Bizop Media February Guest Post:

5 Ways Tech is Shaping AEC Firms

Technology is radically reshaping AEC firms and how they operate. From visualization and the ways designers communicate with clients, to security, social media and blockchain- these technologies are making design, building, and construction faster, cheaper, and more efficient. Read on for a breakdown of the 5 ways major tech innovations are making waves in the AEC space.

Blockchain in AEC

Blockchain is an emerging technology poised to change all aspects of industry, and AEC is no exception. Blockchain technology, in essence, is a digital ledger that is able to track and record all transactions via a decentralized system of information verification.

The potential uses for blockchain in the AEC industry is due to it’s tracking capabilities. As transparency in the AEC industry becomes increasing relevant in regards to the sourcing, inventory management, and achieving sustainability credentials, bloackchain integrated in the supply chain of construction materials will become the industry norm.

The second major application of blockchain in ACE lies in smart contracts, which are digital contracts on the blockchain. The use of smart contracts during the design, development, and building phases of an AEC project will also become increasing relevant as Blockchain infrastructure continues being developed.  Smart contracts can trace and verify the achievement of milestones along the construction process and can speed up the payment process of contractors and suppliers along the way.

New Visualization Tech

Modern rendering and design technology has made it easier than ever for interior designers to rapidly protype and visualize their designs. New innovations in augmented reality are allowing designers to communicate their designs by showing potential color choices, furniture, structure, layouts, and more juxtaposed over physical spaces in real time. This means designers can quickly and easily show visual examples of how the room might look and get buy in sooner from key stakeholders, minimizing the amount of time and money wasted on design back-and-forth

Virtual reality works similarly in that it can show prototypes and renderings in a digital setting before any resources or materials are wasted on real time building. Virtual reality headsets provide the added benefit of allowing immersion- clients can walk around in a virtual version of the space and get an idea not just for aesthetics but feel. The innovation of these visualization technologies lies in their ability for both designers and clients to make better more informed decisions about their project builds.

AEC Firms on Social Media

It used to be that digital transformation meant building a website. Now, AEC companies need to consider their entire digital presence- and this includes social media. Social media is not just a tool for brands to reach potential clients and customers. Social media is a way to build brand awareness and lend credibility to designers, architects, and construction firms by showcasing products, projects, and partnerships. Not all companies need a presence on every platform- in fact, it’s probably better to hone in and focus on the most relevant ones for the target audience. But in order to connect people with new opportunities and reach new markets, social media can’t be forgotten.

Potential of the Metaverse

The metaverse is a concept of universally accessible open virtual space first introduced by science fiction writer Neal Stephenson in 1992. This concept re-entered the public sphere this year when Mark Zuckerberg unveiled Facebook’s name change to Meta in a bid to shift the companie’s main focus and amibitions towards pioneering the virtual space. It’s important to note, however, that despit Facebook’s bid to be the first to market in this space, the metaverse is not actually created or owned by any one entity or company. It is, by default, an open an collaborative project, such like the internet. And just like the internet the innovation capabilities and potential are immense.

The implications of the metaverse to emerge as a game changer in the AEC industry lies in it’s potential as a virtual collaborative space. Imagine replacing a zoom meeting with a virtual walkthrough of a project build of the architects, designers, and developers. For material manufacturers, engineers, and other construction industry professionals- this will allow them a level of detail visualization that has never been seen before. If you’re curious to find out more about the potential of metaverse in the

AEC space, we have written about it extensively here.

Construction Innovations

After a year fraught with supply chan issues and increasing costs of construction materials, it comes as a relief to learn about some of the exciting and innovativative changes coming out of the construction industry. Increasingly sophisticated drones are creating a shift from previously risky operations to human-free constructions. Construction tasks that can’t be completely automated are being made less hazardous for workers through the use of exo-skeleton suits, which provide protection and an augmented level of strength and tools to perform normally challenging and dangerous tasks.

In addition to this, 3D printing is making 3D printed homes increasingly feasible. Cost and speed of 3D printed buildings and furniture is going down, opening the doors to new and exciting types of constructions that can be built in no time at all.

This comes as a welcome innovation in a world that needs more housing to be built fast.

New technology innovations in blockchain, visualization, virtual reality, and construction are altering the AEC industry in new and exciting ways. The potential of these technologies to change the way we do things lies in the way they alter communication between key stakeholders and clients, and the transparency they provide in the planning and building process.

While many of these technology innovations are still in their infancy, they have the potential to grow to sophisticated tools that will undoubtedly change the way we do business. If you are an AEC industry player looking to be ahead of the curve, digital transformation should be a key pillar of your business strategy.

Looking for help in understanding the impact of technology in your AEC marketing efforts? Consider hiring a digital marketing agency like BIZOP media to help you grow your digital presence and evolve your digital strategy.

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