The cloud will positively transform how we work

April 2, 2019

How Newcastle-based NBS is leading the digital revolution of the construction industry

NBS’s technology tools provide architects and other construction professionals with expert content needed to create building specifications and develop their digital models. In addition, the research they regularly conduct has become a trusted indicator of trends in the built environment, such as the adoption of Building Information Modelling (BIM).

BIM is a process for creating and managing information on a construction project and is seen by many as the foundation of digital transformation in the construction industry.

The UK is a global leader in BIM, and the North East of England is a significant contributor to this and the adoption of digital tech. In the time NBS has been charting the adoption of BIM in the UK, its use has grown from 13 to 74 per cent.

BIM requires models, drawings and project information for buildings to be stored in a ‘common data environment’, accessible to the project team. Cloud computing enables this, and the Construction Technology Survey produced by NBS last year shows that 63 per cent of built environment professionals are already using it, with Office 365, Microsoft’s cloud-based platform used by almost as many people as the desktop version, and many companies are already solving complex problems with machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Projects are becoming more efficient as BIM highlights ‘clashes’ between building elements before construction starts and the team’s collective expertise can be brought together to achieve the best solution, saving time and money.

Immersive tech like augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality, bring buildings to life for clients, making sure they get the building they want with 75 per cent of respondents expecting to adopt them within five years. The cloud enables this communication regardless of where people are in the world.

NBS has embraced cloud-based working with its latest, browser-based platform, Chorus. It enables customers to create a building specification on any device, such as a Mac, a PC or mobile, from any location.

The construction industry faces a number of challenges: sustainability, urbanisation, providing homes for all, building safely and to a high standard, and poor productivity.

Digitisation and cloud-based platforms such as NBS Chorus can help with these challenges. The construction technology survey reveals that 77 per cent believe digitisation will improve productivity; 72 per cent that it will improve speed of delivery; 68 per cent that it will help to meet sustainability challenges and 64 per cent that it will improve health and safety.

NBS CEO Richard Waterhouse says: “Digital construction technology will finally become an enabler for daily urban life worldwide, in combination with growth in offsite construction and 3D printing.

“With 90 per cent of respondents agreeing that digitisation will transform how they work, particularly in changing how they communicate with clients and how collaboration takes place, it’s no surprise that almost three quarters agree that those who don’t adopt digital ways of working will go out of business.

“This is an exciting time for those involved in construction technology. Data standards are now maturing, and other industries have shown that technology can revolutionise productivity and reduce risk. This opportunity to connect platforms will lead to an era of rapid innovation that will make the construction workflow much more efficient, transparent and collaborative.”


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