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In Discussion with Hugh Seaton for Growing Construction Technologies

Presently, the construction industry is undergoing immense challenges such as implementing new technology and tools, adapting to the new normal after the pandemic and the general problems like labor management, resource allocation and more.

This is why ProjectPro interviewed Hugh Seaton this time. We believe his extensive experience and knowledge will help our audience to embrace the change seamlessly.

Q&A with Joe Hendry

Who Did We Interview?

Hugh Seaton is the head of the Crosswalk business line at CSI and director of construction practice at Cimatri. He sees the industry at its fundamental level and keeps track of how different companies use data to run projects.

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

Question 1: In the age of COVID-19, how do you see the construction industry in the year 2022? Do you think this year will be a “digital year” for construction professionals?

Covid accelerated some of the same things in construction that it did elsewhere, like remote meetings, and safety monitoring. Beyond that, 2022 is just another year where adoption of some technologies moves forward. There’s nothing special about this year in terms of adoption of digital transformation, just thousands of companies trying new things and either implementing them, or not.

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

The biggest challenge to the industry overall is inputs – we have a permanent skilled labor shortage and supply chain chaos that will take some years to work through.

From a technology standpoint, the biggest challenge is the complexity of the ecosystem, and the risk implications of trying new things. This makes broad platforms and bigger changes harder to make.

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

The way this is worded implies that individuals are not productive, which is I think the wrong lens. Project productivity is a better way to look at it, because that will be where real gains are made. Not ‘can we get more out of the hours of a pipefitter,” but rather can we reduce the amount of pipefitter hours that are needed for this job. That is where technology and process improvements will lift productivity.

There are planning technologies like Alice, Nplan and others leveraging AI, progress & quality applications of Structionsite, Cupix and Openspace. Modular and industrialized construction, and advances on the design front like dfma – all of these can make for much more productive use of resources without implying that construction teams aren’t individually productive enough.

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

“We always overestimate change in 5 years and underestimate change in 10” (Bill Gates). In 5 years things will look a lot like they do now, but big changes to how we design, organize and deliver projects will be blooming in some of the leading companies. Most projects that’ll be underway in 5 years are being dreamed up now, and will begin bidding in the next 18 months or so. For big changes to be part of a project, I think it’ll take a little longer than that.

Get to Know Our Influencer

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

Watch this space.

Question 6: What’s your success mantra?

Constantly analyze the process that got you to either success or failure.

More Details

He is an operator focused on execution through great teams. A practical strategist but always grounded in how the analysis guides getting real things done in the world. All of his publications & podcasts are designed to help you understand the landscape.

With the Constructed Futures Podcast, he speaks about two construction rockstars weekly. With the Construction Technology Handbook, he also presented a primer on technology for today’s construction professionals.