Construction is one of the many industries undergoing a fundamental change in process optimization, with the advent of AI. Every element of the approach to delivering a finished built space is poised to gain tremendously, by harnessing the power of intelligent computing in the service of better buildings and cities. While some aspects of construction, such as the design process and fabrication, are more apparent opportunities to the layperson, almost every element in project management stands to benefit. Construction has traditionally been relatively cautious in adopting new technology, but while there is currently a lag, possibilities for gains exist across multiple processes, from schedule and subcontractor management to site monitoring and safety.
The engineering and construction (E&C) industry represents a ubiquitous global presence and colossal cumulative investment of resources, capital, and manpower. The sector is currently pegged at an astronomical $10 trillion a year (1). However, despite its huge investment in mechanization, the industry remains far short of its potential in digital technologies. A recent McKinsey report has found that the construction industry has the potential to gain $1.6 trillion in productivity if it incorporates appropriate digital transformation (2). The potential for intervention exists from the earliest design stages and processes undertaken during construction to the incorporation of digital technology in the ongoing maintenance of built spaces. AI-enabled algorithms have the potential to create a tremendous bottom-line impact in costs, optimal scheduling and safety issues.
The emerging picture in untapped opportunities
The E&C industry can no longer ignore the solutions that AI can enable. With newer entrants and start-ups favoring the technology to create disruptive impact, traditional high capital players are also starting to notice the competitive advantages. However, despite the traction that the few early adopters have gained, instances of deployment remain relatively limited. Some of the initial success of the disruptors has been built around project schedule optimization, monitoring of site video for safety using image recognition and enhanced analytics relating to capital control and proactive maintenance. The possibilities for further implementation are even more impressive and include:
The sheer possibilities for capital, resource and process optimization that AI can bring to the construction industry constitutes an irresistible argument. However, the benefits go beyond mere process control. The ability of AI to consider a very significantly higher number of solutions for an issue can spark a new age of innovation in an industry that has hitherto relied on the proven credibility of established practices and procedures. AI has the potential to not just enhance these legacy methodologies, it can completely transform the very nature of the solutions and designs that the industry adopts for its internal processes and the structures it delivers to its customers.
The construction industry brings together a diverse range of stakeholders, high-pressure stakes and very specific and targeted outcomes. While mechanization has increased efficiencies and productivity in the industry for several decades now, AI holds the key to truly dramatic recruitment of that machinery. To understand how AI-based breakthroughs can help you achieve optimal operational capacities and efficiencies, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 Anastasios Koutsogiannis. “Artificial Intelligence: The Future of Construction.” GenieBelt, 7 Mar. 2019, geniebelt.com/blog/artificial-intelligence-the-future-of-construction.
2 “Artificial Intelligence: Construction Technology’s next Frontier.” McKinsey & Company, Apr. 2018, www.mckinsey.com/industries/capital-projects-and-infrastructure/our-insights/artificial-intelligence-construction-technologys-next-frontier.