Last year, after a decade of carrying out the BIM survey, we expanded its scope and relaunched it as the Digital Construction report. (Don't worry, we still incorporated key questions about BIM). Over 900 construction professionals gave their views. Here we pick out nine highlights we believe will continue to be relevant in 2022.
1. Digital ways of working are helping to address industry and societal challenge
80% of respondents agree that digital ways of working are helping to create better buildings and places. 75% agree it's having a positive impact on environmental sustainability and 74% believe that it helps to create a safer built environment.
2. Digital ways of working are needed to enable the Golden Thread of information
78% say they need to be working digitally to realise the Golden Thread. 70% of respondents are implementing BIM but fewer are clear about how they will manage information to play their part, although this number is still over half (51%).
3. The Coronavirus pandemic has led to an acceleration of the adoption of digital technologies
69% agree the pandemic has been an accelerator of digital transformation in construction. 58% expect to split their time between their home, the office, factory and on-site over the next five years.
4. Many perceive that their governments could do more to lead the industry in terms of digital construction
Only 37% believe the government in their country is leading the way on digital construction, while 30% disagree completely.
5. On the whole, younger professionals appear more positive about the benefits of digital construction
Trends in the data suggest that younger professionals and those from larger organisations are more likely to believe that digital tech and ways of working help to enable positive construction outcomes. They are also more likely to agree that digital and BIM are required to enable the Golden Thread of information.
6. The industry really is in a period of digital transformation
92% of respondents say they are on a digital transformation journey or even have reached their destination. Only 8% haven’t started. UK respondents were often further along the journey than those from other countries. Consultants were more likely to be at an advanced stage of the journey than clients, constructors or suppliers.
7. Cloud computing has been embraced by the industry
77% say their organisation uses cloud computing. Use is higher again among large organisations (84%). Online office applications, like Microsoft Office 365, common data environments such as Autodesk Construction Cloud or Viewpoint, and software like NBS Chorus, are now commonplace. Indeed, 60% of those implementing BIM say that common data environments are used on their projects. Understanding of the definitions of technology, like cloud computing, remains inconsistent, with some being unsure whether they are using it.
8. Early days for digital twins but people believe it will be significant
Only 14% say they have been part of a project that used a digital twin. But the industry sees digital twins being more significant in terms of their potential to transform the built environment for the better, than immersive technologies (virtual, augmented and mixed reality).