Photograph: Patrice Dufour.
Survey Identifies Construction Technology Trends
ARC Document Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: ARC) ("ARC"), a leading document and information management solutions provider for the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry, today announced the results of an industry survey that reveal participants' views on emerging technologies, including Big Data, drones and the so-called "Internet of Things" (IoT). The top prediction, named by 65.3 percent of respondents, is that virtual reality applications will be used much more in the future to experience a building's design before it is built.
•Projects will be easier to visualize (51.9%)
•Projects will be completed faster (48.3%)
•Projects will require fewer workers (42.2%)
•Projects will require less material (40.8%)
Another top technology trend, identified by 61.9 per cent of the respondents, is the growing use of drones for surveying and for photo and video documentation. More than 60 per cent (60.5 per cent, specifically) recognized drones' ability to help with mapping and surveying, inspection, and creating image-based records as their primary benefits. Close to half (49.7 per cent) of the participants named improved surveillance and safety as the top benefit of drone use by AEC professionals.
Most AEC professionals predicted that the adoption of these new virtual reality and drone technologies will occur in the near future, with 64 per cent stating that they are likely to be in common use within the next five to ten years.
According to survey findings, the future of the AEC industry will also be characterized by the absence of paper (38.1 per cent) and the use of virtual technology to address not only two-dimensional drawing and three-dimensional modelling but also for project sequencing, cost estimating, sustainability, and facilities management, often referred to as a "7D" building process. While technology clearly has a dominant role in industry trends, only 4.8 per cent of participants predicted that robots will replace workers in the future.
•Mobile/tablet technologies have replaced printed sets of drawings (43.5%)
•The Building Information Model (BIM) helps design and construction teams resolve building problems without having to print numerous drawings (27.2%)
•Project teams are more environmentally conscious (25.2%)
•Better communication between workers (58.5%)
•Outdated data will no longer be shared (55.8%)
•Changes will be easier to see as they are made (54.4%)
•Improving onsite / offsite equipment management (68.8%)
•Pinpointing the reason behind a delay (50%)
•Giving clear indicators of a project delay (31.3%)
•Facilitate well-informed decision-making on a consistent basis (62.5%)
•Improve urban planning decisions (50.0%)
•Create reports on construction operations frequently and in real time (43.85%)
"The survey results confirm what we're already seeing across this enormous and influential industry. Transformative technological change is well under way, and its adoption will only accelerate in the future," said K. "Suri" Suriyakumar, Chairman, President and CEO of ARC Document Solutions. "These technologies will bring unprecedented collaboration, coordination and connectivity in the AEC industry, increasing efficiency, bringing down costs, and making the industry more competitive."
About the AEC Future of Technology Study
The ARC Document Solutions AEC Future of Technology Study was conducted by research marketing company Newlio (www.newlio.com) who sampled 147 architecture, engineering and construction management professionals randomly using email invitations and online survey forms.
Executives represented large enterprises of 1,000 people or more as well as smaller boutique firms of ten people and under.