As part of the CIRT Fall Conference in Arizona, Forbes Publisher and Futurist, Rich Karlgaard, discussed the changes possible in the U.S. economy and society that will divide along the lines he defined as “bits vs. atoms” (or virtual/IT vs. physical wealth and activities). Along this same theme, a recent article entitled “Construction Tech Startups are Poised to Shake-up a $1.3-trillion-dollar Industry” by Allison Xu, posits the same kind of tension within the industry itself. The article contends that the long term results of the disruptions caused by the pandemic and shutdowns will be the acceleration of IT impacts on the methods, means, and processes for construction projects.
Some of the key elements or categories that will drive the changes and players seeking to fill the space were identified in the article:
- Project conception: “Design software such as Spacemaker AI can help developers create site proposals, while construction loan financing software such as Built Technologies and Rabbet are helping lenders and developers manage the draw process in a more efficient manner.”
- Design & Engineering: “Of all the elements of the construction process, the design and engineering process itself is the most technologically sophisticated today, with relatively high adoption of software like Autodesk to help with design documentation, specification development, quality assurance and more. Autodesk is moving downstream to offer a suite of solutions that includes construction management, providing more connectivity between the teams.”
- Pre-Construction: “Marketplaces like Sweeten help connect contractors to projects, while digital workflow platforms like SmartBid and Building Connected help general contractors reduce the time and administrative burden of managing complex bid processes. Solutions like Alice Technologies take a predictive approach, using machine learning to optimize productivity.”
- Construction Execution: “There are several software-led approaches to managing execution complexity, including field management tools like Rhumbix, on-site safety management software like Safesite, or site-visualization tools like Openspace, OnSiteIQ or Smartvid.io. Other companies have taken a full-stack approach to disrupting the construction process. Mosaic, for example, uses proprietary software to turn construction plans into detailed manuals that allow a build to be performed with fewer, less specialized laborers.
- Post Construction: “Most commonly, project management tools will offer a module to help manage this process, though some targeted solutions like Pype or Buildr focus on digitizing the closeout process.”
- Construction Management & Operations: “The nuances of the multi stakeholder construction process merit value in a verticalized approach to managing the project. Construction management tools like Procore, Hyphen Solutions and IngeniousIO have created ways for contractors to coordinate and track the end-to-end process more seamlessly. Other players like Levelset have taken a construction-specific approach to functions like invoice management and payments.”
For the details see, Construction Tech Startups are Poised to Shake-up a $1.3-trillion-dollar Industry by Allison Xu.