This article discusses the challenges increasingly faced by construction companies and the integration of various new technologies to solve each of them.
Recently, the construction industry has been confronted with a number of critical issues that require new approaches. From project management and logistics to compliance with safety norms and environmental standards—these challenges can be effectively addressed with technology.
The necessity of digital transformation for construction companies, regardless of their size, cannot be underestimated, as it not only enhances efficiency and reduces costs but also opens new horizons for innovation and sustainable development.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), big data, the Internet of Things (IoT), automation, and robotics—these are just a few of the new technologies that can help construction companies tackle the most significant problems of the modern market in general and the industry in particular.
Construction companies, regardless of their size, often face issues with coordination, controlling deadlines, and budgets. According to a KPMG study, only about 31% of construction projects stay within their agreed timelines and budgets.
An effective solution to this problem is the development and integration of modern project management software, such as BIM (Building Information Modeling). It simplifies work visualization at all construction stages and facilitates efficient time and resource management.
For example, after implementing BIM, Bechtel achieved significant improvements in managing its projects. During a major construction project, the company reduced design time by 30%, decreased waste by 20%, and sped up the entire process while significantly cutting costs.
Inefficient management of logistics and supply chains can lead to delays and increased costs. Reports from construction companies in North America indicate that businesses lose an average of up to 20,000 US dollars per day due to materials arriving late on site.
The solution to this issue should be technologies that allow for real-time tracking of trucks carrying materials. This often involves the use of IoT technologies, which are suitable not only for vehicles but also for equipment or materials.
Ready-made solutions in this area are already offered by Caterpillar, which uses IoT to track the location of its manufactured equipment to optimize logistic flows. According to the company, this allows businesses to reduce expenses by an average of 10–15%.
Safety remains one of the most serious issues in the industry. According to OSHA, more than 10,000 accidents occur on construction sites in North America each year, many of which could be avoided through the integration of new technologies.
One solution to this problem can be new technologies related to comprehensive training of new employees. Simulators that allow for the use of heavy construction machinery without risk to the surroundings have been gaining particular attention lately.
Such tools, in collaboration with Safety First Simulators, were developed by the Focus21 team for the construction company Lexicon, which is involved in major projects around the world. Thanks to the innovative software-hardware complex, new employees can learn to operate various types of loaders.
Construction is one of the largest sources of environmental pollution. According to the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, this industry's contribution to CO₂ emissions is about 39%. This significant portion alarms environmentalists worldwide.
The solution to the problem can be the use of eco-friendly technologies and materials, as well as the integration of renewable energy sources into construction projects. This can significantly reduce companies' ecological footprint and substantially cut their costs.
Siemens, Schneider Electric, and other companies already offer ready-made building management and construction project systems that optimize energy and resource consumption. However, an individual project of any complexity can be implemented for each company.
Rapid changes in the economy and consumer preferences require construction companies to be flexible and quickly adapt to new conditions. This became especially apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic, when many companies had to reconsider their operations.
Digital platforms and analytical tools, often using artificial intelligence and machine learning, usually help construction companies analyze market trends and make informed decisions. They assist in predicting trends and quickly adapting to them.
Zillow offers ready-made tools in this area. It uses AI and ML algorithms to predict trends in the real estate market. This is particularly important for companies involved in residential development through the entire cycle: from land acquisition to the sale of houses and apartments.
The rapid digital transformation in the construction industry represents not just another trend. Today, it is already an obvious necessity, as new technologies provide relatively simple solutions for many complex problems that construction companies face.
It is important to understand that digital transformation is not a one-time process but a continuous path of innovation. Implementing such technologies not only enhances efficiency and reduces costs but also opens new opportunities for development and a sustainable future for the industry.