The volume of global property construction is expected to grow 85% by 2030. This rise in output must be fueled to meet the rising demand, but will take place amidst challenging conditions including resource constraints and relentless calls for higher environmental performance in the sector.
Even as the challenges in the construction niche mount, innovative firms operating with Building Information Modeling (BIM) workflows and committed to green construction can make this a unique opportunity. This post explores the top tech trends that are helping to redefine the future of the construction industry and sustain a move towards green building practices.
Recently, modular and prefabrication construction has attracted renewed interest in the industry. Unlike the traditional on-site construction techniques, the off-site construction methods are conducted on controlled environments to ensure there are no weather-related delays. The assembly lines make construction safer because there are no fall risks that are typical to most onsite constructions.
Off-site construction makes it possible to order products to spec and further ensure that assembly is done with great precision. By reducing delays and cutting down on waste, it implies that companies can improve their operational performance, reduce their energy bills and slash emissions by a significant margin.
BIM Enabled and Optimised Planning
When BIM (Building Information Modelling) introduced Virtual Design Construction (VDC), it became easier to plan and visualise the entire building as well as involved work before commencing construction. These virtual construction modeling designs have made it easy for construction managers to streamline onsite construction and make it a leaner process. The result is a cut on energy and waste during the building process. Projects using this trend are enjoying a slimmer environmental footprint.
Note that BIM is not stationary. It is getting smarter with time. For example, it is adopting machine learning to assist contractors to manage their tasks. In future, it is expected to start suggesting alternatives that contractors should consider early in building construction planning.
Eventually, it is expected to generate lean and green construction operation plans.
When a building hits its lifespan, it is no longer considered safe for occupation and should be demolished. But it is not just old age that makes houses get demolished. A building might require demolition to give way for a new one or because of land use changes.
Once demolished, most of the materials end up in landfills as incoherent scrap. This progressive flow of waste materials represents a loss of value and missed opportunities to slash carbon emissions and cut the cost of production. But it does not always have to be this way!
For example, recycling demolition materials like steel only release a very small amount of emission compared to the production of entirely new steel.
The circular construction model seeks to extend the utility of materials used in the construction industry. This is crucial in helping to mitigate the current resources crisis.
The circular trend has resulted in the design of reversible construction techniques that ensure what goes into the construction can also be disassembled and reused again. This helps to lower the amount of time and cost required to demolish a building and put up a new one.
Quantifying Savings Resulting from Green Construction
When you invest in green construction, there is no doubt that the property sale value edges higher. However, quantifying material and energy savings can be a difficult task that you need to get right for regulatory compliance and decision making.
New tools designed to help construction experts capture environmental impact data are likely to emerge as the industry grows. The tools are expected to assist managers and experts to clearly communicate the financial and environmental logic for their decisions in the industry.
Eventually, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are going to become the ultimate choice for helping construction managers draw recommendations for material, cost, carbon, and water savings.
Collaborative Construction Project Delivery
The traditional method of construction that uses “design, bid, and build” is fast losing momentum as a collaborative trend takes over. These are partnerships that seek to include more stakeholders to help improve quality and hasten project completion.
The trend involves collaboration that brings together engineers, architects, financiers, project managers, and government departments. Because all stakeholders have a common goal, it becomes easier to factor in environmental impacts and adopt the best technology for faster completion. As this trend becomes the norm in many construction projects, it is important to adopt efficient estimating software to be able to see the costs and risks clearly and early.
The Final Take
As the construction industry continues growing to meet the emerging demand, new trends are being defined by the ability to guarantee efficiency, reduce costs, and promote sustainability. Building Information Modeling (BIM) has helped contractors and designers to craft new tools such as Virtual Design Construction (VDC) and adopt technologies like artificial intelligence to help cut cost, reduce wastage, lower emissions, and deliver projects on time.
Whether you are at the design or financing stage of a building establishment, you should consider one or a combination of the above trends for green construction.
About the Australian Cleantech sector
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