Using technology to fix construction’s productivity crisis

Using technology to fix construction’s productivity crisis

The expanded use of software–from modular offsite construction and robotics to on-site tablets–could be part of the solution to the problems of low productivity and slim margins in the industry, as well as helping attract a new generation of recruits. Nevertheless, the industry needs to think through a number of legal and practical concerns that continue to emerge as obstacles to growth.

Questions of liability

Robotics, machine learning and AI will soon be a popular part of the building process, especially as modular construction becomes the prevalent building method. While this may reduce defects and make buildings safer and more efficient, it poses a host of liability issues.

For example, if a computer makes a mistake, who is responsible? Is it the people who run the machine or the people who created the software? Organizations will need to take these factors into account when writing contracts.

Handling data

When construction becomes more data-driven, the Data Protection Act will have an increasingly significant impact on construction activities with drones and robotics gathering and processing information.Where is handled [ information ]? And who is responsible for businesses that use the act’s enforcement with such technology? Building contracts will have to include who owns and has access to data, how it is used and stored, who is accountable and who profits from it.

Confidentiality and security

Then information is unintentionally obtained. “A machine’s aim may be to collect data, but it will also inadvertently collect some information,” More said. “It will still be stored and it will still be held by someone.” Contracts will need to detail the privacy and security conditions for this information and understand where this data eventually goes–whether back to the supplier of the machinery or to the contractor

How and what to share

At the same time, the industry has immense potential to benefit from increased cooperation and sharing of information. The view is that agreements should guarantee and require that all data collected is exchanged by everyone when it comes to data.

Keeping up with the law

In addition to contractual issues, rapid technological advances will bring improvements to the law that will need to keep construction companies on top of if they are to avoid potential criminal offenses.

Health and safety

A major advantage of more technologically advanced design is its positive impact on health and safety – provided that modular manufacturing is likely to be much healthier than on-site construction in a highly controlled environment.

Digitising the public sector

Digitising can help make the process more effective by standardizing it. “We need local authorities to begin digitizing the front end, the land and planning system, to move that into the construction process,”

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