By Construction Tech Review | Tuesday, January 29, 2019
ConTech can be explained in many ways. ConTech is a technology used to innovate the way companies plan, design, and build structures. It also overlaps with construction and management. ConTech can also be called PropTech, but some experts don’t agree with it. As an example, Building Information Modeling is a smart 3D model-based process which gives the construction, engineering, and architecture the insight and tools to plan, design, construct and manage buildings more efficiently. BIM is not PropTech, but the models that derive from it are.
Technology is an integral part of ConTech. 3D printing is its part, and it is used extensively in preparing models that help in effective planning. Prefabrication which is not new in ConTech is still used and is a way to move away from traditional methods of construction. Construction companies are digitalizing the workflow processes. Utilization of AI is prominent for workflow management. Other than deploying sensors throughout the construction area, drones are used with machine learning for job site analysis. Robots are assigned for repetitive tasks and wearables are used for worksite safety. AI analytics and Augmented Reality will make a huge difference in managing the designed structures.
ConTech is a vast market. It was worth $17 trillion in 2017, and it is predicted to grow up to $24 million and exceed it in 2021. Even though the industry is worth so much, there have been few innovations especially in regards to construction methods. The advances in the design and workflow are significant, but the actual construction still is more or less the same.
Construction is a business with a lot at stake. Owners, designers, contractors, engineers, operators, site labors, subcontractors and many more are at play here. It is easy to innovate on the design front but to drive change in construction methods which is not proven can have devastating and result in loss of lives. Still, this limitation presents a tremendous opportunity. The potential for innovating the untouched sector are enormous. A disruptive change in the construction field is challenging, and the conservative stakeholders will need convincing.