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Interaction with Paul Doherty on Construction Technology

The construction industry has been undergoing a thrilling phase, growing steadily and facing multiple challenges simultaneously. Some of these challenges are rather new.

There are numerous approaches to construction problems, as well. For instance, sometimes slow technology adoption rates are considered a single major challenge, and sometimes it is treated as a multitude of issues – including improper communication, documentation, scheduling, and so on.

So to shed some light on the same, we interviewed Paul Doherty to understand his perspective.

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Who Did We Interview?

Paul Doherty is the President and CEO at the Digit Group, Inc. (TDG). He is a Registered Architect and one of the global Industry's most sought after thought leaders, strategists and integrators of process, technology & business.

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?

We are entering an age that going back to normal is not an option. We are being thrust into an age that being data-driven and human-centric is valued above all else. The construction market conditions driven by COVID-19 fear will give way to a balance of social wants and government needs, culminating in a great migration to urban environments due to being places where people can be employed, be educated, and be medically serviced more effectively and efficiently.

Designing and delivering safe and secure buildings, and smart cities, will be the primary driver of this market force. We are anticipating a number of public safety “standards” to emerge that move beyond wearing a mask and practice social distancing.

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

Big Challenges:

1. Shortage Economy: Not enough workers, disrupted supply chains and limited adoption of technology are highlighting open areas for improvement in our industry.

2. Change Management/Digital Transformation: Keeping our collective heads above water economically during the Pandemic has forced some companies in our industry into rethinking the use of technology that is focused on communications (Zoom as one example). The Age of the Pandemic has also enabled our construction industry the time to also review technologies that may assist them in the back office and the field. The bottom line is that any Digital Transformation will require a Change Management strategy that affects human behavior change enabled by the reimagining of processes.

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

The Foundation is digital transformation. The measure of successful digital transformation is not productivity, but rather efficiency and effectiveness. The trends we are seeing as transformative are separate but related:

1. Moving from 2D Construction Documentation to 3D: Using BIM as a construction document brings not only a trend but many challenges. Challenges include:

a. The decision to continue the process of printing 2D construction documents from a 3D BIM.

b. Not trusting the 3D BIM data from stakeholder to stakeholder.

c. 3D BIM’s value is still tied to old, traditional use of construction documents as a designer’s interpreted abstracts of intended design criteria to communicate with the builder.

2. Industrialization: As an emerging delivery process, the Industrialization of our industry in the form of DfMA driving panelization, modular and prefabrication deliverables is driving adoption at a pace our industry is trying to catch up with. This trend is linked to the movement of construction documents from 2D to 3D. 3D construction documents can drive machines that fabricate components that can deliver Industrialization in our industry at a massive scale.

3. Smart Contracts: The legal obligations to everyone in the construction industry being put into an immutable document as a Smart Contract that is based on Blockchain technology is a trend that is transformative. Those in our industry that live off the inefficiencies in our industry are now exposed and not participating in the built environment process.

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

As BIM moves from being an authoring tool to being a management tool, its value becomes exponential. With the implementation of decentralized ledger technologies (DLT) like blockchain, becoming the normal way of how business is conducted through smart contracts, BIM becomes the ultimate tool for analytics reporting. Being able to properly benchmark every project provides the basis for BIM to evolve from being an authoring tool to being a management tool. It becomes an enabling technology that transforms our industry into a digital transformative world.

Get to Know Our Influencer

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

Low and slow.

What’s your success mantra?

“When Destiny Commands, We Must Obey.”

More Details

Paul is the Founder & CEO of The Digit Group, Inc. (TDG), a leading Smart Cities design, build, operation, and solutions company, headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee. He is an author, educator, analyst, and consultant to Fortune 500 organizations, government agencies, prominent institutions, and the most prestigious AEC firms in the world.