Australian construction technology trends for 2024

Australian construction technology trends for 2024

Looking at Australian construction industry trends for the next 12 months, industry leader Sumit Oberoi delves into current and emerging technologies primed to shake up the sector.

By Sumit Oberoi, senior manager construction strategy, Autodesk Construction Solutions.

The Australian construction industry is set for growth, with a strong pipeline of public sector funded projects including road, rail, airport, energy and social infrastructure construction. The government has committed to spending $17.9 billion over 10 years on infrastructure in the 2022-23 federal budget. Additionally, the population is set to reach 40 million by 2059 – meaning critical infrastructure is needed.

However, the construction industry is also facing many challenges including rising labour costs and a lack of skilled workers; regulatory compliance; changing construction practices to meet reduced carbon and sustainability initiatives; and the increased cost of materials. Across Australia, different regions and states are facing distinct challenges and opportunities, however one central approach will be a driver of growth across the industry in 2024 and beyond: innovation and the adoption of technology to improve productivity and efficiency.

Key technology trends in Australia’s construction industry in 2024 include:

The adoption of artificial intelligence (AI)

AI is a huge buzzword across all industries in 2024, and construction is no exception. We are just starting to explore the possibilities for AI in the industry, and this year will be significant in determining which AI innovations will provide the best value and data. The goal is to employ AI to create more project efficiencies, better leverage data, eliminate duplication and drive improved decision making.

Greater collaboration across teams

There will be an increasing emphasis on the use of common data environments (CDEs) across teams, with the involvement of all project stakeholders from the start of a project critical for improved project management and outcomes. CDEs are a way to resolve data overload and enable a standardised way of structuring data and collaboration. The impacts of poor data include rework, time wasting and money loss. Creating a single source of information through a CDE facilitates better collaboration between project team stakeholders and helps to avoid duplication and mistakes.

Investment in data quality

A study by Autodesk and FMI estimated that ‘bad data’ – data that is inaccurate, incomplete, inaccessible, inconsistent or untimely, and can’t be used to derive actionable insights – may have cost the global construction industry $1.85 trillion in 2020. Companies that adopt data practices into their day-to-day operations are achieving clear benefits. The Deloitte and Autodesk 2023 State of Digital Adoption in Construction Report in APAC revealed that the most common benefits of greater data use are, according to the 2023 industry survey, reducing operational costs (73 per cent), supporting the identification of new projects (67 per cent), and improvement in the ability of a business to track performance (67 per cent). Businesses which are leaders in data adoption reported a 50 per cent average increase in profit growth when compared to those classified as data beginners.

Broader adoption of robotics

I anticipate that during construction, there will be a broader adoption of robotics, drones, internet of things (IoT) sensors, remote-controlled machinery and high-tech protective equipment to enhance efficiency and work quality, improve onsite health and safety, and to reduce waste.

New roles in construction may emerge

In 2024, we may start to see the emergence of new roles in the construction industry which are linked to AI, digital twins and the metaverse. This may impact existing jobs or further support the industry’s issues relating to a lack of skilled workers by redefining some roles to utilise new technologies and maximising the talent available in upskilled roles.

The use of green construction software

Green construction is a forward-thinking approach to designing and constructing environmentally-friendly buildings. At its core is green design, which integrates sustainable principles throughout the entire project lifecycle including site selection, water and energy efficiency, waste reduction and indoor environment quality. By leveraging green design in construction, architects and engineers can create buildings that minimise energy consumption, reduce carbon emissions and promote wellbeing.

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