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We Don't Just Design, We Create Stylish Marvels

Rajesh Ratan Sharma, Civil Engineer,

It is expected that between 2019 and 2028, India’s construction industry will grow at an average rate of 6.6% annually. Studies suggest that 50% of the total population will be urbanised by 2050. The existing urban infrastructures are insufficient to meet the demands of the current urban population. And nowadays, technology plays a vital role in the construction industry. Numerous project managers and contractors rely on technology as it allows them to make more informed and efficient decisions based on cost and data analysis. Intelligent modelling helps us to determine the impact on cost based on any real-time adjustments.

The major construction industry trends are starting to include building information modelling (BIM), construction robotics, and advanced building materials. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic creates a necessity for new ways of construction that adhere to worker safety and regulations.

With the advancement in technology, construction firms can utilise their data for improved decision making, implementing and improving job safety, maximising productivity and reducing risks. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning systems have allowed firms to assess and analyse the huge database of data they have collected over the years to predict the outcomes of any projects they undertake.

The construction industry is witnessing a period of increased implementation of other digital technologies such as Augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), laser scanning, robotics, 3D printing, prefabrication and Dfma platforms, analytics software, blockchain, digital twins, internet of things (IOTS), and machine learning solutions throughout the built asset lifecycle (e.g., project, organisation, and industry levels)as well. From the overview of academic research, research analysis reveals not only an increasing implementation, but there has been an adaptation of digital technologies for construction operations. Across the globe, various industry practitioners comprising construction professionals, construction companies, professional bodies, and government agencies have expressed their preferences and desire to implement digital technologies in construction.

Notably, the construction industry is nearing a “grand” digital technology implementation, but attempting to progress toward DT will surely be challenging. DT is about introducing digital technologies and implementing the correct technologies by assessing the business needs, strategising for future needs, and developing a roadmap to the future. Therefore, there is a need for strategic implementation of digital technologies to facilitate the enablers of DT while suppressing the barriers against it in construction.

Some of the construction innovations that changed the construction industry forever are:


Introducing machines into an industry or any area of activity replace human work. It enhances productivity and mechanisation and helps improve the efficiency of other inputs safety and comfort of the worker.

Computer-Aided Design (CAD)

At the height of the Middle Ages, architects, draughtsmen, master stonemasons, and builders created some of the world’s most magnificent buildings using methods of design and construction that were profound for their time. For several centuries, these methods remained largely unchanged. In the latter part of the 20th century, however, computer-aided design (CAD) emerged, changing construction irrevocably – for the first time, clashes during the design phase were rendered visible.

Building Information Management (BIM)

While CAD vastly transformed the role of designers, Building Information Management (BIM) has proven stunningly versatile, allowing architects, engineers, contractors, and subcontractors to collaborate on the fine details of design and construction using the same database and computer model. BIM involves all project stakeholders working collaboratively on a detailed 3D model that includes all the functional systems of a structure-- such as pavement or curbs, beams and girders, HVAC and electrical installations, and the aesthetics of walls, arches, roofs, and rails.

Prefabrication & Industrialization of Construction

Prefabrication and industrialised construction are being adopted by the industry more each year. According to a “Dodge Data & Analytics Smart Market report”, 90% of contractors say they achieve improved productivity, quality, and schedule certainty compared with traditional construction methods. Another 61% of participants said they expect to employ prefabrication methods in at least 10% of their projects in the next three years, an increase from the 44% using this method currently.

Mobile Devices

Mobile technology is being used in the construction industry in several ways. For contractors, one of the biggest is the improvement in project management. Using smartphones and tablets, all parties involved can work together using the same consolidated information sources, ensuring no one is left out of the loop, no matter where they are.

Sustainable Building Materials

Using sustainable building materials is good for the planet; it can reduce construction costs, improve structural energy efficiency, and increase property value. With a drop in operational costs, overall construction costs are reduced by 5 to 15 per cent, depending on the green material used. There are also regulatory incentives in some areas that make the sustainable building more attractive.

Personal Protective Equipment

While personal protective equipment (PPE) is far less technologically advanced than the other entries in this list, there is no doubt it has contributed to revolutionising the construction industry over the last 40 years regarding health and safety. For example, regulations placing a duty on employers in the UK to ensure employees exposed to health and safety risks are provided with appropriate PPE were introduced in 1992 under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act, which commenced in 1974.

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