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What is connected construction? And why does it matter?

What is connected construction and why does it matter?

Construction projects develop in many ways. Some go smoothly and collaboratively, while others may be more turbulent and challenging. By closing the gaps between people, processes and technology, connected construction helps everyone identify and resolve problems faster. It’s about having up-to-minute information to make better decisions right from the start of a project for better outcomes at the end. 

The construction industry has always faced challenges that impact project quality, schedules and budgets. Historically, the industry has been characterized by disjointed processes and siloed teams, where data is often disconnected, dispersed, and sometimes even lost. Miscommunication, lack of coordination, and outdated technology are just some of the factors contributing to the industry's challenges. 

Connected construction aims to break down these silos to improve communication and transparency. This creates a safer work environment, more accurate budgets, and timelines everyone can count on.

What is connected construction?

Connected construction refers to using technology and data to connect people, processes and tools in the construction industry. It involves the integration of various technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, mobile devices and Building Information Modelling (BIM). Together, these technologies enable real-time communication, collaboration, and data sharing between all the stakeholders involved in a construction project.

Connected construction also refers to an interconnected network of construction technologies used for various practices. Design, calculation, estimation software, data management, constructible content, technological hardware, vehicles, devices, people and locations can all be linked via wireless or digital technology. This connectivity can be within a single firm or as part of a collaboration between multiple organizations within a given project. 

The essence of connected construction is that it integrates and manages data across the project lifecycle – ensuring all information flows seamlessly from one system to another. 

“A connected construction experience is one in which construction firms have access to a common data environment with a standardized set of connected workflows across all stakeholders, departments, and disciplines of the construction process.”  

GlobalData Plc. Drake, C., Williams, D., and Armengol, S. 2022. Connected Construction: A new technology mindset for a new era (p.07).

Read Connected Construction: The Engineers' Perspective

Connected construction is about creating meaningful workflows for data to enhance collaboration between stakeholders

Connected construction is all about data and communication

Connected construction is not just about connecting one machine to another. It’s a much more fundamental transformation than a standalone point-to-point solution for a single workflow. Connected construction is about creating meaningful workflows for data that facilitate collaboration between a wide range of different stakeholders, bringing benefits across the whole project. 

Data is critical in providing the foundation for the insights and decision-making capabilities that drive improved efficiency, productivity and safety. It’s about making the right data accessible to the right people at the right time to improve processes in the areas that matter most: productivity, quality, safety, transparency, sustainability, etc. 

“By enhancing project visibility and predictability, providing real-time access to business data, and enabling collaboration and integrated decision-making, the connected construction experience can help owners, designers, engineers, and contractors realise more consistent, streamlined, and predictable project execution.”  

GlobalData Plc. Drake, C. , Williams, D., and Armengol, S. 2022. Connected Construction: A new technology mindset for a new era (p.07).

Connected construction helps improving project efficiency, productivity, safety and quality.

Why does connected construction matter?

Connected construction matters because it has the potential to transform businesses in the construction industry by significantly improving project efficiency, productivity, safety and quality. It provides real-time access to project data and analytics, enabling construction professionals to make informed decisions, optimize workflows, and minimize delays and errors. 

Connected construction also allows for better communication and collaboration between project teams, which can in turn lead to improved project outcomes and customer satisfaction. Moreover, connected construction can help construction companies reduce costs and increase profitability by improving project timelines and reducing the risk of rework or errors. By leveraging data analytics, companies can gain insights into project performance, identify areas for improvement, and implement strategies to optimize project outcomes and stay competitive. 

Read Connected Construction: The Engineers' Perspective

Connected Construction: A new technology mindset for a new era

The GlobalData Connected Construction whitepaper discusses some key challenges facing the construction industry, including labor shortages, safety concerns, and project delays. The paper explores how technology addresses these challenges and improves construction project outcomes. It also examines the importance of data in construction projects and the challenges of managing and using data effectively. The benefits of data analytics and visualization tools are discussed, too, with examples of how they can improve construction project outcomes. 

Read Connected Construction: The Engineers' Perspective