On 5 July the Government published its Construction Sector Deal. Setting out a vision for the construction sector over the coming years, it also reinforces the key role which technology will need to play to help the sector reach its goals.
The Deal highlights that construction is one of the least digitised industries in the world. It also has low productivity levels. Investing in new technologies and techniques combining labour and capital is one way identified to address the productivity issue.
So what does the Government envisage?
- deploying digital techniques at all phases of design
- increased use of offsite manufacturing technologies
- a shift in focus in whole life asset performance from the costs of construction to the costs of a building across its life cycle.
Government investment will help in the development of digital technologies such as Building Information Modelling (BIM), sensors, data analytics and smart systems technologies. It will also drive improved environmental performance of built assets through new approaches to information management and related technologies.
The Deal emphasises the role that the Technology sector can play in driving construction sector performance throughout the building life cycle, from design all the way through to monitoring building performance. Huge progress has already been made in the development of BIM software, for example, in recent years but construction and technology companies alike need to remain alive to the opportunities for growth that collaboration can continue to bring for both sectors. The Deal will hopefully help drive further developments forward in this area through Government support and funding in the next few years. It remains to be seen whether industry can step up to these challenges.