Project Management

Building Tomorrow: Construction Projects Slowly Adopt Cutting-Edge Tech

Tegan Jones is an editor for PM Network, PMI's monthly publication.

This is the era of disruption. Long-stable business models are crumbling. Transformative new tech has made operations faster and more efficient, forcing giants of industry to pivot—or perish.

Yet the construction sector has stood conspicuously apart from this trend. In a report released last year, KPMG noted that only 8 percent of construction and engineering firms are “cutting-edge visionaries,” with 69 percent considered “followers” or “behind the curve.” In general, contractors have been slow to change tried-and-true techniques, resisting the winds of change like so much steel and concrete.

But the sector's foundation has started to shift. 3-D building information modeling (BIM) has endeared itself to a new generation of construction project managers who have used it to improve communication and reduce risks. An obvious next step for many forward-thinking firms is moving to 4-D and 5-D BIM, which incorporates schedule and cost data, respectively. (See “Now You See It,” page 33, for an up-close look at 4-D.)

The real revolution is yet to come. Augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence all promise to disrupt the construction project landscape, boosting organizations brave enough to be early adopters.

“Implementing technology successfully…

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