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Construction is poised to be one of the fastest-growing global industries, with PwC forecasting that the worldwide volume of construction output will grow 85% by 2030. How will the industry, which is one of the largest sectors in the world economy today, evolve over the next 12 years? What will the job site, which is just beginning to embrace innovative technology, look like in 2030, and how do we get there?
As a comparison, 12 years ago, Google had just purchased the startup known as YouTube, Facebook had just been made available to the public and there was no such thing as an iPhone — three fundamental technologies that have transformed our personal and professional lives. By 2030, the construction site will have experienced a similar leap in technology, recognizable still but overall safer, smarter and faster. I’m excited to see other companies out there that share our vision of a smarter, connected job site and join us in bringing that vision to life. Here is the worksite of tomorrow that I see, but it is only through construction companies and technology providers working together that we can make it a reality.
A Well-Oiled, Data-Driven Machine
According to a 2017 McKinsey Global Institute report, global labor productivity in construction has grown at a rate of 1% per year over the past two decades compared to 3.6% for manufacturing. What insights can construction learn from its manufacturing counterpart? Manufacturing has become a controlled and predictable environment and a trailblazer that has leveraged technology to measure and standardize processes to maximize output. Construction, in contrast, tends to view each project as unique, missing an opportunity to establish commonalities and apply lessons learned from one site to the next.
By 2030, construction sites may more closely resemble manufacturing floors. Workers and equipment will likely be in constant motion, each knowing their precise daily tasks and responsibilities as well as their larger roles in the projects. Each morning, workers could receive customized reports, alerting them to schedule changes, task-specific risks and larger company announcements.
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