policy towards violence and encouraging women to join your workforce. Set realistic goals, such as increasing the percentage of skilled, visible minority employees to 20% within the next 5 years. Keep up with the latest technologies, use digital management tools, etc. Certifications and Governmental Measures Complying with all the various recommendations set forth by various programs in place to improve ESG practices is not mandatory. Moreover, there is a wide range of such programs, depending on the province, type of project, department, and so on. Just to name a few: WELL, IWBI, CBDC, BOMA BEST… The two most well-known and followed certifications are LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and ICP (Investor Confidence Project). The first one targets all aspects of the construction and renovation process. It is obtained by cumulating an impressive performance score in areas such as green design, energy efficiency, employee health and safety, and the selective use of materials. The second certification focuses on project financing and good business protocols. Simply put, being proactive and innovative is your best bet when it comes to developing useful ESG practices on your work site.
Cynthia Laferrière • 15 Jul 2022
Whether you are a specialized or general contractor, the success of your business is something you hold on to dearly. As a matter of fact, the ability to swiftly and judiciously collaborate is essential to carrying out any project. To do so, Procore provides you with an online project management platform, which allows you to make available all stages of your project to whomever it pertains. This software presents an efficient way to link, in real-time, the goings-on at a particular job site as well as the happenings behind the scenes. Here, technology goes hand in hand with well-managed teamwork. Procore: A Turnkey Management Platform for Contractors Procore is a digital management software for computers and mobiles. Said project management platform is available in more than 150 countries and most notably available in French (admittedly, rarely is management software available in French, especially in the construction and real estate industry). This platform was specially created to fill a void in the construction industry; it is simple to use, practical and adapted to job site realities. Overall, Procore is a universal administrative communication tool that streamlines day-to-day projects to limit delays, miscommunications, and any risks inherent to certain tasks. Source: Flickr Pre-Project Management Proposals, 2D-3D plans, lists of materials, assigned labour, outsourced labour, quotes, budgets, deadlines, contracts, before and afters, estimates, sketches, standards and regulations… Every step is necessary, every detail is essential to a well-organized project that can be analyzed and processed with software made available through Procore’s platform. You will automatically know in which area you are lacking and where last-minute changes need to be made. Take action based on forms, inspections, drawings, and so forth… Collaborate with one or more persons remotely and get the most out of it all. By conceptualizing a project with many different players, ensuring everyone is on the same wavelength is a must before even that first nail is hammered in. Ongoing Project Management At all times, access documents, emails, and daily logs meticulously filled out, as well as updated plans. These features will benefit you to keep confusion at bay whether it is with clients, retailers, employees, or partners hovering around any given project. You can say goodbye to problems such as misplaced reports, illegible scribbles on the edge of a desk, delayed calls due to forgotten project details, or unclear directions that are on hold. By controlling disclosed information in real-time, you and your team will know what to expect. Eventually, you will make decisions based on facts and you will be able to predict or even bypass inconveniences or trivial setbacks. Overall, it is a huge load off your shoulders. Rather than questioning every corporation, receiving varying viewpoints, or using assorted systems and ways of operating, customize information with Procore. Users no longer need to search or wait for details to make it through the right channels; you can save precious time with the click of a button. Deadlines will be respected and, in turn, optimized. That way, it will be easier for you to control the purse strings as well as productivity. As a matter of fact, you may compile the project’s many changes and overall progress with the help of graphs and notes regarding money spent, and what should be emended before faltering money or simply levelling in areas with which the client may be dissatisfied. Synchronizing accounting software linked to data and third-party payments will definitely make your life easier. Source: Flickr Procore Software - Benefits streamline everything from a single platform, disclose information and receive signatures; total transparency and proactivity = yield success and a good reputation; create high-quality plans and viable systems; manage your own roster of employees and lists of retailers, outsourced labour, cost of materials, etc. to optimize the project’s efficiency according to your needs; customize graphs and reports; submit quotes and contract details via online documents with supporting information and analyses; guarantee project safety via access to current and comprehensible documents regarding standards and codes; track financial health throughout the project and adjust accordingly; manage communication in real-time and disclose an overview of the job site. Logs and background may help if: legal action is taken against you—you will have access to the required documents to defend your case; an employee is injured—you will be alerted and then able to proceed accordingly, like helping the employee with CNESST procedures; you enjoy collaborating or wish to never again do business with a certain individual. Procore clients also appreciate: the numerous apps embedded in the software (DocuSign, SharePoint, etc.); the community of construction professionals (should you wish to ask questions or join groups); 24/7 technical support and customer care; full training before jumpstarting; apps are available offline when you are on job sites with little to no service. Check out Procore’s website for more information regarding costs pertaining to your situation while having access to various demos of this developing management software.
