Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to the newest version of your browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of Construction News, please enable cookies in your browser.

Welcome to the Construction News site. As we have relaunched, you will have to sign in once now and agree for us to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Beyond BIM: Why complacency poses the biggest threat to construction

We have all been patting ourselves on the back for the last few months in the construction industry.

We were set the challenge to be BIM Level 2-compliant by April 2016. We did it. Aren’t we fantastic.

If I look back to the opportunity digital construction presented 10-15 years ago, we have come a long way. At the time there were a few in our industry who were seen as mavericks – at least, that’s what we thought we were.

Most just saw us as irritating geeks, and thought this BIM stuff was another fad. We now all know it wasn’t, and today our sector sets the pace around the world. 

The road after Rio

However, like winning a gold at the Olympics, celebrations only last for a short while before thoughts need to move to the next competition.

We do have a lot to be proud of in UK construction; we have come a long way and without doubt everyone is on board. The industry has never been as collaborative and connected. Nevertheless, there is a risk that a deadline can create a situation where some may think the work is done and that we can simply get back to normal.

“We have won the gold medal but we now need to be pressing on towards the next Games”

Construction remains years behind all other industries. While we have been catching up, other sectors have continued to move further ahead.

The industry is changing, making it an attractive sector for young talent. We are attracting a good proportion of Generation Y who are attracted by the digital framework. However, we have moved beyond the digital age and into the information age. We should look beyond the internet of things and think about the impact of the internet of everything.

AI and the future of data

The past 5-10 years have represented a steep learning curve, but we must ensure the momentum keeps going. We have won the gold medal but we now need to be pressing on towards the next Games.

Discussion has moved beyond models to data, even though we are still not sure how this will be used. We are accustomed to authoring software, but now there is an opportunity to use information intelligently.

“The move to Level 2 feels linear five years on. We are now a sector ready to push even further to augmented construction”

It is not only the design process which can collect useful data; there is information that can be used from procurement, construction or operation. There is so much opportunity with this information, as artificial intelligence technology continues to develop.

There has already been some interesting research undertaken on AI in design, and the opportunities in this area stretch into construction and operation. Linking programmes to purchasing, delivery and installation would deliver greater efficiency. Linking energy use to occupancy and the weather provides additional opportunity.

The move to Level 2 feels linear five years on. We are now a sector ready to push even further into augmented construction.

As we move into the information age, huge opportunities remain for using our information to provide better value for building owners and operators.

Rob Charlton is CEO of Space Group and founder of The Real BIM Show Live

Readers' comments (1)

  • Bola Abisogun

    Excellent overview; the challenge for the industry 'to innovate' has presented itself and yet again the question remains, will we [as a collective] identify with it, make timely amendments to both culture and practice and therefore, accrue the myriad benefit(s) that await?

    Interesting times for the 'seasoned' construction practitioner.........!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.