Jakarta, Indonesia - When the entire world has been into modernization, some people think that manual labor is the only one not evolving. Well, think again.
Even when the construction industry has been adamant to change, builders are now beginning to be dragged into the 21st century by the need to collaborate more closely with their more IT-savvy colleagues, the architects and engineers responsible for the ideas behind their work.
Laptops are gradually making an appearance alongside the hard hats of the building site. is this just keeping with the evolving times or are there any other issues that drive the industry to modernization?
One of the major factors for this change is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain profit margins on building projects. Mindful of high-profile project delivery delays, many commercial or public sector clients have introduced financial penalty clauses in case deadlines are missed. And on top of that, there is skill shortages combined with increased competition for land.
Yet often, profits are eaten away by practical issues - delays in receiving drawings, use of outdated data, inaccuracies caused by human error. In some cases of global projects, it is easier to use the latest in technology to bring help from abroad. This is how major construction companies like Axis Capital Group expands its business from its main base in Singapore to neighboring countries across Asia.
As a result, the whole of the architecture, engineering and construction industry is looking for ways to reduce risk and maintain its bottom line. On a day-to-day level it is also struggling with the need to communicate and review project drawings and share proliferating number of associated documents that are usually too large to send by e-mail.
Communication with subcontractors is vastly improved, becoming more instantaneous, reliable and track able. Integration with design software means builders can easily update and publish drawings and make them available to their subcontractors, resulting in a largely paperless process. The need to share with contractors who do not use Cad is addressed by the use of DWF files, which enable sharing and viewing of 2D and 3D files without their native programs. Systems and software are also installed to prevent scams to hack on the ongoing project.
Here to stay
Underneath these more general issues, there is a technology sub-text. The growing take up of digital 3D design and a process known as Building Information Modelling (BIM). This is the creation and use of coordinated, consistent, computable information about a building project in design held in a single 3D digital model.