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Navigating the Digital Transformation in Construction with Anna-Clare Longford

Welcome to another edition of Influencer Insights, where we dive deep into the perspectives of industry leaders shaping the future. In this episode, we connect with Anna-Clare Longford, a prominent figure in the construction realm.

With a keen eye on the evolving landscape, Anna-Clare shares her thoughts on the infusion of augmented and virtual reality into the construction industry and how digitalization influences how professionals approach their work.

Join us in this enlightening conversation as we explore the challenges, trends, and predictions for the construction industry in the coming years.

Q & A with Anna-Clare Longford

Who Did We Interview?

With over three decades of hands-on experience in diverse construction projects, Anna-Clare Longford stands as a seasoned professional, offering a wealth of knowledge and expertise. Her journey has been marked by a commitment to excellence and a passion for fostering connections within the construction community.

Anna-Clare actively engages with industry dynamics and professionals through various roles, including serving as a Committee Member for the Master Builders South Australia's Born2Build initiative. As a dedicated RISE Wellness Ambassador, she advocates for the well-being of individuals in the construction sector, embodying a holistic approach to professional life.

Known for her proactive leadership style, Anna-Clare employs a 'hands-on approach' and a 'can-do attitude' to deliver high-quality outcomes that align with the industry's evolving needs. A natural leader, active team player, and self-confessed 'people person,' she leads by example, leaving an indelible mark on the construction landscape.

Let Us Quickly Get To Our Expert’s Point Of View.

Question 1: How do you see the construction industry in the year 2023? Do you think this year will be a “digital year” for construction professionals?

In the year 2023, I have seen a few developments in the construction industry. Here in South Australia, I have seen continued growth with the crazy increase in the price of building new homes or renovations. The lingering labor shortages and volatile timber and metal continually climb prices.

As far as ‘Digital year’ as a construction professional, I have seen a high demand within the academic space in providing exposure to ‘Digital’ high-end technologies. I'm unsure what this means for the construction industry and how these are used on-site, e.g., 3D printing, artificial intelligence, virtual reality models, and automation (robotics). I can see this being helpful in the learning (academic) space, but I am not sure about the onsite – as the construction industry does not like change.

Question 2: The construction industry has undergone dynamic changes over the years. What do you consider the biggest challenge for this industry now?

  • 1. Supply chain issues will continue to be a problem – slowly getting better.
  • 2. Wages, cost of living, and inflation – I hope wages grow for current and potential employees.
  • 3. Massive skill shortage – inspire the younger generation to get into trades (that will help in 5 – 8 years). How can we engage other demographics to join or return to the construction industry? Short-term challenges to develop new and innovative ways to improve productivity and project performance.
  • 4. How does the industry improve in Environmental, Social, and Governance, as it is a hot topic? How do we become greener – reduce carbon footprint, waste, pollution, etc?

Question 3: What potential do you see in the latest construction technology trends? Are they capable of boosting the productivity of construction professionals?

Some of the trends that I see currently being used are Drones, green technology, data analytics in all areas of construction (Not just the office), and Augmented and Virtual reality in the learning spaces. I don’t know if they will boost the construction industry's productivity quickly, but they may benefit the speed of new people entering the industry.

Question 4: Where do you see the construction industry in the next five years? Please share your valuable insights with our readers.

  • 1. It is continuing to grow, but I’m not sure how much.
  • 2. I look forward to watching the gender equality space and the inclusion of cultures within the construction industry.
  • 3. Acceptance of the prefabrication of timber framing in South Australia.
  • 4. Micro-credentialing and upskilling developments.
  • 5. With the vacancy in the industry, how can skills in communication and planning, e.g., Language, literacy and numeracy, mindset, critical thinking, and problem-solving, be improved?

Get to Know Our Influencer

Question 5: In four words or less, what’s your prediction about the transforming construction industry?

Support others

Question 6: What's your success mantra?

You have nothing to lose. Give it a go!

More Details

A proud advocate for mental health, Anna-Clare is ASIST-trained and a champion for Mates in Construction, contributing to a supportive and resilient industry culture. Her involvement as an Ambassador and Role Model for Making Her Mark underscores her dedication to inspiring and empowering individuals within the construction domain.