Construction must be more integrative in approach to other sectors, says BIM2050

Credit: BIM2050
Credit: BIM2050

An 18-man team made up of the construction industry’s most prominent young professionals has published Built Environment 2050, a compilation of essays that speculate on the developments building information modelling will undergo on the road to 2050.

BIM2050’s roster includes Rebecca Hodgson-Jones of Sir Robert McAlpine; Neil Thompson of Balfour Beatty; and Rachel Atkinson of MACE. Their report is 20 months in the making, and focuses on three key areas – education, technology, and the culture of integration.

Along with an assessment of the industry today, the BE2050 sets out ten recommendations for organisations across the sector. It stresses that businesses going fully digital must be mindful of cyber-attacks, and that existing workforces must have access to life-long learning as construction becomes less labour-intensive and new technologies come to the fore.

On this subject, Rebecca De Cicco of Digital Node writes in the report: “Technology has outpaced our ability to educate generally across the economy and will continue to do so. Construction tends to lag behind more advanced industries and investment in innovation is low, both academically and professionally.”

In their executive summary, the authors argue that construction needs closer ties with other industries in the UK. “We must be more integrative in our approach to other sectors and academic disciplines. The UK also leads in biomedical and social sciences. As our industry integrates the development of material sciences we must also take advantage of the developments in psychology and behavioural economics.”

The 30-page report is best read online, as it’s crammed with links to related YouTube videos, articles, and other essays.

Neil Thompson, vice chair of the group, said: “Future leaders in construction need to be ready to adapt to the turbulent and disruptive nature of innovation.”

He added that reports such as his can highlight what industry and academia need to be aware of when thinking about the future of their respective organisations.”

You can read the full report here.