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Evolution of Construction and Consequences

In the wake of technological evolution in Construction Industry, a new report published by the Construction Industry Council (CIC) may ignite a debate on the the transformative impact of modern technologies in construction processes. The report Built Environment 2050 predicts that amid digital revolution, future of construction industry will face high degree of complexity and uncertainity. However, 'hard skill' such as engineering will remain a core activity of construction. The report segregates upcoming 36 years into four segments:

During 2010-20, the industry is attempting to digitise everything; in 2020-30, it will start using RFID tagging and geo-information. During 2030-40, it will embrace 3D printing, robotisation and mechanisation of the construction process, and during 2040-50 it will operate in a world of autonomous vehicles, self-healing materials and advanced robotics. In adition, the aforementioned graph from the report shows four 'waves' of technological advancement, authored by Philp and Thompson, which indicates that by 2050, the industry’s workforce of skilled labour will be reduced to 50% of its 2013 level. However, Thompson had stressed that an equivalent number of new jobs would be created in the fields of robotics, coding, auditing and training.

With aforementioned facts and figures, the report urges industry leaders to think on following points:

– Will your organisation secure against cyberattack?
– Are you thinking about integrated infrastructure?
– Are you constructing the right teams?
– What impact will nano-second procurement have on commercial practice?
– How will you support Life-long learning?
– What will be the impact of consumer access on your supply chain?
– Are you ready to manage sector skill migration?
– What will your inventory of equipment look like when systems are autonomous?
– How do you currently manage human capital?

At last, the report has categorised its recommendations in research trajectory for academia to consider and focus for organisations:

1. Cyber Security
– Data Residency – Organisation
– Encryption & Penetration – Academic
2. Interoperability for Smart Cities

– Dynamic infrastructure – Organisation
– Machine learning & adaptive efficiency – Academic
3. Behavioural Intelligence Management
– Pre-occupancy evaluation – Organisation
– Knowledge based engineering – Academic
4. Nano-second Procurement & Performance
– Optimisation & Big Data Techniques – Organisation
– Improved Asset Utilisation – Organisation
– Predictive Analysis & Configurators – Academic
5. Biological Complexity
– Smart materials – Academic
– Self-Assembly – Academic
– Regenerative Construction – Academic
6. Life-Long Learning
– Free, Open & Online – Organisation
– Immersive – Academic & Organisation
– Industry & Academia. Integrated
7. Consumer Access Economy & Space Travel
– Service business models – Organisation
– Building out of gravity – Academic
8. Sector Skill Migration
– Skill warfare – Organisation
– Jobless growth – Organisation
9. Robotics and Autonomous Systems

– Skilled labour & system maintenance – Organisation
– Automation In the supply chain – Academic
10. Business in the Future
– Talent as commodities – Organisation
– Demountable organisations – Organisation
– Mobile Capital – Organisation