The Impact Of Digitalization In Construction
Construction technology firms have garnered $10 billion in investment funding from 2011 through early 2017. This surge has stimulated development of a wealth of tools and solutions for all project phases, from preconstruction through operation. The cost and productivity benefits that these innovations can offer are too large to ignore.
As construction technology solutions begin to disrupt project management, companies that do not innovate will find themselves at a disadvantage. A recent McKinsey analysis suggests that existing digital technologies, when applied comprehensively and efficiently, can reduce overall project costs.
Using Digitalization for the 3 Phases of Construction
Digitalisation can transform all 3 major life cycles phases of construction phases; An almost 20% reduction in total life-cycle costs of a project as well as substantial improvements in completion time, quality, and safety.
- By using BIM to identify potential design clashes and constructability issues. Avert costly corrective rework; and improve the tendering process
- In 10 years an estimated 13 – 21% savings in the Design and Construction phase
- Digital technology can be used to enable prompt course corrections and minimizing corrective work
- Drones survey and inspect the construction site
- 3D printers prefabricate many of the building components.
- GPS and radio-frequency identification (RFID) are used for tracking the materials, equipment, and workers, in order to then optimize flows and inventory levels.
- Robots and autonomous vehicles do much of the actual building work.
- 3D laser scanning or aerial mapping is used for comparing work-in-progress against a virtual model
- Digital Technology can be used to facilitate predictive maintenance, by embedding sensors to continue to monitor any given part of an asset, checking for deterioration and continually updating the database
- Utilization of Augmented reality to Guide Maintenance crews
- An estimated 10 – 17% saving in operations phases
Five Things The Construction Industry Can Do To Lessen The Negative Impact of Digitalization on Jobs?
1. Cultivate durable human qualities
Human traits matter even more than before because the present unfolding era of astronomical computational speed means humans must focus on “what we are that computers aren’t,”. Cultivating inherently human soft skills—such as adaptability, curiosity, and social intelligence— will be key to ensuring workers, industries, and places can prosper in the coming decades as IT advances accelerate and improvements in areas like artificial intelligence scale up.
2. Foster Adaptability
With much change ahead, efforts should be made to foster adaptability by incorporating exercises and experiences that encourage critical thinking, build a readiness to deal with unpredictable or uncertain work challenges, and help people manage transitions.
3. Encourage a mind-set of constant learning
We should encourage a mind-set of constant learning and leverage the full panoply of modern training channels to do that, including classroom/in-person training, distance/e-learning, just-in-time on-the-job training, and web-based delivery and methods that blend web based with in-person learning. But the crucial priority must be to change the culture of learning to establish learning as a lifelong passion appropriate to the need to consistently acquire new skills over time.
4. Focus on enhancing interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence
The fact that no skills will be more durable or valuable than such uniquely human skills as social perceptiveness means that all kinds of training and education should do more to focus on enhancing interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence. Social skills such as persuasion, social intelligence, emotional responsiveness, and teaching others may well be in higher demand soon than narrow technical skills.
5. Collaborate with Technology company’s entrepreneurs
The construction industry should collaborate with technology companies for the following reasons.
a. To influence the imminent change that digitalisation is bringing
b. To be in the loop on what new technologies are being developed
The fact that digitalization amplifies both opportunity and inequality means that getting a clear view on its workings is an urgent priority for workers, business people, and policymakers who want to maximize the benefits of the trend and mitigate its harmful effects.