We ask readers to share their visions of the construction industry in 25 years’ time. Here, Jonathan Hunter of Elecosoft explains what he thinks needs to change
This is what I would like the construction industry to look like in 25 years’ time: Construction projects completing on time and on budget will be the norm, not headline news. The industry will reflect broader society, with people making it on merit. Effective innovation will continually drive improvements and project margins will not be so wafer-thin. Home buyers will have greater choice and the ability to configure their house to order.
Recently the construction industry has rapidly adopted technology but it is still behind the curve. This will change. Technological transformation will be underpinned by artificial intelligence and predictive technologies.
Business processes must change and so must the industry’s attitude to technology
Automotive and product manufacture provide a future vision. We will move away from the presumption that construction is mainly bespoke, manual and site-based. Data will drive automation, offsite and modular building products will be commonplace and on-site robotics will do the heavy lifting.
Decision making will improve as real-time data and collaborative software tools become essential. Using cut and paste to move data between software programmes will become obsolete.
So, what needs to change to make this happen?
Many construction sites have advanced connectivity and geotracking; cutting-edge computing will deliver processing power so more software applications can work across multiple devices; furthermore, remote and automated manufacturing/construction will soon be as standard as the hard hat.
Project margins need to be more predictable and productivity improvements will be supported by technology, which will become the norm.
However, leadership failures brought about the demise of large and small construction firms and a more diverse and robust industry culture could prevent this.
Business processes must change and so must the industry’s attitude to technology with a realisation that it’s a case of modernise or die. The workforce of 2043 needs to be digital, diverse and dynamic.
Do you have a Thought for Tomorrow? Just send your name, job title and company, and 250 words to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the heading “Building Your Future”, answering these questions:
- What would you like the construction industry to look like in 25 years’ time?
- And what needs to change to make that happen?
Jonathan Hunter is chief operating officer of Elecosoft