3rd September 2020

Key considerations for digital construction

When adopting digital construction technologies and techniques, security should be at the top of your priority list, warns Senior Strategic BIM Manager, Nick Leach

Embracing digital construction techniques and technologies will have a transformative effect on the industry as a whole, alongside individual organisations and, in fact, the delivery of each project. The challenges previously experienced when managing complex data or working from a single data source are removed and are replaced with opportunities to leverage new tools. To achieve the digital future that promises such benefits, however, there are some important factors to consider.

First, the easy bit – the reason digital construction is worth the investment. In practice, the techniques and technologies on offer can result in outcomes such as sites teams being able to save time on day to day administrative tasks and, instead, better allocate precious hours to focus on real issues that are critical to project delivery. A point that, alone, may seem relatively straightforward. Behind the scenes, however, this is involving predictive insights that enable crucial activity such as a reduction in site attendance and ability to maintain a safe working environment, which are both particularly relevant at the moment.

Intrinsic, and equally as important, to digital construction delivery and use, is security. This needs to be the wrapper around how digital technology is utilised to protect an organisation, but also its clients and the supply chain. Without safeguarding, the information collected could be vulnerable to cyber and other malicious attacks, with potentially hefty implications, both to finances and reputation. Without willing to sound too ominous to the budding digital innovator or adopter, it is nevertheless essential to be cautious enough to lay the groundwork for appropriate and proportionate measures to be put in place so the benefits can be reaped without undue concern.

Progress on this front should be noted, with Government data indicating cybersecurity spending in the construction sector was up 188% between 2018 and 2019.

Finally, while defining a digital technology and data strategy is the first step, maintaining the right culture from top to bottom is the real key to realising and delivering on best-in-class projects. Such an approach will have a lasting impact and ensure an organisation maintains long-term competitiveness.

Nick Leach is Senior Strategic BIM Manager at Sir Robert McAlpine. 

Nick Leach

News and comment

  1. Getting back on track

    17 Jul 2020

    We’re building back stronger by applying the lessons learnt through the crisis to improve the way we deliver for our clients.

    Read more about Getting back on track