We have talked about Internet of Things, Big Data and Cloud Computing transforming the way we live and work in a built environment. Manufacturing industry is going through the Industry 4.0 revolution leveraging real time communication, virtualization and modularization towards the vision of smart factory. One can easily control almost all the electronic appliances of the entire house through a mobile/handheld device.
Is a real smart building possible without a smart construction process ?
Construction sector, a seven and half trillion-dollar opportunity, still remains oblivious to this change. Though industries such as General Electric and Samsung have made rapid advances in smart houses, there is still no dominant design theory for the smart construction process. Management tools that have been based on manufacturing processes, such as Six Sigma and Lean Management are inadequate to apply over the entire construction process which thrives on bureaucracy, paperwork, critical path and unskilled manpower. There is greater need to focus on a solution that provides smart and efficient construction solutions, making use of the full potential of the technology now available to us to synchronize with the trends and change the course eventually.
Everyone agrees that productivity and implementation of big-data (and analytics )in construction is at the lowest compared to other industries. There is no doubt that a foundation level transformation from the construction site is required to uplift this industry with technology for collaboration and communication, administration and accounting, overall transparency and accountability.
Big Data in Construction
Construction is primarily a labor-intensive process. Unlike the third industrial revolution, during which most processes in manufacturing were automated, the construction industry still depends on skilled labors and operators. For any technological renaissance in construction we need to incentivize the workers to embrace technology as their best-friend and not their foe, which is the current viewpoint. Just like one would log into twitter everyday to post and get updated; just like one would brush his teeth everyday to maintain his oral hygiene; a software technology that will be used throughout the construction process, is required.
We believe, we have the solution.
“Changing the behavior of people isn’t just the biggest challenge in health care. It’s the most important challenge for businesses trying to compete in a turbulent world”, says John Kotter, a Harvard Business School professor who has studied dozens of organizations in the midst of upheaval: “The central issue is never strategy, structure, culture, or systems. The core of the matter is always about changing the behavior of people.”