The biggest disruptor of industries in the modern world is technology. However, the construction industry is one that has fallen behind the norm in terms of the adoption rate of digital processes and technology innovation.
The need for change is clear to see, but many construction companies remain in a state of limbo. Old ways of working are unsustainable in today’s advancing society and although it remains a resilient industry, construction must keep up with the times. There are gaps in project planning, co-ordination of workers, supply chain and tool innovation, all of which digitalisation can help address.
The COVID-19 pandemic has found us at a pivotal juncture and is pushing digital transformation years ahead of time. The impact of how digitalisation is shaping the future of the sector is becoming clearer than ever.
The main innovation that is transforming the industry has been the emergence of Business Information Modelling. Data can be input from all departments involved in a working process and this structured data builds a functional overview of projects, helping to co-ordinate all efforts. Construction companies are increasingly seeing the benefits that BIM adoption brings, and rates of use are on the up. According to Statistica, 69% of construction industry professionals were using BIM in 2019, up from 48% five years earlier in 2014.
BIM helps to spot issues that could arise down the line on a project. A recent National BIM Report from 2019 found that 60% of construction professionals say BIM has given them cost efficiencies. The same report also discovered that three-quarters of professionals would say that BIM has resulted in savings regarding operations and maintenance. Everything that is needed to complete a job is organised and ordered with time to spare ensuring that an operation will run smoothly, and costs are projected.
The use of BIM facilitates more efficient planning, decision-making, analysis and forecasting. Having digital cloud-based platforms are also integral to the shift we see in remote working, brought about by COVID-19 restrictions. The ability to access data from anywhere at any time supports safer working.
Digitalisation through BIM provides an exciting opportunity for businesses to immerse themselves in a more contemporary way of working and should be embraced. BIM can support upgrading to a more efficient end-to-end workflow.