Collaboration, Sustainability and Artificial Intelligence
The cost of inefficient communication in our industry is staggering. Before COVID, before inflation, the annual cost of rework in the United States was 31 billion dollars.[i] In the US, rework directly caused by poor project data accounts for 48% of the total quantity of rework.[ii] Not only does rework waste money and create increased risks to safety and quality, it also imposes an unnecessary cost on the environment. According to ZERO, an industry collective working towards net zero construction, as much as 5% of the sector’s emissions can be attributed to rework.[iii] Eliminating the common and avoidable errors that result in rework.
That’s where artificial intelligence comes in. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is about using technology to convert data into meaningful information. The data is no longer collected or generated only by human input. The internet has evolved from an environment for humans to communicate with each other, to a tool that enables communication between multiple objects and humans, creating a smart environment. It has the potential for improving decision-making by providing more information, and more accurate information, to design and construction professionals, ultimately enhancing their decision-making. AI tools that can help improve efficiency include tools to compare plans and specifications to make sure the correct information gets to the right people on time, AI-powered progress tracking, AI-powered safety monitoring, and AI-powered analytics. AI can be used to analyze data from a variety of sources to identify trends and patterns. For example, AI can be used to analyze data on material deliveries to identify potential delays.
Construction is about managing complexities and the lasting value of AI technologies in construction will be how well they help us to manage those complexities and improve processes, productivity, quality, safety, and sustainability.
To take a deeper dive into this topic, I recommend reading Sofiat O. Abioye a, et al. “Artificial Intelligence in the Construction Industry: A Review of Present Status, Opportunities and Future Challenges.” Journal of Building Engineering, Elsevier, 5 Oct. 2021.
Available at www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352710221011578#cebib0010. Accessed 11 Oct. 2023.
[i] FMI/Plangrid 2018 Industry Report : Construction Disconnected – Rethinking the Management of Project Data and mobile collaboration to reduce costs and improve schedules. Available at http://pg.plangrid.com/rs/572-JSV-775/images/Construction_Disconnected.pdf
[iii] Read more about this on the XYZ website blog, The Environmental Cost of Error and Rework in Construction, October 12, 2022, available at https://www.xyzreality.com/resources/the-environmental-cost-of-rework-in-construction
Executive Director at Construction Institute
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