Cynthia Laferrière • 29 Mar 2023
Have you ever thought about hiring labourers from foreign countries to offset the labour shortage, acquire new talent, or diversify your team? If so, it could be a great entrepreneurial strategy. However, as you’ve probably guessed, it can’t be done in a flash, and there are necessary steps to follow and very strict standards to abide by. Here’s an overview of what working with foreign workers entails. How can you hire temporary foreign workers in Quebec? Source: Canva First and foremost, you have to consider qualified local candidates before you even attempt to fill positions with international labourers. Have you set your sights on workers outside of Quebec? Perfect. According to Sonia Lopez Moran from Stretegiko, with whom we sat down for an interview, all companies must assess their ability to adapt accordingly and determine if they have the necessary resources to carry out projects without a hitch, before pursuing the possibility of hiring abroad. If your answer to both these questions is “Yes,” start looking to unearth those lucky few. To do so, you can, amongst other things, create an employer account on the Québec emploi website under the international section. From said service, you’ll be able to see candidates according to common research criteria such as region, contract duration, level of education, industry, etc. Has your research paid off? You’ll need joint approval from the Government of Quebec and the Government of Canada to hire a worker. You’ll be asked to submit a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) with both governments simultaneously. As for the selected individual, they’ll have to submit a temporary selection application to the provincial government to obtain a Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ). It’s your responsibility to send their request at the same time you submit your LMIA application. If the LMIA is positive and your temporary selection request is accepted, you’ll receive a letter co-signed by both governments as well as two CAQ copies. You’ll then be asked to send these documents to the candidate to move forward with the last step. Lastly, the foreign worker will have to contact the Government of Canada to obtain their work permit by submitting two CAQ copies and your letter confirming the temporary work request. To qualify, the applicant may be asked to submit additional documentation (work experience, criminal record, birth certificate, health check-up, diplomas, references, etc.). This final step will have to be approved and confirmed before the plane ticket is purchased. The work permit will be handed to the worker upon arrival. Foreign Worker Hiring Conditions Source: Canva Highly qualified or specialized workers To be eligible to hire some highly skilled labourers, your company must be endorsed by partners to the Canadian government. Their role is to determine whether the vacant position truly calls for foreign talent, whether it's vital to your company's development, and whether your company has innovative qualities. The authorized partners are Quebec Technology Association (AQT), Québec International and Investissement Québec. To learn more about requirements and exemptions, read the hiring requirements in Category A: Global Talent Stream, or see the list of occupations requiring global talent in Category B. Workers already in Quebec Are you looking to extend or renew a work contract? Are you looking to hire a foreign worker who’s already in Quebec, for example, an individual whose contract with another employer is nearing its end? The steps are the same: Submit an LMIA application, a new CAQ and a second work permit. Workers eligible to the Facilitated LMIA The Facilitated Labour Market Impact Assessment allows employers to fast-track their temporary foreign recruitment process for workers who will fill select positions as listed below. Here are examples within the construction industry: Engineering Director Architecture and Science Director Construction Director Construction and Residential Renovation Manager Property Management Agent Insurance Adjusters and Claims Examiner Civil Engineer Mechanical Engineer Electrical and Electronics Engineer Metallurgical and Materials Engineer Geological Engineer Architect or Landscape Architect Urban and Land Use Planner Land Surveyor Civil Engineering Technologist and Technician Construction Estimator etc. How to Prepare and Submit an LMIA Application Source: Canva This evaluation is used to determine whether the foreign worker is fulfilling a real need and whether no Canadian resident is available to perform the tasks requested by the employer. We advise you the keep track of any and all reasons for which you can’t hire a local worker (résumés received, unsatisfactory interviews, etc.). You’ll need to request an LMIA application from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and the Government of Quebec from the Ministry of Immigration, Franchisation and Integration (MIFI). Note that, in Quebec, the documents provided regarding yourself and your company must be submitted in French. Expect a 3- to 6-month delay. *Note that all supporting documentation that isn't in French will need to be attached to an official translation of the original document or a certified translation of the original copy. You’ll need to include the following with your request: A photocopy of the relevant LMIA application. It depends on which program you registered with and whether the workers are hired to fill high- or low-income