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Digitalisation and Sustainability – Shaping the Future of Construction

Construction, Digitalization, Efficiency, Environment, Future Trends, Green Building, Innovation, Smart Construction, Sustainability, Technology

Digitalisation and Sustainability – Shaping the Future of Construction

Construction companies play an essential role in society, providing jobs and building infrastructures which help other businesses to flourish. But in an ever-evolving global environment, construction firms face serious sustainability issues that need to be managed carefully.

Thanks to modern technological innovations like digitalisation and automation, BIM, greener materials and equipment and greener processes – construction professionals are being empowered with new ways of working.

1. Optimisation of processes

Construction companies account for an enormous share of global energy consumption. To decrease their carbon footprint and track progress over time, construction companies must find ways to optimise the processes that comprise their operations by using digital tools like IoT devices and data collection technologies – this way reducing energy use while simultaneously tracking their progress over time.

Digitalisation in construction enhances many aspects of sustainability by enabling teams to work more efficiently and effectively, thus helping them meet their goals while having less of an environmental impact. Furthermore, newer technology has become more affordable and accessible, making it simpler for smaller teams to adopt it.

Digital systems offer construction professionals an accurate and straightforward method for creating project models. Not only does this save on natural resources such as paper and water consumption, it allows them to make adjustments quickly without spending as much time or money recreating it all from scratch.

This new technology also assists construction companies in reducing waste production. Bricks, concrete, wood and insulation materials that go unused require natural resources for production, transport and disposal – but digital systems can keep track of supplies automatically to ensure teams only purchase what they require – this will avoid purchasing excess products that utilize electricity, water and other natural resources during production.

Digitisation makes it easier for construction companies to identify areas in which they can reduce emissions. This can be accomplished using IoT devices and enterprise resource planning (ERP) technologies to collect real-time operational data and information; then using AI and simulation technology for analysis and action on it.

As we move toward a more sustainable economy, it is imperative that every industry do its part in reducing carbon emissions. Construction plays a particularly large role in this regard. By adopting digital solutions to manage environmental impacts more effectively and improve lives around the globe.

2. Data collection and analysis

As business conditions become ever more unstable with rising interest rates, inflation, and geopolitical uncertainties, sustainability and digitalization have taken center stage on CEO agendas. Over 80% of leading global companies now consider environmental, social, and governance (ESG) aspects a source of growth; yet construction industry companies seem reluctant to adopt tools which facilitate data collection and analysis.

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Construction sector contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers generate large volumes of data every day that isn’t captured, consolidated, and made easily available at the right times for processing by key personnel. Unfortunately, much of this information goes unused because it’s never captured, consolidated, or made readily accessible to key people at the right times – leading to both lost productivity and bad decision-making; according to one recent study it can account for as much as $1.8 trillion each year in inaccurate and duplicated information that compromises efficiency.

Digitisation can provide an answer by making sure everyone involved in a project always has access to accurate, up-to-date information. It can facilitate communication between site teams and construction company headquarters as well as creating a single database to store blueprints, drawings and project documents – giving team members constant access to accurate knowledge that could potentially prevent costly misunderstandings from developing.

Digitisation also brings several other advantages. Paper-based processes are reduced significantly while progress monitoring becomes much simpler – something particularly crucial for complex projects requiring extensive planning and coordination. Telematics software tracks equipment fuel usage, performance and location to increase fuel efficiency while decreasing emissions; broken parts repairs become far less wasteful as well.

Although many construction companies are considering adopting digitalization strategies, fully realizing digitization requires a strategic plan with clearly-outlined goals and milestones for implementation. Successful transitioning will yield both economic and sustainability rewards for your firm.

3. Real-time performance monitoring

Digital technologies are increasingly being employed to enable and advance sustainability efforts, while at the same time strengthening efforts made to achieve them. This intersection between digitization and sustainability is being studied across many areas – business strategy, values & environment, systems interconnect with networks and industry 4.0 are just some examples – yet their relationship remains poorly explored.

Real-time performance monitoring offers construction companies many advantages. These benefits can range from improving employee productivity and resource utilization, optimizing project efficiency and cost savings, as well as increased safety measures by improving communication among team members and providing timely responses to potential incidents.

Real-time monitoring has become an invaluable asset to construction firms looking to advance their sustainability initiatives, enabling them to identify and respond swiftly to potential issues so projects remain on schedule and budget.

Attaining this goal can be accomplished using various technologies, such as Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, machine learning algorithms and advanced data analytics tools. These solutions utilize sensors embedded in equipment or buildings that monitor factors like temperature, humidity, vibrations or worker movement – this data is then analyzed to identify patterns, anomalies or trends which can help prevent structural failures or resolve potential issues.

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Real-time monitoring provides multiple key advantages, including enhanced worker productivity and supply chain management. IoT sensors can detect when workers come close to hazardous machinery or restricted areas, decreasing risk and accidents. Meanwhile, automated data collection and analysis streamline procurement processes and optimize resource allocation, leading to significant cost savings and better resource allocation decisions.

Real-time monitoring can significantly decrease environmental impacts by minimizing waste and energy consumption. IoT sensors are particularly beneficial in this regard; they allow construction companies to better track energy use while optimizing operations and thus leading to reduced carbon emissions and other negative environmental effects. Recent business surveys have confirmed this important benefit, showing that over 80% of CEOs consider sustainability an integral component when making investment decisions.

4. Sustainable vendor management

Integrating digitalisation and sustainability into construction projects can bring significant improvements for both the environment and company value. According to Accenture research, companies that combine digital technology and sustainability are twice as likely to become tomorrow’s best performing businesses.

Implementing a sustainable vendor management system can ensure all aspects of your operations align with your sustainability and social impact goals, business strategy and values, as well as any third-party vendors with questionable practices. Furthermore, such a system allows you to keep an eye on any sustainability-related certifications your vendors need to maintain – such as ISO 14001 certificates, carbon footprint reports or energy efficiency ratings – and send notifications when these certifications are about to expire.

Finding the appropriate contractors is essential to meeting your construction project’s sustainability goals. When selecting contractors, look for those that have experience working on eco-friendly projects, with case studies or references demonstrating this experience. Furthermore, inquire into their plans for using alternative energy sources, recycling waste material and procuring eco-friendly materials – open communication is key throughout this selection process to avoid any misunderstandings and ensure both parties involved understand your goals completely.

Consider whether your selected vendors have the financial capacity to fulfil their commitments over the duration of your project. This is vital, as some sustainability-related objectives may require upfront investments in eco-friendly technologies and materials that require upfront payments. To avoid any financial hurdles during selection, it would be a good idea to request evidence of capacity as well as a business plan before finalising your selection decision.

Due to climate change, it has become more crucial than ever that construction companies adopt sustainable practices in their operations. One effective approach is integrating digitalisation into projects and aligning all processes with environmental sustainability goals – reaping benefits such as increased productivity, enhanced efficiency, reduced costs and greater compliance with regulatory requirements.

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