How will technology drive the Construction industry in 2024 and beyond?

Jake Bush | 19 February 2024

In our latest article Jake Bush details how the construction industry is ripe for technological advancement and positive disruption.

Construction isn’t necessarily the first sector that comes to mind for most people when considering cutting edge innovation and technology. However, today, with technology evolving and enabling most sectors, it’s becoming increasingly imperative that Construction businesses embrace the capabilities and enhancements that tech can provide. Whether improving operational inefficiencies and increasing margins or crucial matters of health and safety, there is scarcely an area of the industry that doesn’t have scope to be transformed by technological advancements.

One hot topic never far from the consciousness of the industry is that of Building Information Modelling (BIM). Whilst an in-depth analysis of its benefits and challenges would warrant more than a paragraph, at an overview level there are some key observations to highlight. Your leadership team may be drawn to the financial benefits, in terms of cost savings (ability to more accurately predict and optimize labour & material costs, reduction of time spent on reworking, minimizing schedule clashes etc.) but there are intangible benefits too which aren’t necessarily immediately apparent. For example, the effect on brand strength through delivering projects within time/budget targets, and delivering a higher quality, more easily maintained final asset.
There are additional positive implications when delving into the world of sustainability. The ability to incorporate higher levels of offsite fabrication meaning less waste, project timescales being more predictable leading to minimized environmental impact, and interactive modelling actively enabling more sustainably minded decision making. There may still be some way to go to achieving its full capability but there is no denying that the full potential of BIM is revolutionary for the sector and it’s hard to see the benefits doing anything but increasing.

When considering the benefits of technological advancement in Construction, it’s also important to recognise the impact on industry perception, particularly on attracting talent. It’s well known that the industry has an issue with appealing to the younger generation for a variety of reasons, but shifting the perception to one of embracing change and constantly innovating will go a fair way toward addressing this. If the leaders of tomorrow can look at the sector as one where they can build a futureproof career and integrate their growing suite of digital and tech skills, that can only serve as encouragement for the years to come.

Another ever-prominent subject across the sector is Health and Safety, and rightly so. HSE figures from 2022/2023 showed a 55% increase in Construction deaths compared to the same figures from 2021/2022, a sobering statistic and one which must absolutely be minimized. Unfortunately, there is no catch all answer or quick fix to the problem and there is always an inherent level of risk attached to the roles within it. That said, there are reasons for optimism, driven in no small part by technology. With virtual reality training, high tech sensors and even the sci-fi-esque world of exoskeletons and wearables all contributing to making sites safer, steps are certainly being made in the right direction.

All the points mentioned above raise the question of how they are translated from potential benefits into real world results. The answer is committed, accountable and dedicated leadership. Of course, there are some technological advancements which can successfully be integrated using an organisation’s existing resources and manpower. However, to elevate technology from being a supportive tool to becoming a genuine driving force behind the industry, there will be an increasing need for businesses to add innovative leaders dedicated to maximizing the effectiveness of the technology available. The cost of getting implementations and integrations wrong can be huge and is why you can expect to see leadership in Construction firms join their counterparts in other sectors by adding Chief Technology Officers to their boards in the coming years.

Discover more about how we can help find and assess executive leaders within your construction business, or if you’d like to speak to one of our consultants now, please contact us.

Share this: