When it comes to data in construction, the ideal way to put it to use is using technology to aggregate, analyze, interpret, and share. Construction technology is at an early stage, and the day when everyone shares their data may not happen very soon. But companies have an opportunity to capitalize on the intersection of data, software and technology. Sharing data across the construction lifecycle can benefit everyone in the industry.
Adoption of innovation is not necessarily a technology problem. Most people are aware – either conceptually or through experience – that you can’t just “throw tech” at a problem and expect it to get solved. There is a certain mindset change involved in adjusting workflows and gathering the right project information.
When planning to implement technology, companies need to start with their desired outcome and know what they want to achieve, then bring in the technology to achieve that.
There are fundamental elements a company should have in place before implementing tech and innovation:
- Make sure you have the right people onboard to champion the changes.
- Determine what you’re trying to achieve as business goals.
- Research and learn which tech innovations are promising and how they can help you reach those business goals.
When a project involves a single source of truth with collaboration tools, the barriers to gaining meaningful insights into the project can be reduced. Fragmented roles can be diminished using a single source of truth, so people can interact. Companies can gain a more accurate view of the building being built and its lifecycle.
Unconnected data in silos really offers limited benefits on a project. But as barriers break down, teams can have auditable conversations about the project they are building. They can gain visibility into economics and ergonomics. They can also look into sustainability earlier in the construction process, bringing sustainability insights. What’s needed is a good design at the early stages of construction and a way to measure embodied carbon.
Knowing the embodied carbon of products used during building construction is a good start to determining the sustainability of the project. There is now the possibility of cross-correlating virtual reality (VR) to cost and carbon data. VR has been called a promising tool for promoting environmental literacy.
Elements of sustainability can be factored into a project. Construction companies can discover what is in each product being used on a job. Considering the big sustainability targets and regulations emerging throughout the world, it’s important to determine the technologies that will help achieve them.
We can all seize the moment to use technology for better design, better construction and better margins. Labor and skills shortages can be tackled by using modular construction methods, better materials, and an improved carbon footprint. For a modest investment, IoT technology can be used in abundant ways to economize the operation of a building and improve its utilization.
Tune in to episode 177 of Bridging the Gap podcast to hear from Russell Haworth about growing business with a technology focus.