positions (+ or - $25/h). To determine the appropriate salary, use the National Occupational Classification (NOC) table. The completed and signed Déclaration de l’employeur - Programme des travailleurs étrangers temporaires (Employer Declaration - Temporary Foreign Worker Program) form. Indicate the months of experience you deem necessary to perform the work needed and attach all supporting documentation. A signed copy of the work contract that both you and the employee have agreed to. The worker’s temporary selection application form. Verify that the section “Authorization given to employer” is completed and signed. Photocopies of any supporting documents related to the worker (passport pages, current résumé, diploma and transcript, work experience related to the job, former work permit if ever there is one, etc.). Fees of $432 per worker (non-refundable) to review your request. Who’s exempt from the LMIA? To know if you can jump over this step, check out the LMIA exemptions via the International Mobility Program. Here’s a list of reasons you could bypass the need to obtain permission from the Government of Quebec for an LMIA and/or Quebec Acception Certificate: The job offered lasts less than 30 days The individual is a company transfer The worker won’t receive monetary compensation The employee is a member of the International Experience Canada (IEC) or has a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ) It’s a free trade agreement Note that, for jobs provided by the LMIA, you’re still required to obtain a work permit via Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). If an exemption code applies to your situation, you must indicate it in your job offer. Foreign Worker Government Programs Specifications Source: Canva Here’s how Lopez Moran summarized the programs available for hiring foreign workers: Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFW): It allows employers to bring over immigrants for temporary jobs. International Mobility Program: For temporary foreign workers who don’t need to obtain an LMIA and/or Quebec Acception Certificate. Regular Skilled Worker Program (RSWP): If the worker wants to immigrate to Quebec permanently for work purposes. Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP): As the name already implies, this one doesn’t concern you… Your Obligations to Foreign Workers We’ve also learned during our interview with Sonia Lopez Moran that an employer has more obligations toward a temporary foreign worker for short-term contracts (6 to 9 months) than for contracts lasting 2 to 3 years. Here’s a list of your obligations to foreign workers: Fill in, sign, and submit a work contract in good and due form. Pay costs related to obtaining necessary company authorizations, such as a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) as part of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). Verify that the worker has a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ), or if they’re exempt from it, as well as a work permit. Help the worker obtain their documents (identification papers, SIN, medical file, etc.). Offer, free of charge, medical insurance, as long as the worker isn’t covered by the RAMQ. If it’s a low-income position (paid less than $25/h): Assume transportation costs to and from the work site and affordable housing. Report to the CNESST among others the hiring of a temporary foreign worker. Respect the previously mentioned commitments established during the hiring process, such as salary and method of payment, number of work hours, type of tasks, etc. Fulfill the terms and requirements mandated by the LMIA and Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR). Advise the governments and submit a new LMIA request if needed should the work conditions change along the way. Keep all important documentation for 6 years. Comply with employment-related laws, both provincial and federal. Naturally, as an employer, you’ll need to respect these laws and fulfill your obligations toward your labourers, whether they’re foreign or not. Otherwise, you could be sanctioned for non-compliance. Well, at least now you're more informed!
SoumissionRenovation.ca • 09 Dec 2022
At a time when everyone is conscious of environmental protection issues, we're looking to recycle and upcycle everything that's no longer needed. As such, the urge to upgrade your home's brick cladding is reason enough to think this over. However, we tend to overlook the fact that terracotta bricks, which are everywhere, are among the greenest solutions out there. Reclaiming bricks is an easy endeavour considering they’re recyclable and reusable. Here's everything you should know about brick recycling. How to Use Recycled Bricks Source: Canva When a structural shift or collapse occurs damaging brickwork, repairing a wall is still an option after carefully cleaning the bricks and replacing those that are cracked or broken. An experienced mason can comfortably do the job, provided that some bricks made ten, twenty, or thirty years ago are available. Since this is usually a major feat, it explains why there's a real demand on the market for used bricks. In other words, many contractors need recycled brick! When renovating, your old brick may very well become valuable. The use of secondhand bricks, however, will vary depending on their condition: “Reclaimed bricks” that are still in good condition: Used for a construction or renovation project, but the dismantling process must have been meticulously done, and every brick cleaned to perfection. That