Our sector is finally waking up to the benefits of digital engineering, VR and AR, and product manufacturing techniques, and the momentum created is pushing us forward at a pace that has never been seen before.
The full adoption of BIM across the industry is still fragmented, but a mixture of government mandate and being able to show the benefits of adoption, not just buzz and marketing spin, are seeing the whole supply chain buying into the methodology.
So what PropTech and ConTech breakthroughs are coming for 2017? The piece linked below from Construction Manager sets out the views of some of the biggest contractors, and of course VR, AR and manufacturing / DfMA are all top of the agenda.
Do I see the market differently as a consultant? Yes, I see the benefits of new technology stretching beyond providing a new way to communicate our ideas (VR, AR, 3D printing etc) into asset management.
Having seen some of the work our teams in the water sector carry out, using live models and monitoring to predict how assets will perform and fail, I believe the impact of technology on FM and asset management is the most exciting area of advancement I can see coming in the property sector.
Still in it's infancy, the ability to monitor building performance, occupancy and effectiveness, and therefore predict and adjust maintenance, management and occupation strategies will create a massive step change in how we think about facilities and asset management. And, with occupation attributing to far more of the lifetime cost and effort than the creation of the building itself, a focus on this area of innovation will create the long-term benefits for client's budgets, the environment and the building users themselves.
While the manufacturing and pharmaceutical sectors have often been cited as leaders of innovation, the construction sector could be accused of conservatism towards new technologies. But things are changing fast and the government’s BIM Level 2 mandate introduced last year was a catalyst for the industry to embrace new technology and ideas. BIM, in tandem with virtual and augmented reality, robotics, mobile technology and apps, construction is moving into an exciting new era.