Digital Construction Week is the leading event for innovation and technology in the built environment. The event was taking place at ExCel London at 16-17 October 2019. Several innovations introduced by new companies and start-ups.

In my previous article I was writing about New Digital wave in the Construction Industry in the EU. I would like to share now some innovations from the event from the industry’s four main areas:

  • Digital twins
  • Artifactial intelligence and analytics
  • 3D printing, modularization and robotics
  • Supply chain optimalization and marketplaces

Before we deep dive in the topics I would like to explain

What is ConTech?

There are plenty of definitions for this one word. ConTech is the merge of two words: Con(struction) + Tech(nology). I would agree with the author of The 5 Basic Things you Need To Know About ConTech to define

“ConTech as the technology used to innovate the way we plan, design, and build structures, as well as the manufacture and installation of their components. “

You can find the top 100 collection of ConTech companies here.

Let’s see now come exciting ConTech companies.

Digital twins

There are three main areas of digital twins: back-office, digital collaboration and on-site execution. ConTech companies mostly focuses for this area where BIM is the centre of the innovation also there are several companies focusing for the full lifecycle of construction projects from BIM design to project scheduling, resource planning and equipment and material management.

Gliderbeam is a Lifecycle Asset Information Management Software which supports asset information management through design, construction, and operation. They support to rapidly deliver and maintain accurate, asset-data-rich models and comprehensive O&M information in one simple online system.

For general contractors and fabricators Archdesk is a great management software solution to control labour costs, procurement and to improve company workflow. Archdesk supports from the project from office, through estimation, project management, accounting and manufacturing.

Another collaborative solution is Asite’s Adoddle platform. The platform gives everyone involved in construction and facilities projects access to key information regardless of location or device. It enables increased collaborations which results in fewer mistakes, delivering huge time and cost saving. The platform provides solutions for every field of a construction project like digital engineering, document management, cost management, procurement, field management etc.

Bluebeam Revu is a full solution from project kickoff to handoff. The solution mostly focuses for pdf document collaboration for the full project workflow from design review, document management, drawing management, submittal review, RFI postings, punch process, project handover until site logistics.

LetsBuild is an end-to-end digital platform for the construction phase. They have two product packages: GenieBelt focuses on the project schedule with activity planning and progress reporting live from site. For on-site workers there is an intuitive mobile app for progress reporting in real time. APROPLAN supports key on-site processes related to quality, safety and drawings with Snagging/punch lists, Checklists & forms, Drawings & document management.

If you only need a simple solution for snagging and punch list and you are not satisfied with the very popular PlanGrid a new and cheaper competitor called Edcontrols appeared on the market.

Are you looking for a solution for health and safety? A Sweedish company called Buildsafe is a great app for HSE Managers. BuildSafe – a project platform that both saves time and mitigates risks in projects.

Do you know who is on your project site? If no, Chime mobile solution helps you to connect site to office. Track your people whether they are on site on time.

 Artificial intelligence and analytics

Predictive asset performance, machine learning and deep learning is not a science fiction anymore.

ALICE combines a first-of-its-kind construction planning platform with a powerful AI engine to help digitize firms “way to build” and save big on any construction project.

If you are looking for a data-driven project management solution for enterprise project and project control software that oversees the complete project management life cycle– delivering dependable forecasts, cost control, and performance measurement ARES PRISM Project Controls Software can be a great solution. The provider solely dedicated to the advancement of Project Cost Management.

3D printing, modularization and robotics:

Drone-enabled land inspection, laser scanning, virtual scanning and design simulation now is the present.

Datumate is unlashing the power of construction data with drone enabled applications. Turn your drone into a professional mapping tool with Datufly Drone App for Automatic Image and Data Acquisition.

Are you looking for a VR collaboration solution? IRISVR provides collaboration in 1 click straight from BIM

Enable My Team is a software platform that seamlessly integrates data to ensure quality, provide automation and flexibility to unique project requirements. It gives machine learning solutions for special projects. Now the company is working on their new robot called Erica to use onsite for data collection.

Supply chain optimization and marketplaces

 labor and professional marketplaces, construction material marketplaces, equipment marketplaces

Some article says the year of 2020 is going to focus for marketplaces. I did not meet any interesting marketplace in the event, but I met a ConTech company which focuses for supply chain optimization.

The company called Skrap was one of my favourite innovation. I was fascinated with the idea which provides on-demand waste collection. I spoke with the Co-Founder & CEO of the company who explained me that basically they use a very simple model which is like Uber: open the app, pin your location and order your junk removal. Unfortunately, the service currently only viable in the UK but as they are growing very fast they plan to open the service in other countries.

About the Author

I have been working in the construction industry for 8 years. My mission is to generate value for the construction industry through introduction of new technologies. I passionately follow the industry’s new digital solutions. I believe, the companies need to prepare with appropriate professional skills and digital technological solutions for the digitalisation of the construction industry. My goal is to facilitate this transformation.

I am curiously looking forward to the new developments in this new industry. 

Orsolya Nagy

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