Technology, Efficiency, And Sustainability in Construction


Sustainability is a big buzzword these days. There’s a general push to make our world more sustainable, and the construction industry is no exception. Governments, communities, and local authorities are pushing developers and owners to build projects that take sustainability into account. More efficient buildings, more community and green spaces, and lower carbon emissions are just some of the criteria popping up around new projects. 

This post delves into how heavy civil construction can evolve through technology to meet the growing demand for sustainable construction. 

In Earthwork, Efficiency Is Sustainability 

As owners and developers start focusing more and more on the sustainability of their projects, earthwork contractors can position themselves as “sustainable” partners by becoming more efficient. You don’t have to adopt electric excavators & trucks or spend an inordinate amount of time tracking your carbon emissions. You can become more sustainable as a by-product of becoming more efficient in your daily operations.  

The wave of construction technology that has popped up in the last decade or so, including Smart Construction, gives contractors a way to save time & money while being more competitive in the eyes of sustainability-minded GCs and owners. 

Some of the ways contractors can use construction tech to boost efficiency include:  

  • Equipment tracking & optimization: GPS tracking, machine control, and other telematics data can help contractors monitor their equipment in real-time. This can reduce fuel consumption and unnecessary wear while helping them identify ways to do the same work in a faster, more efficient manner. By helping operators do more faster, GPS guidance and machine control reduce the time and fuel needed to move and grade dirt on site. You can also reduce idle time so your equipment is utilized in an optimal way. 
  • Drones: Drones can be used for site surveying and project monitoring. The use of drones can minimize human error in design or estimation and dramatically decreasing the time needed to measure quantities and make critical decisions about your projects. Drones are especially valuable for large sites, where a person walking the site to estimate quantities or track progress would take a long time and maybe not be as accurate as a drone survey. Read more about drones in heavy civil construction on our blog. 
  • Digital twins: 3D modeling can make planning easier and more accurate, reducing the risk of rework and wasted materials. Digital twins also streamline communication between everyone involved in a project. Imagine that you run into a design issue on a project. You’ll need to move much more dirt from the site than the engineer anticipated. Instead of slowly trying to convince the owner that you need a change order, you can show them the cut/fill amounts from the digital twin. This increases transparency and accelerates key project decisions, leading to more efficient overall projects. You can find out more information about digital twins in a previous blog post.
  • Simulations: Simulations are an emerging technology in the earthwork industry. They can help you identify the optimal construction plan for a given design considering the current terrain, your available equipment and laborers, and other considerations. Even when you have experienced estimators and project managers, a simulation can help them make better decisions faster. Smart Construction is leading the way in earthwork simulations. Learn more about Smart Construction Simulation on our website and blog.

Investing in efficiency is a win-win-win for contractors. Efficient use of resources saves both time and money, which directly translates into increased profitability. Similarly, efficiency helps contractors do more with less, allowing them to optimize their projects and maximize output even when labor is short or the economic situation is uncertain. Finally, greater efficiency and the sustainable benefits that come with it can make a contractor more competitive in the eyes of a sustainability-minded GC, owner, or developer. This can lead to more work and higher profitability in the long run – all from small investments in technology.  

How Smart Construction Boosts Efficiency 

The Smart Construction solutions are designed to save contractors time and money.  

  • Smart Construction Field helps you eliminate the paper trail from jobsite to office. It’s a one-stop shop for collecting field data like timecards, material receipts, fuel logs, and more. It makes field employees more efficient and reduces the time needed to process payroll, create pay estimates, and track down how much you paid for those materials that were delivered yesterday. 
  • Smart Construction Office helps you schedule projects in an efficient manner and gives you a clear picture of where your projects are at any time. Are they on schedule? Are they under or over budget? The self-updating schedule [link] helps you identify the best path forward on a project based on real-time data reported from the field. 
  • Smart Construction Dashboard is a drone visualization software that helps you map your jobsites, calculate cut/fill amounts, and generate measurements with ease. Using drones to measure quantities, track progress, and identify potential issues can save you significant time and money, especially when you’re able to identify an issue on site before it turns into re-work. Improving communication between all project stakeholders is an important benefit as well, giving you the ability to share data quickly and easily with everyone involved, thus decreasing the time needed to make critical decisions on a job. 
  • Smart Construction Simulation is the only solution of its kind that allows you to simulate earth moving using AI to maximize production on a job site. You can simulate any scenario including limited time and assets to determine the most effective use of equipment and labor.
  • Smart Construction Fleet lets you track cycle times to identify the most efficient haul routes to and from your jobsites. Access your data from anywhere to make quick decisions that increase efficiency.
  • Smart Construction Remote lets you upload design surfaces into machines from anywhere. You can increase the efficiency of your operators by sending updated grades directly to the machine without having to visit all your jobsites in person.  

Ready to learn more? Visit our website to see more about our available solutions or reach out to schedule an introductory call or demo. We’re always here to help you increase your efficiency and profitability. 


Rising adoption of technology in heavy civil construction is transforming the industry. Field tracking software, telematics, drones, and other solutions are helping contractors become more efficient & profitable while improving sustainability. The intelligent use of technologies like Smart Construction can help contractors navigate the changing landscape of construction and position themselves as key partners for the future of sustainable construction.