Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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Engineering and the construction of our spaces as we know it stands on the cusp of a new era rife with next-gen advancements that are rewriting the rules on how practitioners are designing, planning, and executing projects.

Through a combination of advanced software, welldesigned hardware and deep analytic capabilities, modern day innovations are helping reduce costs, trim timelines and boost efficiency to never before seen levels.

Let’s take an example closer to home. The government envisions building homes for all by 2022, but this is a mammoth task that can’t be accomplished by taking a businessas- usual approach. This is a challenge that can be tackled by BIM (Building Information Modeling), which was built for challenges such as this. It offers a unique convergence of construction and technology that can give architecture, engineering, and construction professionals the insight and tools needed to efficiently plan, design, construct, and manage buildings and infrastructure before a brick has been laid. 3D models harness the power of virtual reality to help any stakeholder live the design and experience it first hand as opposed to looking at just a schematic or blueprint. This opens up a world of possibilities for managing projects at any time before, during, and after the construction process.

A common refrain from industry experts is that construction activities can often get pigeonholed too much into silos. With Big Data taking root, that will be a thing of the past as sensors on buildings begin to collect a wide multitude of readings that help assess building performance across historical data points. As we begin to invest ever more in intelligent machines, it will help us create intelligent buildings that can usher the next wave of sustainable living.

Think of Big Data as a giant tapestry uniting and transforming other technologies. This is because cloud-based software-as-a-service generates data patterns as a by product of their core tasks, data that can be used to make sense of the world around us; data that can be used to improve construction activities ranging from supply chains to safety to sustainability. Experts anticipate a move away from proprietary products and towards open source software to support this connectedness. In addition, data from the IoT can feed into business intelligence tools and enterprise resource planning systems to help companies better monitor and manage their business.

With the role of construction technology growing so rapidly, and new use cases emerging constantly, construction companies that do not invest in the right tools risk going the way of the Dodo. Those that place their bets now will most likely be industry leaders over the next two decades if they match their greater investment in technology with a companywide commitment to change. Above all though, the seamless use of technology across the value chain can help make the planet a greener one by simply putting in more work to solve the challenges facing humanity than any human could ever strive for.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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