Tomorrow's Buildings: What is the Future of the Construction Industry?

14th October 2016

With the release of innovative technologies; Spike and the release of construction focused 3D printers, the construction industry should expect a revolution in the way construction companies develop and complete building projects.

Firstly, let Entwistle Group introduce to the state-of-the-art device – Spike.

What is Spike?

Spike is the latest technological device, aimed at reducing the cost of surveying and site measurement.

The device is a laser measuring tool that attaches to a mobile device, smartphone or tablet, transforming it into a powerful surveying tool.  This unique product is small enough to carry in a pocket can quickly become indispensable for an individual who works in the construction industry and regularly measures buildings or large objects.

How to use Spike?

Using this device is simple and easy to do.

Construction companies and surveying firms will not have to spend additional costs or time training employees on how to use Spike, as this tool is easy to attach and use. To attach it, simply place it onto the back of whatever mobile device or tablet is being used.

Then to use the tool, connect it via Bluetooth and begin taking pictures of the object(s) being measured. When taking a picture of the object, gridlines will measure the height, width and length of it.

Advantages of using Spike

There are many advantages in using Spike compared to existing surveying tools:

  • small enough to carry around,

  • measuring times are dramatically reduced,

  • data can be shared almost instantaneously with colleagues back in the office

Spike automatically saves images taken to Spike Cloud or to the device itself. No need to fear that images and measurements will be lost.  This feature also ensures that measurements can easily be shared with colleagues or customers.

Furthermore, Spike allows for surveying and measuring quickly. This is extremely important to speed up the planning stage of a project by allowing architects and engineers to start to develop schemes at an earlier stage of the construction project which in turn should bring forward the completion date.  

We, at Entwistle Group, suggest that all construction companies and surveying firms adopt Spike straight away.

In the future major construction projects are going to be completed quicker. Just as surveying times can be reduced thanks to technology like Spike so too can the construction phase with the rise of SD printing.  Incremental time savings will cumulatively bring forward completion dates.

What is 3D printing?

3D printing is a relatively new type of printing. It involves developing a physical object from a digital 3D model, by printing or laying down layers of material.

Why will it be used in the construction industry?

Just like Spike, the use of 3D printers in the construction industry will dramatically decrease construction time, allowing for faster completions and earlier deadlines.

There are a  new wave of 3D printers which can print materials, including composite concrete mixtures, wood and metal. Additionally, 3D printers will layer the materials almost instantly. Therefore, 3D printers could be used to layer these materials to create building structures which are not only stable, but also complete in record time.

Advancements in 3D printing are continuous. Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis is attempting to develop a 3D printer which will have the ability to construct a home of 2,500 sq. ft. in 20 hours, saving construction companies time and money.

Since 3D printing of objects requires a digital model, it will allow the construction of walls and floors to include cavities for electrical wires and plumbing.

Current 3D Printed Buildings

Most recently WinSun China has completed construction of public toilets using 3D printing.

WinSun are also in talks with Saudi Arabia to help construct 1.5 million homes to help alleviate the housing shortage. If this goes ahead, then it will be the biggest 3D printing project to date.

Additionally, Yekaterinburg Cement Factory, a Russian cement company, will create a life-size version of Game of Throne’s Winterfell castle, using 3D printing.


The evolution of technologies, such as 3D printing and Spike will see the construction industry change dramatically. Budgets, costings, blueprints, deadlines and much more will be affected by these continuous innovative advancements. Contact Entwistle Group to enquire about 3D printing or Spike.

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