Mysteries around construction during ancient times still exist today.
How did the pyramids really get built? What really happened at Stonehenge?
While historians will continue to debate how these ancient marvels were built, the rest of us may never know for sure. The one thing we do know is that construction has changed. A lot.
And if you look forwards the future, it’s clear that even bigger change is on the horizon. So get a better understanding of what the future of construction looks like, we reached out to industry experts and asked:
What’s the future of construction?
Here’s what we discovered…
Patrick Quigley, Senior VP & General Manager of Nearmap North America
“AI, VR, 3D and high-resolution imagery will shape the future of construction:
Artificial intelligence, virtual reality, 3D processing and high-resolution imagery will become so prevalent that on-site visits to monitor progress will be nearly obsolete. These technologies will interoperate and allow construction professionals to tap into solutions for planning, construction and marketing.
Planners and developers will be able to look at imagery alongside automated analytics that include highly accurate measurements of height, square footage, acreage and more. Simultaneously, the systems will automatically detect very detailed ground features about the property and classify things such as pools, sheds, driveways, fencing, etc. along with detailed attributes.
Manager will be able to pull up a 3D model of a property, either on-screen or through a virtual reality experience, and take a complete tour of that property, outlined in exact scale, allowing them to give very detailed updates in high-resolution—without going anywhere.”
Bryan Clayton, CEO of GreenPal
“I see the future of the construction industry evolving from traditionally pen and paper, analog, phone call driven business to one that is purely digital.
Much like Uber has created a platform that connects suppliers and sellers, in the next 5 to 10 to 15 years the construction industry will consolidate around a central operating system where suppliers, contractors, and general contractors will all plug-in and conduct business, coordination, and scheduling in a seamless fashion.
This will lead to drastic efficiency improvements around pricing, supplier availability, scheduling, and improvements in yield on labor resulting shorter construction timelines at a cheaper cost.”
Richard Frazao, President of Quaketek Inc.
“The future of construction is in smart, zero net energy buildings. Buildings need to be more efficient in the way that they’re built and operated. Whether that means changing the temperature in unoccupied rooms or reacting to protect itself from an earthquake, the future of buildings is Smart. Our populations are increasing and resources are becoming scarcer, so we have to design new buildings and infrastructure accordingly.
As clean water becomes scarce, buildings of the future will need to minimize water usage or possibly even generate a portion of it, using rooftop generators. As energy costs rise and carbon taxes become realities, buildings that generate their own power will become commonplace. As we see increased natural disasters such as more powerful hurricanes and earthquakes from fracking, buildings will need to be more resilient to quite literally weather the storm.”
Danielle Dy Buncio, CEO/President of VIATechnik
“There are a few interesting dynamics colliding in construction. First is that productivity is stagnant. Also, design and building requirements are becoming more complex. And most importantly, there is a huge talent/labor shortage. Automation and AI address these issues and will be at the forefront of the next big change in the industry.”
Stewart Carroll, COO of Beck Technology
“The future of construction is an integrated approach to projects. Designers will be construction cost savvy, contractors will be sensitive to design, and owners will favor collaboration more than who can do the job the cheapest. When all team members are working towards the same agreed upon goals then the built environment is exponentially better for communities and businesses. An integrated approach to construction reduces risks, improves safety, increases profit margins, and meets expectations. Yes, we will continue to have advanced technology, improved workflows, and better contractual frameworks, but their true value is brought to light when integration is the norm and not an anomaly.”
Oliver Koehler, CEO & Founder of SunTegra
“The construction industry is evolving into a dynamic mix of technology experts and energy innovators working directly with builders to create the homes of the future. In 10-15 years, we’ll see the integration of smarter technologies as commonplace in the design and build process.
In particular, the idea of integration has been applied to solar energy already. We have seen a rise in construction projects with building integrated solar, such as solar roof shingles. This new type of roof has many advantages – it is low-profile and blends into the design of the home, functions as a protective roofing material and generates clean solar energy to power the home. Builders and homeowners seek solutions that are functional and aesthetic, so whether it’s turning on their AC or checking their solar production from their phone, these new degrees of control, efficiency, and comfort will continue to become the standard in construction.”
Ken Smerz, President & CEO of Eco3d
“Eco3d specializes in 3d measurement technology – the fastest, most accurate form of measurement – and in producing 2d/3d digital representations of the collected data for the construction industry. As a leader in this field, we’ve employed LiDAR technology for as-builts for quite some time, and we’re now seeing an upward trend for applications in new construction as well.
I believe that this increased utilization is due to the immediately realizable value in terms of time and materials costs. Once an owner, architect or project manager has experienced first-hand the speed and level of accuracy achievable, they are usually loyal converts. Savings due to schedule compression and the ability to pre-fabricate materials offsite to exact dimensions make a highly favorable impact on a project budget. We’re also able to uncover critical conditions ahead of demolition and/or construction – allowing the team to mitigate previously unforeseen issues in advance, which again contains costs”
Alex Bar, HR & Operations Officer at Rosh Metal Ltd.
“I remember reading once this: “The future is here, it is just not evenly distributed.” And I fully agree with this remark. The construction industry serves as a nice example of this situation as it has not really tapped into that potential of the technological boom of the last two decades and it has remained a bit conservative in the respect of embracing innovations. Now, I am not saying that the construction industry is still stuck in the 70’s but it could use some technological boost (the numbers indicate the same – 20% of grand projects end up overdue, and 80% exceed their budgets). My prediction for the future of the construction industry is the all out improvement in the technologies employed leading to increased productivity, increased job automation, and increased capability to do more, and more complex tasks for less time and money.”