Construction Industry Needs Wider Implementation of Digital Technologies, According to Asite Report

31 Aug, 2020 By: Cadalyst Staff

The developer of a cross-discipline cloud platform for capital projects urges AEC firms to build a digital ecosystem.

A new report from Asite, developer of the Adoddle platform for management of large capital projects, explores ways the global construction industry can optimize its approach to digital engineering. “Digital Engineering: Optimizing Construction’s Digital Future” includes case studies and recommendations for technologies and approaches that can help firms overcome challenges during the planning, design, preconstruction, construction, and operation phases of a project.

The report’s recommendations aren’t limited to improving workflows for individual companies, but include steps the overall industry must take to promote the adoption of digital engineering globally. The report notes the global government initiatives that are driving the adoption of modern technologies and processes, and names the United Kingdom, the European Union, India, Hong Kong, Australia, and the United States as leaders in the push for adoption.

“The integration of digital engineering technologies and processes is our industry’s next great challenge and one we must meet together, ensuring no one gets left behind,” said Asite CEO Nathan Doughty. “If implemented correctly, they have the capabilities to streamline how we work and transform our industry.”

Solutions for Each Stage

The report advocates a holistic lifecycle approach, and examines challenges, barriers to adoption, and solutions for each stage of a project. Examples include:

Planning. Discrepancies between ground conditions and early survey estimates can cause projects to go over budget. Drones can be used to collect visual data that then can be integrated with BIM, adoption has been limited by lack of support from owners and project managers. Overcoming this barrier requires education about the benefits and risks that drones can bring to operations.

Design. Clients basing their information requirements for projects around traditional 2D deliverables can discourage design teams from getting the most value out of federated models. ”BIM enhances design and engineering processes, allowing the merging of models and collection of data to identify interdependencies and clashes, and rapidly evaluate design iterations,” the report stated.

Preconstruction. Tendering and procurement processes can garner — or lose — significant value for a project. More-transparent communications help reduce the number of unforeseen obstacles during construction, but changes to these processes (by implementing new software tools, for example) require the buy-in of all the various stakeholders and can inhibit adoption. A single-platform solution for supply chain management can ensure regulation compliance and security of inquiries.

According to Asite's report, the technologies that have the greatest capability to transform the construction industry include advanced building materials (ABMs), smart buildings, building information technology (BIM), digital twins, and modern methods of construction (MMC). Image source: Asite. 

A Digital Framework to Fight Fragmentation

The report concludes that the fragmentation spawns unnecessary project problems and is impairing the industry’s ability to move forward: “Our analysis of the planning and design phases shows that, in theory, project stakeholders can know almost everything about an asset before it is built and make actionable conclusions across the entire project lifecycle. However, fragmentation between project teams and insufficient knowledge transfer from project-to-project has meant that insights are routinely lost and deployed solutions are not optimized,” it states.

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

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