Independence for Affordable?
Will Our 74th Year of Independence Usher in Affordable Rental Housing, questions ANUJ PURI. August 2020
Speaking specifically for how we plan to help clients during the lockdown, we have taken a series of measures to help the individual companies accelerate the digitalisation of their workflows in these testing times. For example, Trimble has widened the scope and availability of the free trial of its structural BIM collaboration tool – Tekla Model Sharing. It is now available globally, including India, and can be used free for 90 days, even for business purposes.
Additionally, all Tekla licenses can be now accessed remotely, free e-learning has been introduced across our portfolio, free trials are now available for various products, flexible licences all the way down to a few weeks of subscription have been offered, and our sales and services teams are available round the clock for any kind of assistance that will help customers work productively at home locations.
Construction is one of the most labour-intensive industries and ensuring the appropriate social distancing between a set of on-site workers will necessitate lesser number of workers on site and slowing down of work; which would quite likely lead to delays in completion of projects.
The pandemic is here to stay, and, in our view, the construction industry needs to aggressively look for ways to retain their pre-lockdown productivity, or perhaps even increase, even while following social distancing norms. We believe that a thorough digitalisation of construction industry workflows and the deployment of cutting-edge technologies like constructible BIM, prefabrication (precast construction) mixed reality, IoT, AI and robotics can be powerful enabler of rapid gains in productivity, so much so as to offset and overcome the inevitable losses on account of social distancing norms.
As the first step, constructible BIM and prefabricated structures are easy to adopt processes and technologies that can optimise construction in today’s challenging times. Constructible BIM’s adoption can greatly reduce wastage of the time, money and resources through smarter and more collaborative workflows. Furthermore, considering the social distancing to be the new normal, software like CrewSight enables the client to manage worksite by approving entry on-site of the labour with prior mandatory health checks and making sure certifications are in place, as well track where the workers are at any point in time and maintain social distancing, and if anything should happen, alert response team to react to the situation immediately.
What the industry owners really need is to adopt a holistic view of the full construction life-cycle or ‘continuum’ to address this matter. The construction continuum for buildings is spread over the five key stages of planning, designing, engineering, construction, and finally occupancy and maintenance, and each stage of the life-cycle is rapidly being transformed by technology the world over through a holistic approach and engagement, often driven by the owners themselves.
Visualising the construction process as a continuum or placing a building (structure) along the various stages of a continuum is a powerful way for construction companies to analyse the business value of various technologies ateach stage. Using the same scale as a reference, they can readily see the advantages digitalisation brings to actual construction or operations.
Various technologies, construction processes and methods such as Constructible BIM, prefabricated structures, mixed reality, Cloud computing and Internet of Things (IoT), among others, can drive a massive change in how we design, build and operate projects.
As disruptive technologies, they not only have the potential to create new benchmarks of value for all stakeholders in the construction ecosystem, but also shape new competitive advantages in the post-COVID world.