In the construction industry, there are many technological terms that are increasingly present and necessary. This glossary includes specific terms of technology in construction such as BIM, quality control, IoT, and many others, as present as they are necessary in the construction world. 

You probably use many of these concepts in your daily work, but do you really know what they mean?

We’ll explain tricky language and clarify important technical words used in construction nowadays. Whether experienced or new, knowing these words is crucial for understanding modern construction.

Even for seasoned professionals, staying abreast of technological advancements is essential for remaining competitive in today’s market. This glossary is a valuable tool for modernization, offering insights into innovative technologies. It can streamline processes, enhance efficiency, and drive bottom-line results. Whether adopting new technologies or deepening understanding of existing ones, this article provides a comprehensive overview of construction’s technological landscape.

It’s an opportunity to validate your understanding of familiar terms and concepts, while also providing insights into emerging trends that may have eluded your radar.

So, let’s embark on this journey together, as we unravel the intricacies of construction technology and pave the way for a more efficient, innovative and sustainable future.


As-built: 3D models and plans of a BIM project in which updates of what is scanned on site are collected. Reflect changes, following quality assurance. They show all the changes that have occurred between the approval of the final design and the completion of construction.

Augmented Reality: it creates a fully immersive digital environment that can interact with through special glasses and controllers in the construction industry, it allows professionals to visualize architectural designs, Improve collaboration, enhance safety training, and present projects to clients with realism and precision.


BIM (building information modeling): It is a collaborative work methodology for the creation and management of a construction project. Its objective is to centralize all project information in a digital model created by all its agents. BIM integrates structured, multi-disciplinary data to produce a digital representation of an asset across its lifecycle, from planning and design to construction and operations.

ConTech: It refers to the innovation and use of ” technology in the construction industry to improve its efficiency, productivity and quality. It is the technology used in all aspects of the construction process, from conception and planning to actual construction.


Digital twin: it is a virtual representation of a real-world entity, system or process from the physical world. It allows simulating different scenarios to analyze the behavior and performance before carrying out a project.

Digitization: in construction, digitization involves converting processes into digital formats for efficiency, accuracy, and enhanced project management. Digitization transforms analog data into digital information, enabling seamless integration and utilization of automated tools and technologies. From inception to completion, digitization revolutionizes traditional construction practices by incorporating advanced methods for data collection, analysis, and visualization. This involves adopting technologies like Building Information Modeling (BIM), drones, laser scanning, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. They streamline workflows and optimize resource utilization.

3D modeling: it is the process of developing three-dimensional representations of shapes, surfaces, or physical objects using software. It allows modeling the project idea before executing it with all the details.

In construction technology, Digital Twin, Digitization, and 3D Modeling are pillars of innovation, each contributing unique capabilities. Digital Twin provides a virtual mirror of real-world entities, while Digitization streamlines processes through digital conversion of construction workflows. Meanwhile, 3D Modeling empowers professionals to visualize and refine project ideas with meticulous detail before execution. Together, these concepts embody the industry’s shift towards digital transformation, enabling simulation, analysis, and visualization to drive informed decision-making and optimize construction practices.


IFC (Industry Foundation Classes): it is a platform-neutral, open data schema specification that is nor controlled by a single vendor or group of vendors. A data model developed by buildingSMART and used in the construction industry. It provides specific data related to the creation, building, maintenance and operation of civil structures.

IoT: it is the collective network of connected devices and the technology that facilitates communication between devices and the cloud, as well as between the devices themselves.


Lean Construction: it is a combination of operational research and practical development in design and construction with an adoption of lean manufacturing principles and practices to the end-to-end design and construction process. This approach tries to manage and improve construction processes with minimum cost and maximum value by considering customer needs. 

