It is an undeniable fact that the pandemic has disrupted the construction industry. Although some parts of the industry faced it much harder, COVID-19 has shifted the entire construction industry. Over 4,500 construction businesses have been forced to close down and cancel their operations. In the last quarter of 2020, most of these businesses have faced total distress in handling the impact of the pandemic.
Some of these issues faced in the construction industry include site closures, supply chain disruption, project delays, investment decline, restricted workforce, and health & safety changes in the workplace.
COVID shows no signs of slowing down; no one knows for sure when is it going to end. Recovery may seem challenging, but the construction industry is now making progress to ensure positive changes and hold a brighter future ahead of them.
How Digital Technology Reshape the Future of Construction Industry
The pandemic has shifted the normal workings of the construction industry. Lockdowns and restricted face-to-face interactions have placed the industry in a position to adjust its rules and regulations to the changing health and safety rules brought by COVID-19. In relation to this, compliance starts to change as the industry adopts Building Information Modelling (BIM).
Essentially, these digital tools are more than necessary for compliance, but these tools are helping to improve the quality of the project, minimize risk, and make efficient work operations. Indeed, digitization in the construction industry plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of the entire industry.
Adopting Digital Twins
A digital twin creates insights into the lifecycle of the project by integrating real-time data. Essentially, this ensures that initial mistakes and errors are addressed right away so to prevent costly rework of the entire project. This digital trend reached its peak in 2018 where it grew to 57%.
The future of the construction industry is paved by the adoption of digital twin technology as remote capabilities of working heighten. This is an integral component of preconstruction planning and strategizing. As the pandemic continues to affect industries, adopting the digital twin ensures a promising future for the construction business industry.
Expanding Digital Construction
The pandemic transformed the industry into a digital-wide business platform. Similarly, digital twin technology and digital construction changed the inner workings of the entire construction industry. Expansion of digital construction is practiced by integrating CAD, BIM, and VDC. By 2025, it is expected that the industry will grow in value of 8.8 billion dollars.
Now more than ever, digital construction cements remote work benefits and close monitoring of the entire lifecycle of a construction project. Unforeseen project delays and mistakes are now addressed in the initial stage of the project. Indeed, digital construction is here to stay and ensure a bright future for the industry.
Investing in AR & VR Technology
Utilizing interactive planning has been made possible by construction firms investing in AR and VR technologies. Essentially, contractors can now evaluate the design and determine the changes needed for a project without visiting the construction site.
Conversely, stakeholders are concerned about the higher costs of AR and VR technologies which is also the reason why other construction firms opted to invest on other forms of digitization.
Essentially, large-scale use of this technology will take a longer time for the entire construction industry to invest. True enough, further evaluation of the technology’s cost and equipment will be planned out in the near future.
Using Construction Software
As remote operations have been adopted by the construction industry, the need for accurate data analytics will surely play an integral role in the industry. There are many parties involved in planning a construction project. As such, it is complex to relay and share information from one party to another.
Most projects that are reworked have been caused by poor data analysis. Essentially, using construction software no longer relies upon visiting the site but these parties can build data and information anytime, anywhere.
Experimenting with Robotics
Gone were the days of using a traffic cone to minimize workplace hazards as construction industries saw the potential of experimenting with robotics to transform their entire workforce management. The industry saw the need to innovate and invest in robotic technology as it will begin to assist construction workers by working on repeatable tasks.
The general consensus is that the future of construction is wholly defined by the integration of digital technology. As construction companies move forward, what the future holds will surely be affected by the present state of the entire industry.