Monday, June 17, 2024
CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Tech and Innovation - Are CEOs in the construction industry deploying their foresight?

Tech and Innovation

Are CEOs in the construction industry deploying their foresight?

CEOs must be aware with the recent developments in the space of construction industry. The latest upcoming technologies and contemporariness in the construction sector are hence, inducing a pivotal position in influencing the progression and engagement opportunities. There is a scope for future growth in the construction sector, considering sustainability as an important feature. The basic question arises that how are you, as a CEO engaged in the creative dimension of this sector? Have you honed your foresight considering the new age of construction industry?

While I had an opportunity to interview and chat with few CEOs in this sector, both formally and informally, few questions were posited.

  1. How are creative measures and innovations transforming the outlook of the construction sector?
  2. Is it affecting the social and economic environment?
  3. In what dimension do you intend to contribute towards the growth of the construction Industry?
  4. Are there any methods available that might result in cost reduction and increased productivity of resources?

Raising these pertinent questions yielded to responses that were less direct but more around it, however, did result in more branched queries. Majorly, all CEOs were confounded with the latest technologies, such as AI and modern tools based around creativity and innovation that would ultimately yield to raising demand in the construction sector. And certainly, the center for discussions pivoted around, as to how this industry is contributing towards job opportunities. There is a greater impact on how the recent Covid-19 pandemic as a VUCA event impacted this industry, yet with tactical interventions and creative dimensions, this is going to change with time.

The CEOs interjection

There is a definite role of recent technological trends and advancements when it comes to creativity and innovations. The scope has enlarged in this industry due to the applied long-term sustainability. During pandemic, undoubtedly this industry had serious setbacks but with sustained resilience, it will bounce back and be more responsible towards creating employment opportunities.

In the existing market framework with recent trends in technological dimensions, there are enhanced opportunities. The inclusion of Artificial Intelligence & Robotics is ready to transform this sector in terms of optimum utilization of resources and capabilities. There was a viewpoint from the angle of a geologist with latest emerging technologies in the field of tunnelling, underground structures and environmental science. Few CEOs emphasised upon digitization  for customized digital solutions and  provided the right ecosystem for technology start-ups. For most, 3D printing construction technology for low-cost housing is a smart move. This technology comprises of four aspects:-software, raw material, printer and delivery system.

Several CEOs opined on the advantages of a pre-cast concrete construction that included rapid speed of erection, good quality control, a building being based entirely on precast-walls, floors, beams, etc., rapid construction on site, high quality because of the controlled conditions in the factory and that pre-stressing is easily done, which can eventually curtail the size and number of the structural members. As a CEO or a founder of a start-up in the construction sector, what are your opinions on the same?

The new perspective

 We all must agree that creative measures and innovations have transformed the outlook of this sector. The technological advancements have pierced into this sector. The utmost noticeable revamp could be the materials used and the newer technologies allowing innovative dimensions like recycling concrete. Ecofriendly materials are also on the rise. But the bigger challenges include operational efficiency, reduction in the duration of projects, the defects in correction process and several others.

What is interesting to know that over consecutive years, ‘the heart of this industry’ has taken greater precedence. The breakthrough has been witnessed in the areas of aero graphite, 3D graphene, transparent aluminium, hydro-ceramics, biochar, laminated timber, self-healing concrete, modular bamboo, translucent wood, microbial cellulose, spider silk, aluminium foam, nanocrystal, wool brick, pollution-absorbing bricks, light-generating concrete, bioreactors and invisible solar cells. How many of these newer materials are you engaged with in your construction sector?

These new age materials and the fusion of technology, processes and procedures have emerged with a creative dimension in the construction sector. This is likely to impact our social and economic terrain in future. This fusion is bound to create and enhance growth in this industry. It calls for a responsible CEO to take pole positions and kick start. How about you?

Recent trends

This industry has witnessed some trends, both soft and hard, thereby, seeking attention of the incumbent CEOs. These trends may be in the building information & modeling stages, 3D printing, the project management area, robotics in the construction domain, the advanced building material, construction monitoring, the worker safety, offsite construction, connecting the construction site and most importantly the green building.

CEOs are engaged in accelerating towards mechanization, as a radical and game changing one. Usage of computer aided tools can be advantageous. The building information system has allowed the architects, engineers, contractors and their sub-contractors for equitable collaboration and seamless connect. This has resulted in higher level of efficiencies cutting down on redundancies that impact costs, with the interface getting powerful each day. Prefabrication is yet another area, accepted and effective for multiple works with speed in deliverables. This is becoming common when the volume of work is high. Mobile devices and robotic stations are an upcoming assistance that is changing the scenario. Engineers are quiet concerned with the sustainable building materials for an elongated performance. These are reclaimed wood, bamboo, recycled rubber, cross laminated timber, rammed earth, straw bales ferrock etc. While some of these materials are carbon neutral, thus absorbing the trapped carbon dioxide and serving as a boon for the environment.

The transformation and introspection

Artificial intelligence-based tools and design software have taken precedence in the modern construction industry, transforming with the help of innovative and creative dimensions. Cloud computing is one upcoming area that is forming as the root and enters the  ‘digital revolution’. Real time data is available for the ease of sharing and extending collaborative efforts. As a CEO, you must evince with added responses, solutions and a clearer foresight. The world is changing and its  landscape too. How responsible are you in shaping this industry, solely depends on how you intend to anticipate the challenges and with a sharp  mindset intended to respond with your strategic foresight! Have you started introspecting?

Written by Dr. Manoj Joshi.
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Dr. Manoj Joshi
Dr. Manoj Joshi is Patron of the UNESCO Chair on ODL; Professor Extraordinarius, UNISA; authored 5 books “The VUCA Company”, “The VUCA Learner”, “VUCA in Start-ups”, “Business Incubators” and “Unleashing Innovation and Leadership”. A Chartered & Fellow Engineer; Professor of Strategy, Innovation & Entrepreneurship; Director Centre for VUCA Studies & Dy. Dean Research (Mgmt. and Social Sci.) Amity University. Editorial Board with journals JFBM, ISBA, APJM, JSBM, BSE, JEEE, WRMSED etc. 140+ publications. Travelled extensively, 32+ years of experience areas - Screw pumps Design, Heat Exchangers, Loading Arms, consulting, research and teaching on VUCA strategy, weak signals, anticipatory mechanics and crafting foresight; interest in dark matter, dark energy, astral travel, travelling to woods and life after death.

Dr. Manoj Joshi is an opinion columnist and Executive Council member at the CEOWORLD magazine. You can follow him on LinkedIn.