The construction industry is on the cusp of digitalization, disrupting traditional processes while also presenting numerous opportunities. Artificial intelligence is expected to improve efficiency across the entire value chain, from building materials production to design, planning, construction, and facility management. But, in your company, how do you get the most out of AI?
For decades, the construction industry’s overall productivity output has been improving only slightly or not at all. One of the most important reasons is the inefficiency of the construction site’s logistics.
First, transports, rearrangements, downtimes, and the search for materials account for roughly one-third of the time spent on construction sites. Second, construction projects frequently face difficulties as a result of construction delays. Approximately 90% of megaprojects are significantly delayed, over budget, or have other planning flaws. For the companies involved in the construction process, all of these factors result in unnecessary costs.
AI-based construction solutions can assist in a variety of ways during the construction process. Construction execution planning, updating of construction sequences, and task management can benefit from AI as long as all stakeholders are updated. Furthermore, AI has the potential to boost construction execution productivity.
By comparing the digital twin of the building present in the Building Information Modeling (BIM) cloud against the actual physical representation, AI-based tools could detect possible crashes, delays, and changes during the construction process. For frequent image recording and 360-degree laser scans, robots and drones can already be used.
What do the measurement and images offer?
These images and measurements provide the necessary input for the AI to track the physical building’s progress against the plan stored in the BIM cloud in real-time. In addition, comparing the physical progress of the building to the digital twin allows for the automatic detection of errors/deviations from the original building plan during the construction phase. As a result, you’ll be able to react quickly and perform troubleshooting at an early stage. This eliminates the need for more costly corrections in the future.
Possible delays and changes could cause the AI to change the BIM cloud-stored construction schedule automatically. All stakeholders, such as distributors and manufacturers, could be automatically notified based on this foundation. As a result, construction site logistics would be improved because subcontractors and suppliers would adjust their schedules to the new timelines. Therefore, leveraging the power of AI in the building industry is the key to delivering construction projects on time.
The creativity, design and planning phases of a construction project’s lifecycle are crucial. Everything must run in a streamlined pattern to complete a project timely, within budget, and with high quality.
Designers, engineers, and architects spend a lot of time working on the building’s design. Creating design variations and checking the architectural statics and other parameters of the building takes a long time (e.g., compliance with building regulations, whether the building fulfills all functional requirements, and so on). Numerous examples of projects failing due to inaccurate planning, particularly in large construction projects such as infrastructure buildings.
This is where generative design, a design exploration process based on artificial intelligence, comes into play. With access to a database of many previously built building plans, an AI-based system can develop, design alternatives based on its knowledge of the plans in the database.
Designers and engineers can easily enter design goals and parameters like spatial requirements, performance, materials, cost constraints, and more into the generative design software. Thanks to artificial intelligence, the software then explores all possible permutations of a solution, generating design alternatives that meet all previously specified requirements. The software then learns a better design choice with each iteration, making it a stronger tool with each new project.
What should you know about generative designs?
It is a considerable improvement over traditional scripting because it allows for a much larger number of permutations and parameters to be under consideration. All the designer or engineer has to do is pick the most appealing design from the available options. Because generative design allows people to quickly generate the most efficient designs based on any parameters provided, it allows for faster, higher-quality, and less expensive design and planning.
In addition to these benefits, generative design has the potential to boost creativity. For starters, it enables architects to discover previously unimaginable ways of constructing shapes and curves.
Designers and engineers in the AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) industry use generative design. According to recent studies and polls, about one-third of architects and engineers are currently experimenting with generative design. Given the potential benefits, the AEC industry is likely to adopt generative design in greater numbers.
Construction project delays are frequently the result of challenges and delays in the planning stage, especially in large projects. One reason is the need to avoid conflicts with utilities, which is especially important in constructing urban infrastructure projects.
The process of proper planning is a time-taking one
Previously, engineer teams would work on planning documents for several weeks. The process of comparing those with utilities on the construction site was a time-taking one. This method necessitates numerous reworks and reassessments, which takes a significant amount of time and money.
This is a process that AI can greatly simplify. Artificial neural networks can detect clashes in a single day, eliminating the need for teams of engineers. This is especially beneficial because many countries lack planning and construction engineers. AI can not only detect potential conflicts with utilities but also find solutions and adjust plans as needed.
After successfully implementing small, standardized AI solutions, the time has come for more ambitious applications and a holistic, people-centered approach. You must move away from off-the-shelf solutions and develop in-house algorithms specific to your company to gain a genuine competitive advantage over your competitors. You must train your employees for them to be able to create and operate such a system. This necessitates not only training but also well-thought-out change management and effective communication.