The Latest Trends and Innovations in the Construction Industry

We don't usually associate the construction industry with cutting-edge technology adoption and innovation-oriented solutioning.

It is not a secret that conventionally, the construction sector has moved at a very slow pace when it comes to being flexible, agile, and adaptive. That being said, we are now going through a paradigm shift where new and courageous entrants in the market are pushing the envelope. This means that traditional businesses and organizations no longer have a choice but to embrace the latest trends and innovations to stay competitive in a constantly evolving market.

Customers are now searching for advanced, quick, and affordable solutions that cannot be delivered without leveraging technology and modifying current operational and technical approaches.

According to a report issued by CNBC, companies that are more accepting of adopting technology tend to outperform businesses that are rooted in tradition. The glaring fact of the matter is that the difference isn't minuscule as digitally savvy companies acquire almost 50% more revenue with a 15% better margin. This is probably one of the reasons why we have seen close to $10 billion being poured into construction innovation and technology in the last decade. In 2021 alone, construction technology funding hit the record mark of $2.1 billion which is double compared to 2020.

If your construction company is looking for a digital platform that can revolutionize operational and financial decision-making, then KanBo can help you achieve that. It provides a complete work and business process management solution for improved work visibility, real-time collaboration, effective communication, and informational visibility.

The Complexity of the Construction Industry

Before we delve into the discussion of the latest trends and innovations, let's first develop an understanding of the complexities faced by the sector. The challenges are multi-dimensional so it can be a bit difficult to exercise control and manage a diverse range of factors.

Some of the key factors include the following:

  • Opportunity management to win the right bids and acquire construction projects
  • Talent management so the company hires the right people for each project
  • Supply chain management to procure cost-efficient materials, tools, equipment, and supplies in a timely manner
  • Seamless project execution from the start to the finish
  • Subsequent operations and maintenance to provide support to the completed project

Because of the aforementioned reasons, the trends and technological innovations adopted shall be compatible with the unique challenges or should be able to overcome them for further operational streamlining.

Collaborative Innovation & Innovation Management

Creating and developing new goods, services, processes, and business solutions is the goal of collaborative innovation. On the other hand, a business activity that tries to cultivate a systematic and sustainable innovation process or culture inside a company is called innovation management. Disruptive or significant improvements that fundamentally alter the company are the primary focus of innovation management activities.

UN Mandated Sustainable Development Goals for the Construction Industry

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs has proposed a list of sustainable development goals for large-scale enterprises. It is important to note that while there are 17 SDGs, almost half of them are related to the construction industry.

Some of the key sustainability goals include the following:

SDG 6 - Ensuring Access to Clean Water and Sanitation

This particular goal aims to ensure that all people have access to clean water and sanitation. Many sections of the globe have water shortages, which are exacerbated by climate change in certain locations. In many parts of the globe, it is difficult to get fresh water, thus energy-intensive methods such as desalination are used. The construction industry can use its influence and financial prowess in the communities to ensure access to both of these life necessities for the common people.

SDG 7 - Providing Clean and Affordable Energy

This can be achieved with low energy use and reduced unit prices to make energy more affordable. Apart from that, construction companies can start to construct energy-efficient buildings designed by architects, civil consultants, and MEP specialists. Another strategy to make energy cheaper for everyone is to increase the use of clean and renewable energy sources like solar, wind, tidal, and geothermal.

SDG 11 - Building Sustainable Communities and Cities

To make cities sustainable, green buildings are necessary, which provide energy and water efficiency solutions. In addition, construction organizations must prioritize the delivery of healthy structures and pay attention to the influence that buildings have on people’s health since they spend up to 95 percent of their time inside in metropolitan areas and it may have gone much higher since the epidemic began.

Good ventilation and filtration systems are essential to a healthy building, as are sustainable heat regulation, the use of natural light wherever possible, ergonomic interior design, and easy access to the outdoors. In addition to flood protection and the preservation of ventilation corridors and green spaces in case of heatwaves, climate-change-affected cities should have infrastructure that helps them deal with severe weather conditions.

SDG 12 - Enabling Responsible Production & Consumption

This objective focuses on reducing waste and increasing efficiency in order to achieve long-term sustainability in both production and consumption. "Reduce, reuse, recycle" should be the slogan, just as it is when it comes to water. More environmentally friendly manufacturing is made possible by using cutting-edge design and digital technologies. Our natural resources must be managed sustainably and efficiently if we are to keep them.

Using the BIM platform, construction companies can establish maximum collaboration with all stakeholders, allowing the construction team to accurately measure out amounts and cut down on construction waste, time, as well as costs.