LiDAR Scanning: this technology operates by emitting laser light, which, upon striking the nearest surface, reflects back to the LiDAR device, where the incoming signal is collected. LiDAR calculates surface distance by recording beam return time or analyzing incoming signal phase change. Various types of LiDAR scanners cater to different applications within the construction domain:

  • Stationary LiDAR Scanners: these scanners form the core of LiDAR technology, known for their exceptional precision. Stationary LiDAR scanners, widely used for tasks like reverse engineering and quality inspection, cover smaller areas than mobile and aerial systems. They excel in scanning rooms, buildings, and various types of vehicles, whether they traverse land, air, water, or outer space.
  • Aerotransport LiDAR Mapping: engineers employ airborne LiDAR sensors for tasks such as pre-construction surveys for roads, pipeline route planning across mountain ridges, or designing golf courses. Mounted on aircraft or helicopters, these LiDAR scanners gather 3D data over hundreds of square kilometers. Aerotransport LiDAR systems cover vast terrain but may sacrifice submillimeter precision. They typically achieve tolerances within a few centimeters, suitable for most large-scale projects.
  • Mobile LiDAR Applications:integrated into vehicles, mobile LiDAR systems continuously scan the surrounding area, calculating real-time distances to nearby vehicles, pedestrians, and obstacles to avoid collisions.

LiDAR scanning transforms construction practices by providing meticulous data collection capabilities across various scales and environments. LiDAR technology enhances efficiency, accuracy, and safety throughout the construction lifecycle, regardless of its deployment-stationary, airborne, or mobile. This contributes to the overall advancement of the construction industry.


Point cloud: it is generated by 3D capture (usually laser scanner or LiDAR). It is made up of millions of points positioned three-dimensionally in space, generating a volume with millimeter precision. It represents the shape and surface of an object or a scene.

Progress monitoring: evaluation of the progress of a Project in terms of deadlines, cost and quality. It verifies and quantifies that the execution is consistent with the plans.

Proptech (prop+tech): this concept is created to unify the new technologies of the real estate sector to improve digitization, quality and sales processes.

Though distinct in functions, these concepts collectively underscore technology’s transformative power. They drive productivity and quality in construction, serving as integral components shaping modern practices and enhancing outcomes.


Quality Control: is a systematic technique employed to measure and supervise construction progress, ensuring the integrity of elements or materials and their proper installation. A management system ensures deliverables meet client standards and guidelines, including completing projects within defined scopes. Construction quality control aims to address problems, deliver high-quality outcomes, and prevent recurring issues.

Managing construction quality control requires organizing several teams to successfully achieve quality construction projects. A quality control manager oversees quality and inspections, communicating effectively with teams, clients, and contractors. Clear roles for the quality control manager and other project contacts ensure proper communication.


Reality capture: it involves digitally capturing real-world conditions of construction sites or existing buildings using advanced technologies like LiDAR, photogrammetry, drones, and GPS devices. The aim is to create accurate representations, known as digital twins, aiding in documenting, analyzing, and visualizing sites during construction. This data enables precise as-built models and 3D representations, facilitating progress monitoring, quality control, safety enhancement, and cost management. Architects and engineers utilize this data during design and planning to ensure designs align with existing site conditions, optimizing project outcomes.


Scan to BIM: Scan to BIM is the process of digitally capturing a site applying reality capture techniques and using the data to create a BIM model.

Site monitoring: it is the use of advanced surveillance systems to monitor and secure construction sites, ensuring the safety of workers, preventing theft, and mitigating potential risks.


VDC (virtual design & construction): it is a technology that uses 3D models and other methodologies such as BIM to digitally visualize and plan all the processes, deadlines and budgets of a construction project from start to finish.

In the dynamic world of construction technology, navigating through terminology can sometimes feel complicated. As new technologies emerge, the landscape of construction terminology continues to evolve, intertwining further with this ever-changing sector. Despite the challenges, embracing the opportunity to expand your knowledge in this field can lead to exciting discoveries and innovations. While essential terms may not always be readily available online, this article aims to shed light on some questions, empowering you to navigate this intricate terrain confidently and curiously. Keep exploring, keep learning, and embrace the journey of continuous growth in construction technology.