How do you envisage technology affecting the construction and engineering industry in your jurisdiction over the next five years?
Construction (2nd edition)
Whilst the construction industry has often been viewed as a late adopter of technology innovation, there is an increasing use of new technology driven by both client demand and competition. Examples include increasing use of prefabrication, the widespread adoption of Building Information Modelling, 3D printing, drones and smart grids.
A new trend in the building sector is called BIM (Building Information Model(ling) / Management). Contractors are under increasing pressure regarding deadlines and this concept allows them to manage information relating to the project. It combines geometry and information, and therefore allows all contractors working on the same project, to deal with potential interferences, planning issues, etc.
Environmental issues also require the construction sector to further investigate new ways of limiting the environmental footprint of buildings (solar panels, renewable energy, isolation, etc.) and to integrate otherwise optional techniques in their projects.
Technology plays an increasingly important role in construction engineering. Among China’s construction projects, the use of Building Information Modelling (“BIM”) system is gaining increment on a daily basis. Moreover, with government’s promotion, prefabricated construction is believed to have a promising future in China.
BIM and prefabricated construction, two technological breakthrough, will lend great assistance in solving Chinese construction sector’s long-lasting problems in construction efficiency, quality safety, and cost control, facilitating the upgrading and transformation of the traditional construction sector.
We expect to see progress of digitalization in the construction industry, namely increase in the use of Construction Software & Data Ecosystem, as well as an increased use of robotics and drones.
As in almost every other industry, digitization is also progressing in the construction and engineering industry. An example is the development of the so called Building Information Modeling (BIM), which describes the integrated digitization of all planning and building information that are relevant for realization as a virtual building model. The responsible federal ministry has developed a phased plan according to which BIM will be applied to infrastructure projects from 2020 onwards. In particular, the new form of joint processing of the model by several participants will lead to new legal issues in the area of liability, remuneration and copyright. However, the implementation of BIM seems to be way behind the political plans.
Construction and engineering projects are getting a significant boost through the growing implementation of digital twin technology methods, which enable the constellation of applications, software, and hardware, thus helping off-site team members to interact with real-time representations of on-site features and environments. Artificial intelligence and machine learning in construction, although still in early stages, have the potential to optimize schedules, automatically sequence tasks, and catch divergences from blueprints in near real-time, faster than humans, making it simple and fast to optimize plans and corrections. These cutting edge technologies are expected to substantially impact the industry to such a degree that no organization can afford to ignore their growth.
Technology driven innovations affecting the construction and engineering industry are for example the increasing use of Building Information Modeling ("BIM"). This is a method of "data and information based" cooperation between the parties which requires systematic contractual arrangements. BIM will probably allow for a better survey of the different steps in construction procedures and standardize the information available to the different parties. As of today, there is no statutory regulations on the BIM method. However, there are neutral frameworks for a contractual basis provided by private institutions such as the SIA or the Coordination Conference of the Building and Real Estate Authorities of Public Owners. Questions of intellectual property on the data collected via BIM will arise.
The use of technology in the design and construction of projects will continue to increase in the United States in 2019 and beyond. For example, Building Information Modeling (BIM) has steadily increased over the years, and looks to further expand in the coming years. According to the annual NBS National BIM Report, in 2017 78% of respondent saw BIM as the future of project information. See Summary of National BIM Report for 2017 (available at https://www.thenbs.com/knowledge/nbs-national-bim-report-2017). BIM provides for the creation and management of 3D building data during the design and construction process, which allows for a better understanding of how components of the project will integrate and work. BIM is used for design purposes, but also for identifying changes and modifications that can result in significant project cost savings.
In addition to BIM, the use of Virtual Reality (VR) and augmented reality are integrating into the construction industry and their use is likely to increase in the next five (5) years. Contractors in the U.S. have used VR to provide owners and stakeholders with a way to immerse themselves in project environments. VR has been used for planning and design phases on several major hospitality and entertainment projects in the United States. In addition, 4D environments allow contractors to fully plan every aspect of their projects, which allows for improved safety, efficiency and can lead to a better final outcome.
In addition to these technological developments, we also anticipate seeing a continued increase in the use of prefabrication. While prefabrication is not a new technology, advances in prefabrication technology is drastically increasing the benefits of prefabrication. Other technological advances have also improved the prefabrication process and provided greater visibility into the process. Given that labor shortages are anticipated to continue in the construction industry for the next several years, the use of prefabrication is likely to increase in the near term.
The construction sector is one of those industry sectors that is most affected by rapid technical developments. No changes in this respect are anticipated over the next 5 years.
With the role of construction technology growing so rapidly, and new-use cases emerging constantly, I consider that technology will significantly affect the construction and engineering industry in Cyprus jurisdiction over the next five years. In the 21st century, technology start-ups have created new software applications and tools that are changing how companies design, plan, and execute projects, ranging from design management to scheduling to safety monitoring.