way, you’re saving on material costs, but the upcycling process is time-consuming and tedious, which almost always outsets the cost-effectiveness of the initiative. Otherwise, if not reused to build a structure, the salvaged bricks can be used in landscaping projects to create walkways, retaining walls, or patios. Overly damaged bricks can be upcycled: These can be broken down and converted into aggregate or granular material. Once crushed into pieces, it becomes a sought-after material used as backfill or drainage stones for foundations and transportation infrastructures. These can also be used to make mortar, concrete, or bituminous coatings. In other words, even though it might seem like a complex process, it’s an excellent way to upcycle bricks for numerous projects. In Quebec, aggregates such as brick, concrete, or gravel account for 40 to 60% of construction, renovation and demolition waste. However, brick has a never-ending lifecycle because of its natural composition (clay shale). Once buried in the ground, having undergone no chemical or industrial transformation, brick disintegrates and returns to its original state without releasing the slightest toxic emission. However, the energy spent on waste management could be used upcycling it! Where to Donate Bricks for Recycling? Source: Canva Bricks are almost always salvageable, whether we're demolishing a deteriorating building or modernizing a house's façade. Once properly cleaned, they can be reused immediately, without any processing or transformation. Recycled Brick Resale Companies With selective deconstruction, a structure’s specific components can be removed to later be reused or recycled. Ultimately, that’s how certain businesses can provide their customers with recycled materials that aren’t available elsewhere. This is especially true with Websters and Sons, a Montréal-based company with a huge inventory featuring bricks of various colours and from different eras, some were even taken from heritage buildings. This company specializes in the purchase and resale of recycled bricks. DIY Used Brick Resale If you’re unable to find a business nearby that’s interested in purchasing your bricks, you can always put them up for sale on a classified ads website. Albeit demand isn’t at an all-time high, the rarity of the product ensures that you’ll have, in no time, some takers. Ecocentres Luckily, the majority of ecocentres accept construction materials, thus bricks. Most of the larger cities in the province of Quebec have local ecocentres, and these salvage sites are accessible to the general public. Several municipalities encourage residents to recycle bricks at designated locations. How to Find a Brick Recycling Centre? In some cases (if the brick you want to recycle isn't in good condition, for example), looking for a company willing to take your stack of bricks can be quite difficult. However, knowing that the construction industry is responsible for one-third of waste materials in Quebec, this approach can significantly reduce your work's environmental impact. Companies such as Maçonnerie Gratton use their expertise to restore recycled bricks, whether it's reusing the original bricks or opting to have recycled bricks used in a reconstruction project. The Brique-Recyc machine, featured in the upcoming sub-section, further allows on-site recycling. Are you looking for experts for your masonry project? Fill in this form to be connected with top-rated contractors! The Brique-Recyc, a Brick Recycling Innovation Source: Canva Fitted with a diamond blade saw and guided by a laser system, the Brique-Recyc is both a time and money saver. The machine removes mortar and cleans bricks in less than seven seconds, dust-free. Instead of breaking 15% of the bricks, as seen with the previous method: the standard cleaning method, this machine retains upwards of 99% of the bricks. Brique-Recyc Function The machine’s mode of operation is simple enough: Brick is dropped onto a conveyor belt powered by the push of a button. The brick disappears into a metal casing and exits a few seconds later, polished and perfectly cleaned. The old mortar is salvaged and will later serve to make cement, while brick can serve to build a wall from where it’s just been extracted. Close to a dozen bricks can be processed using the same method, in only a few seconds. The machine recycles a 1,000 sq. ft. (92 sq. m.) brick wall in 440 hours, while 600 hours would be needed to rebuild a wall using new materials. On-Site Brick Recycling Until very recently, it was easy and cost-effective to haul new bricks from the United States or Ontario instead of cleaning old bricks and reusing these to build a wall. Conventionally, salvaging brick was an especially slow and costly procedure that people preferred, by a long shot, to dealing with the headache of moving new materials in and out of urban building sites. Both cheap and eco-friendly, reusing bricks for the same wall would prevent 5.9 tonnes of carbon gas emissions. This calculation accounts for the manufacturing of new bricks, transportation (Quebec ceased making new bricks in 2016), construction process, and disposal of old bricks. The Brique-Recyc machine is easily transported and can be used in restricted areas, even on scaffolding. When the bricks are cleaned on-site in a short amount of time and immediately reused, it thus becomes cost-effective to recycle this material instead of disposing of it. Therefore, your renovation project could be both cheap and eco-friendly—talk about a win-win!
