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David Cartwright

Technology, Construction - 5 min read

6 Technology Statistics Construction Professionals Should Know

Jason Hook

Head of Sales and Marketing

Feb 24, 2017 6:03:00 AM

The construction industry is being reshaped by innovation, technology, and the digital age. Below are six technology statistics influencing construction in Australia. 


1. Automated Technology Predicted To Take Over 75% Of Jobs

Predictions suggest that 75% of existing jobs may become automated in coming decades. ‘Robot labour’ will change many operational aspects of the construction industry. Although the technology will cause some roles to become redundant, it will also create entirely new ones. 

An aging workforce and worsening weather events are causing a shortage in Australian labour and driving the construction industry towards automated robotic solutions.


2. There Are Currently 15 Billion Connected Devices Online 

The Internet of Things (loT) is revolutionising the construction industry. CSIRO reported that there are currently 15 billion connected devices, and an estimated 200 billion devices are said to be connected by 2020. The wide adoption of digital technology has boosted productivity, saved costs, and improved safety in the construction industry. The dynamic nature of technology allows new capabilities including the ability to remotely monitor, manage and control devices. Processes are becoming increasingly streamlined, and industries are more interconnected than ever before. Actively thinking about procedures and time-effective approaches to technology will assist in staying ahead in an increasingly globalised world. 


3. Prefabricated Building Manufacturing Is Expected To Grow At 5% Per Annum In Australia

Modular construction has continued to improve over the past 50 years, through quality, value, and efficiency. Recent investments by local companies and manufacturing facilities indicates that Australia will likely to see more and more prefabricated buildings in the years to come. A CSIRO report, A Farsight For Construction wrote that “the sector is expected to grow at 5% per annum out to 2023, compared to a growth rate of 2.3% for the industry as a whole.” 

Traditional building techniques and skills will be affected by prefabrication, and the need for manual labour will decrease. “The current prefabricated building market in Australia is still comparatively small, with only $4.5 billion of the total $150 billion construction industry (3%), it is expected to contribute to the affordable housing stock requirement and is set to take a much greater share, particularly for multi-storey buildings.” 


4. Estimating Software And Planning Tools Are Used By 40% of Corporate Executives

Growing markets in construction software are stipulating demand for management tools. An annual survey found usage of estimating software and contingency planning tools from over 13,000 corporate executives and decision makers. The research data showed that 20 to 40 percent of respondents used software to enhance their business, with a high average satisfaction rating of 4 out of 5.

Strategic planning programs were found to have usage rates varying between 40 to 80 percent over the past 20 years. 


5. 3D Printing Saves Between 30 and 60 Percent of Construction Waste 

Company WinSun last year was able to build ten houses in just 24 hours using a proprietary 3D printer. It was built from a mixture of industrial waste, quick-drying cement, and hardening agents. The process was estimated to save between 30 and 60 percent of construction waste, and decreased production time by between 50 and 70 percent, as well as labour costs by between 50 and 80 percent. The villas cost an estimated $161,000 to build. With growing interest and investment in 3D printing, professionals should be keeping an eye on developments and thinking about where 3D printing can be best utilised in Australian construction. 


6. Average Global Resourcing Potential For Engineering Set At Over 50 Percent

A study by McKinsey, The Emerging Global Labor Market found that 11 percent of services could in theory be performed remotely, however variation was found, with the average global resourcing potential for engineering at over 50 per cent, and just 9 and 3 percent for generalists and support staff. 

The growth in offshoring in the Australian construction industry has grown due to the tangible economic benefits of low cost labour, as well as location. However, an increasing number of high skilled jobs are moving offshore, and issues surrounding quality, service, and security are frequently neglected. It is important to know when outsourcing holds potential benefits to the construction industry and economy, and where it may leave Australian jobs at risk.


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