By providing advanced software, construction-focused hardware, and analytics capabilities, these innovative start-ups are eliminating many of the problems that have dogged the construction and engineering industry for decades, including difficulties compiling and sharing project information.
In the future, even more tools are emerging, particularly for use-cases related to field management and performance management.
In the last decade or even decades, possibly because of the way the Brazilian construction market was divided by the Brazilian construction companies, the construction sector had fewer incentives to innovate and improve productivity and competitiveness. Besides, in general, not only in Brazil, the construction sector is more conservative. Nonetheless, Brazilian culture accepts very well new technologies. It is seen as a signal of evolution. Therefore, technology has already started to affect and will keep impacting on engineering and constructions industries.
Here are some cases in which we can foresee some transformation in Brazil:
- Digitalization will diminish papers exchanged among Parties; workflows will significantly increase not only to share official documents but also to get approvals with legal enforcement;
- Drones will help to monitor and measure the physical progress of the Projects;
- Errors and unproductivity will be easier to identify, monitor and charge due to digitalization;
- Experts will have facilitated access to Project data due to digitalization, hence disputes will be more accurate ore even be prevented;
- Internet of Things (IoT) will improve productivity and safety on sites;
- Smart contracts will expedite simple and procedure contracts on procurement departments;
- Building Information Modelling will significantly improve risks analyses and planning of new Projects.
Technologies such as building information modelling, modular construction and robotics will have a significant impact on the construction and engineering industry in the next five years.
We would also see the use of machine assisted learning become more prevalent in the both the review of and the drafting of construction contracts.
We expect a disruption in the classic development of construction as a consequence of technology. It is a matter of time and cost, and it is a worldwide trend that we cannot ignore.
Our firm is devoted to help clients face these challenges.
Given the predicted increase in housebuilding, offsite modular building and robotics are set to increase, enabled by improvements in 3D printing technology.
We are increasingly seeing the introduction of smart cities and smart buildings, aided by the growing use of Building Information Modelling.
Construction management software will increasingly be accessible via mobile devices which will improve the standard of record keeping on sites. Drones will increasingly be used for surveying, particularly in dangerous or previously inaccessible sites. Automated vehicles will lead to efficiencies.
There is a high demand of public opinion for the improvement in the energy efficiency of buildings, incorporating new requirements in this regard in the Technical Building Code. In fact, since the entry into force of Royal Decree 235/2013, of April 5, which approves the basic procedure for the certification of energy efficiency of buildings (Official Gazette of the State No. 89, of April 13 of 2013), requires that in order to sell or rent a property, it is necessary to make and provide the buyer and / or user with a certification of their energy characteristics that allows them to assess and compare their benefits, in order to promote the promotion of the energy efficiency.
Augmented reality techniques are becoming popular in the construction industry as they offer a realistic visualisation before even the contractors are mobilised. We anticipate that augmented reality is soon to start being utilised for major construction projects and benefit the construction companies in terms of the accuracy of their design and efficiency of their project management. Further, given the fact that automation technologies are increasingly used in households and industrial facilities, technology companies tend to be more involved in construction projects.
Presently, the South African construction industry lacks the investment necessary to fund broad-scale technological development across the sector.
There is, however, some progress in this space. South Africa is using Building Information Modelling (BIM) to improve quality and productivity of the built environments. Although at this stage, there are only pockets of excellence and players in the industry lack a coordinated approach and sufficient standards against which to measure the quality of the information being produced.
Despite this, BIM-related conferences and workshops are becoming increasingly popular and there is an increased interest in BIM across employers, contractors, designers and builders alike. In addition, a non-profit company called the BIM Institute has opened, with the objective of improving construction quality and productivity through the leadership of information and education.
Technology is playing an increasingly important role in construction projects. Especially, we have witnessed a growing trend for the use of “Building Information Modeling” (BIM) system on French construction projects. In our view, this type of system will become a norm for large construction projects in France.
The technological advancements in general will surely have an effect on the construction and engineering industry in the near future. It is plausible that Building Information Modelling (BIM), Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Prefabricated Buildings (prefab) will be even more used and developed.
The Danish construction industry has not moved in the same pace as other manufacturing industries when it comes to technology and digitalization. However, an increased focus on sophisticated 3D models for design work (such as BIM (Building Information Modelling) and VDC (Virtual Design)) seems to be a tendency, and will affect the industry. These models will be further elaborated with 4D/5D, which allows a dimension of time and economy in the modelling.
This development will of course affect the industry and hopefully be more cost effective and create better constructions.
- The continuous increase in digitization is expected to boost construction productivity. The Korean government has provided its strong support to such a trend. For example, in 2018, the Ministry of Land and Transportation of Korea announced a roadmap to boost smart construction technologies in Korea. Already, the use of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) and radar to collect site, and the use of BIM (building information modelling) has become increasingly common for construction projects in Korea.
- It is expected that notable current-day disruptor technologies, such as 3D printing, machine learning and advanced robotics will further change the construction industry over the coming years.