Cynthia Laferrière • 03 Aug 2022
Virtual reality, a well-known concept for many years, and augmented reality, made famous by the popular mobile game Pokemon Go, are ever-evolving technologies. Having first demonstrated their potential in video games, they're increasingly being used and developed across various industries. Moreover, they represent a considerable appeal to investors, professors, scientists, and real estate developers. They're intended to facilitate learning, assist communication, and reliably modernize specific so-called conservative disciplines. Since the construction industry is a more traditional and unpredictable industry, the use of augmented and virtual reality allows for better construction site management, from design to completion. Augmented, Virtual, and Hybrid Reality Virtual Reality Virtual reality is probably the most well-known concept of the three, and it provides total immersion in a fictional 3D universe, often inspired by real-world reality. Reproduced by computer software and displayed via a headset, simulations allow for the person who immerses themself in the world to interact with the objects and characters in real-time. Augmented Reality With this concept, it's more a question of adding virtual elements on top of real-world images. The computer-generated content also allows the user to interact with the environment, in real time, but it doesn't necessarily require a headset. Instead, the user is able to see the information on a screen (phone, tablet, computer screen...) or while wearing a pair of eyewear. The idea here is to enrich something that already exists by understanding its meaning. For example, if we add a storey to an existing house, what would the house look like in the end... Hybrid Reality Just as the term suggests, it consists of a mix of both virtual and real worlds. In this case, real-world elements can interact with virtual objects. With the use of eyeglasses, this type of reality is highly interactive and frequently takes the form of holograms. Source: Flickr Augmented & Virtual Reality: Bona Fide Apps for Construction Industry Apprise First, let's go back to the beginning: training. No matter what profession you pursue, imagine being able to assimilate the exact procedures by practicing technical manoeuvres, whether on a construction site or in a factory, all in a virtually or semi-virtually controlled setting featuring various potential situations. And this, without any real accidents, while limitlessly exploring your creativity and repeating the process as many times as necessary to reach full comprehension, without wasting materials. Moreover, if the instructor has access to your assignments and can review them later, or even immerse themselves with you to fine-tune the work and demonstrate by example, then the possibilities for improving skills and learning processes are huge. To some extent, you can also train a worker in safety practices and equipment operation by simulating the eventual work site using GPS data and computer software. Design In due part to building information modelling (BIM), one can further understand the pertinence of innovative applications related to augmented and virtual reality. These tech tools propel ideas into the near-real world to determine their viability. As a matter of fact, suppose a 3D rendering of a building materializes on your tablet, or the construction details of a building appear before your eyes when you point your phone at a vacant lot. You could virtually implement load-bearing walls in specific locations, add wiring, reconsider the width of a storey, view the final result with completed landscaping, and so forth. As a contractor, you would be able to use your tablet to show your team the worksite well ahead of time, as well as communicate the probable risks and the security measures that must be taken according to the worksite. Designers and ergonomists would be able to spot potential problems related to the way objects, nature, and humans intertwine. In a nutshell, by managing remotely, one can take measurements from home, as well as spot conceptualization errors beforehand, keep the labour force better informed, meet all deadlines, and there would even be an interface that could give workers real-time guidance. Share The construction industry involves countless conversations and meetings between the various parties involved in a project. Sharing of information must often be done as swiftly and accurately as possible, from design to delivery. Since not all parties involved are on-site or present at the same time, incorporating virtual realities during certain stages makes things much easier. For example: To interact remotely, but in real-time, during an inspection or when something unexpected occurs; For all (specialists, managers, and the labour force) to agree on the steps to follow and the best decisions; To see the same thing at the same time, and to advise accordingly while providing illustrated instructions and technical guidelines. Market Imagine a sales pitch intended to convince an investor that’s supported by a 3D model, to which elements are added as you mention them! Also, consider the option for home buyers to tour a building before it's even built, or for clients to actively participate in designing their landscape by seeing their ideas in real life through a smartphone. The space, textures, colours, overall look, process, etc., are now all accessible, not just on paper. Seeing the project unfold in 3D helps enhance communication and avoid mid-project changes that can delay the process. A happy client is a loyal one who will also refer you to other potential clients. Blending digital technology and business allows companies to reduce delays and build a solid reputation. First, the client receives a quote faster, accepts it or alters it remotely. Then, manufacturers and contractors receive the list of materials needed and understand the exact steps involved in the project. Finally, the workers and technicians aren't on the road unnecessarily since everything is compiled and adjusted in real-time. Source: Milan Herzog - Pixabay Advantages of Augmented and Virtual Reality in the Construction Industry Ease learning and assessments. Optimize information retention through hands-on practice with less equipment. Control plans at will before approval and allow you to virtually immerse yourself in an at-scale environment. Safely simulate situations and reduce work staff. Optimize project costs by wasting fewer resources, avoiding travel time, and increasing productivity. Anticipate problems and minimize last-minute changes. Encourage collaboration and information communication regarding useful know-how during the course of the project. Tools Most often, the tools used are VR headsets, glasses, sensors, and touchscreens like tablets or smartphones. Namely, among the heavy hitters are Oculus Rift S, HTC Vive, NEXT-BIM, Microsoft HoloLens, and the Stellar X platform. As technology develops, it's likely that we'll one day see the symbolic yellow hard hat worn by construction workers adapted to include a camera and sensors that can transmit information to augmented reality tech tools!