SDG 13 - Counter-Measures against Climate Change

We can see the effects of climate change in the devastation caused by storms, wildfires, and floods, among other things. Cutting-edge engineering and design may prevent climate change by incorporating renewable energy into building design. This includes ensuring that precious resources are not wasted and the environment is not damaged as a part of this effort.

Deployment of a comprehensive work and business process management platform like KanBo software can help construction companies achieve these sustainability goals. With constant and transparent access to information and data analytics, executive-level managers, as well as team leaders and middle management, can make high-performance decisions. Not just that, KanBo provides the opportunity to build and optimize industry-specific workflows and operational approaches that can help construction organizations to overcome major challenges.

Having said that, let's take a look at the latest trends and innovations that are being embraced by the construction industry that are helping them sustainably improve their service, enhance profitability, and deliver value.

Modern Trends & Innovations in the Construction Industry

Building Information Modeling (BIM) to Go Mainstream

The capacity of BIM to show project progress in an open and highly collaborative environment will demonstrate to be a key differentiator for the construction sector. Construction firms may gain from the technology in a variety of ways. It simplifies resource utilization, promotes teamwork, and keeps individuals in contact across the duration of the project.

Budgeting overspend, Quality concerns, and missed deadlines may all be alleviated with the help of modern technologies. The latest edition of BIM, known as 5D BIM, delivers faster project timelines, better knowledge of the scope of the work, and higher efficiency. As of 2022, Autodesk BIM 360RevitNavisworksTekla's BIMsightBIMx, and Tekla's Tekla BIMsight will be the leading BIM software systems.

Increasingly Dominant Role of Robotics

Because of their incredible precision, you may anticipate robots to take over the building industry. The initial investment in robots may be substantial, but in the long run, it will be good enough to justify the initial capital expenditure. Robotics in development will likely become more widely used as new kinds of robots, such as collaborative robotic systems and logistical robots, are developed.

Humanoid Laborers

Researchers from Japan have created Humanoid worker technology termed HRP-5P in response to the ongoing labor scarcity in several labor-intensive businesses globally which is basically a humanoid robot that can execute simple physical repetitive activities like drywall or bricklaying on its own.

Robot Swarms

Unlike humanoid laborers, robot swarms include hundreds of tiny individual robotic machines working together to conduct routine monotonous site duties, like placing bricks. Engineers at Harvard University's Systems Research Group conceived and built the very first flock of tiny, four-wheeled robots that work together to accomplish tasks.

Digital Twin Technology

A digital twin is a digital representation of a physical entity, encompassing its prospective and existing resources, technologies, information, procedures, routines, workers, and tools, as well as its digital representation. A digital twin gathers data from sensors in order to develop an enhanced overview of a physical building and then creates a replica.

The ability to evaluate, alter, and optimize a physical structure is greatly aided by having a second copy. Using the digital twin, organizations can find ways to improve efficiency, implement safety standards, reduce risk, and increase quality. Additionally, digital twins serve as a digital fabric, linked directly to a structural system, which enhances BIM. In addition, you may utilize digital twins to verify whether or not a created asset is achieving certain key performance indicators related to sustainability and other criteria.

Leveraging Mobile & Cloud Technology

There are currently scalable cloud systems in use in a wide range of sectors. It's possible to store and share huge quantities of data on portable devices using cloud computing from any location, at any time. As a result, a cloud-based corporate mobile network may be necessary to keep up with the competition.

In addition to making vast volumes of data easier to store, cloud technologies may also make it easier for construction companies to retrieve that data while yet taking precautions. Integrated gadgets and data analytic software will be able to obtain information in the future. These are only a few advantages of cloud computing, but storing and processing large amounts of data is essential for companies to satisfy their contractual commitments.

Reliance on Data Analytics & Artificial Intelligence

Construction companies might have the potential to benefit from machine learning and analytics in the long run. For example, the use of learning algorithms in reality capture in combination with pattern recognition and for comparison of on-site field conditions is gathering steam as an integrated and holistic use case that is relevant to the whole construction process, from preconstruction through manufacturing and completion of the project. In fact, timetables may be improved to organize work and meet the target deadlines by using artificial intelligence to an existing project, and deviations from designs can be spotted and rectified in real-time utilizing a range of established probable situations.

It is not unwise to say that the construction industry's artificial intelligence and machine learning usage will be limited in the near future. This technology can only be effectively implemented by a small number of executives who have the procedures, resources, and current data strategy in place. However, due to the magnitude of the potential, the sector simply cannot ignore it any longer. The danger of unconventional industry players is growing as AI approaches are more able to function across sectors. And a select group of start-ups utilizing AI-focused techniques is already acquiring commercial momentum.

Sustainable Modularization & 3D Prefabrication

Using prefabricated, standardized materials manufactured off-site, sectors of the construction market are approaching large-scale production similar to that seen in manufacturing. These strategies might increase the industry's production by 500% if used consistently on ventures where they are financially viable.

