Multibillion Dollar BC Construction Sector Untapped by Tech
Construction is changing. With a skilled labour shortage and other industry pressures, it is more important than ever to innovate and become a future-forward construction company. New technologies that help us become more productive and efficient are critical to moving the construction industry forward, but can also feel overwhelming at times.
That's where the State of Construction Technology survey comes in: this year, we surveyed over 300 construction companies to figure out what they're using, what they're happy with, and what they want to further explore. And the result is a unique collection of survey results and insights that will hopefully help you find your own way through the Construction Technology ecosystem.
So, let's see what Construction technology trends looked like in 2018!
This year, we reached 320 construction companies in all eight economic regions of British Columbia. While Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland dominates the survey as expected with 60% of respondents, the Southern Interior and Northern Region are both fairly well-represented, with 25% and 10% of respondents respectively. Below is a further breakdown of survey respondents...
Of course, we should mention that although we're doing our best to get as many construction companies as we can to fill out the survey, our audience is still only a small fraction of the overall Construction workforce in British Columbia, and you should keep this in mind when evaluating the following results.
Back-office administrative software helps keep your job sites productive so you can spend less time on paperwork and more time building. While adoption for administrative technologies is the highest of the three categories, there is still room to improve satisfaction with these products. There are two clear outliers in terms of usage…
Estimating software and Construction Project Management software stand out as the most popular classifications for this category. There is a high level of interest in labour and professional marketplaces which is likely due to the demand for workers during a time of skilled labour shortages within BC. Finally, 24% of companies surveyed have not heard of CRM or ERP software, leaving a lot of room for software companies in this space to expand into the construction sector.
Job Site Technologies
These technologies may be slow to make their way into our job sites, but awareness of this tech is high and those who do take advantage of them seem to be satisfied with the results. While it may still take a few years before these technologies are the norm on job sites across BC, it is important to keep an eye on the potential benefits so that your company is prepared and ready as the industry begins to shift.
At 38%, a large portion of the industry is currently using Smart or Green Construction on their projects, while 44% remain interested in learning more about this type of construction. And while visibility and awareness of AR/VR and Robotics, automation, and drones is growing, adoption in BC remains low. Still, a large group of respondents are interested in exploring how these types of technologies may benefit their construction job sites and processes.
Construction Project Technologies
Construction project technologies have seen some advancement in recent years, but adoption has remained fairly slow. This could be due to only large-scale projects really utilizing the full suite of modeling and tools; that said, interest remains high for companies of all sizes to begin tracking their projects to increase efficiencies.
Building Information Modelling (BIM), a 3D model-based process that gives construction professionals the insight and tools to more efficiently plan, design, construct and manage buildings and infrastructure, has a very high level of interest at 44%. BIM is followed closely by 3D/4D Modelling as well as Bid & Document Management Tools, such as BidCentral and BC Bid.
Can you guess which technologies took gold in each category? Hover over each to find out.
Building Information Modelling (BIM)
Off-site fabrication, modularization, and 3D printing
CRM and ERP Software
It looks like 2018 was a strong year for management software throughout the construction project cycle - from estimation and procurement through to HR, safety, and project completion.
While awareness is growing for construction methods such as modularization and smart/green building, adoption is still fairly low for technologies that assist us on the job site.
As BIM and 3D Modelling continues to grow in awareness and adoption, we are seeing high satisfaction rates when these technologies are used in projects - especially for larger projects and companies with this expertise.
We’re excited to see what the technology landscape looks like for 2019, and how these trends in awareness, interest, adoption, and satisfaction shift as the demographics of the construction workforce shifts to become younger and more diverse.
In the meantime, if you are a construction or software company using or building technology to benefit the construction sector, we'd love to hear from you - send us an email or share your story on social media using the #ConTechBC hashtag. There's never been a better time to be in construction than now, and we're willing to bet that ConTech in 2019 will prove to be even more exciting!