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The Power of Three

Social media is aggressively destroying the old architecture, engineering and construction silos which saw information and knowledge hoarded for competitive advantage.

Today’s leading organisations are praised for their openness, thought leadership and contributions to the information economy.

Increasingly, AEC professionals openly share data, expertise and advice across social media in a range of mediums.

Whilst anyone can contribute anything, reputation, endorsement, recommendation, sharing, extent of followings and consistency, all play their part in establishing hierarchy.

Almost any AEC subject can be explored because 99 per cent of the time somebody somewhere has already achieved what you are trying to do.

Technical advice, guidance, jobs, education, leadership, apprenticeships, health and safety, BIM, economics, architecture – the list is infinite.

Support to the Project Delivery and Asset Management (BIM) Workflows

Maturing from simple knowledge sharing with social media, to directly supporting built environment workflows, is a key frontier we must expand.

BIM is now central to both project delivery and asset management in the operational phase and as the digitisation of our industry continues it will become business-as-usual.

As BIM evolves toward fully integrated, cloud-hosted data sets (known as Level 3), social media will play an ever more central role.

Project teams will communicate globally on their networks in public and private environments.

“Our homes and work places will be better as a result”

Independently-minded intelligent project data sets will automatically search our vast social ecosystems for best practice.

Suggested friend lists will become tailored to those with the expertise our current projects would benefit from.

Mistakes in 3D, 4D and 5D data will be aggregated globally to form a wildly intelligent auto-correct for the built environment.

Our homes and work places will be better as a result and we will take a more responsible approach towards the impact they have on our planet.

Democratisation of Built Asset Delivery and Operation

Where could this lead us, the ultimate step in maturity will come when social media use evolves beyond AEC to engage billions of people in the democratic development of the built environment that human life is conducted in.  

Effective use of social media is essential; informing design with directly curated, managed commentary from stakeholders and those whom the asset is being created to serve.

Our built assets will provide instant feedback on operation and in-use performance to their occupants.

They will democratically collate feedback from the social media of their users to forever hone the environment they offer us.

“We must tie every built asset into the Internet of Things”

That data will be fed back and centrally aggregated on a city-wide, regional, national and international level, benefitting those in locations with similar climates, economies and demographic makeups.

The quality of our built environment will perpetually improve as our database of globally shared experiences becomes ever-more comprehensive.

Social media will democratise the way our global built environment evolves.

We can influence by ensuring each environment we create does not stand alone but is connected to the wider grid, relatable to the contextual surroundings of the world it is built and operated in.

We must tie every built asset into the Internet of Things.

Fred Mills is a procurement manager at Osborne

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