Apps would be included on a system like this one, including:

  • Building components may be prefabricated using completely automated prefabrication procedures that use a 2-D design or a 3-D model
  • Robots used in construction, such as bricklayers or welders
  • Autonomous heavy equipment can help make building safer, quicker, and cheaper
  • Robotic arms that can be used to augment the strength of exoskeletons and wearable robotics
  • Metal 3D printing for long-lead components like joints, allowing the manufacturing of high-performing components

Focus on Green Buildings & Communities

Several new building concepts are oriented toward sustainability. The search for environmentally friendly building materials and methods is now both inefficient and costly. Pre-construction preparation through completion of the project and decommissioning are all steps in the green building process. Green buildings are those that use less energy and resources, produce less pollution throughout development, and emit no greenhouse gases at all.

Depending on the above-mentioned characteristics, many certifications might certify a building as green or sustainable. The construction sector's future depends on green buildings, and companies are already working on solutions to help with this transition.

Operational Digitalization and Collaborative Platforms

While technological innovation is at the heart of the latest trends in the construction industry, the companies also need to focus on improving their work processes, communication across teams, informational visibility, and operational efficiency. That's where platforms like KanBo can assist construction organizations to implement a fully-featured digital solution that provides all the building blocks to create and optimize business processes and enable collaborative innovation throughout the company.

Regardless of the scope and magnitude of technological advancement, if there isn't any improvement in how construction companies make decisions, enable business processes, and ensure communication, they are more likely to hit a wall. That's why it is crucial that innovation comes from within relying on better processes, methods, and approaches in terms of how the business is conducted.

Role of KanBo in Embracing Trends & Innovations

Whether you're a small start-up or a large organization, you'll need a digital platform that can handle all of your activities and functions as a central hub. Construction companies of any size may benefit from the flexibility and adaptability provided by KanBo's work-and-business process management platform. When it comes to cross-department cooperation and the production of new ideas and breakthroughs, it's no longer essential for construction contractors to build organizational silos. From the CEO to the lowest-level employee, KanBo offers all the building blocks for any kind of hierarchical structure in each corporation it supports.

KanBo Is a Digital Headquarters For C-Level Executives

Information that is vital to the company's network of collaborators, including plans and projects, tasks and skills as well as internal communications may be accessed via KanBo. It is possible to employ an agile work management platform as a digital headquarters for senior management if so desired. KanBo's full vision means that executives in the construction industry now have immediate access to data and analytics presented in a very visual way. The capacity of a corporation to make quick, well-informed decisions might be beneficial to the whole innovation strategy.

Citizen Developers May Use KanBo’s Low-Code Platform

Faster application delivery and less hand-coding are only two of the advantages of a low-code strategy. Apps may now be created by "Citizen Developers," such as business analysts and project managers, who only have a basic understanding of programming. For example, non-technical employees may have a stronger impact on the company by reducing IT backlogs and removing shadow technology. Because of this, the operating design is more efficient. Disruptive inventions emerge as a result of this.

It's a Great No-Code Option If You Don't Have Programming Experience

For both developers and non-developers alike, no-code development platforms (NCDPs) allow for the creation of application software without the need for traditional computer programming. A lack of coding knowledge might make it difficult for those in the center of the organization to function effectively. In terms of speeding up application development, KanBo and other no-code development platforms are comparable to low-code development platforms. As the number of mobile workers increases and software experts becomes harder to come by, businesses are turning to these platforms for help.

Information Workers May Rely On KanBo for Project and Workflow Management

There are long-term actions that must be performed in order to accomplish a certain goal, such as processes. Employees may use KanBo's platform to efficiently manage projects and processes since it provides all of the necessary capabilities. Many different teams and departments may easily communicate with each other by utilizing the software's building blocks.

Final Word

Any construction business today is very vulnerable to increasing competition and general technological advancement, which may result in an eventual failure. As a result, it is critical for construction companies to have a plan to adapt and be flexible in terms of embracing new trends and technologies across all departments. However, in the absence of a centralized information center that not only provides a bigger perspective to managers but also enables team members to keep an eye on every minute detail, it can be a major challenge.

The KanBo software, with its unrivaled informational openness and work visibility, comes into play in this situation. A comprehensive set of tools and building blocks is provided to construction organizations to help them develop and optimize an exceptional communication system. It also facilitates the development of a collaborative work environment where ideas and concepts can be shared freely between teams and across the company enabling the organization to push forward and adopt new technologies and trends.

Do you have questions?

Maybe we have an answer!

If you have any questions regarding the topics we discussed in this blog, go ahead and send them to us.