The Future of Making

They say a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. I have always been the dreamer, my friends say. I see the present for what it is, but inspired and driven by what the future could be. From trying to dismantle a television closet at a young age to currently designing and building reinforced concrete and steel structures; my passion for how things work began in my formative years. Initially, it caused me trouble but now, it pays my bills!

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Data is the new gold. It is the modern day eureka moment for most organizations to help steer them to both financial and social success. The construction sector has not been spared from this revolution. With advancement in modern design software and project management processes, data is rapidly changing how decisions are made on and off site.

In the words of Igor Bobriakov, the construction industry has always been a victim of poor planning, mismanagement, miscalculations, cost overruns, low return on construction assets, mistakes in proportions, and insufficient means for the building process. Data science is called upon to streamline construction on each of its levels. The construction companies use the benefit of data science to improve construction sites and manage the building process.

Key areas to look forward to is the use of Predictive analytics in transport planning, design issue prediction and finally product development and robotization. Uber, for example, has put in place a platform known as Uber Movement to help transport planners address urban transport challenges. The datasets which are provided revolve around travel times, speeds and mobility heat maps. Originally, the process of data gathering and mining was very laborious and repetitive. This was costly in terms of time and application. As a result, city planners can now:

  • Identify and measure congestion in their jurisdictions
  • Calibrate and validate travel demand models
  • Measure the efficacy of policies and infrastructure investments
  • Build a ‘transportation scorecard’ for a city or across a region

Autodesk is one of the construction sectors’ leading software developers. From design to detailing software, they have developed programs that are able to handle different tasks in the construction process. One of the applications that have been developed is known as Navisworks which is capable of augmenting different building drawings from the construction team and checking for clashes. Simply put, where we have a toilet drainage system set by a mechanical engineer, we don’t want the electrical engineer to have his socket there. The results would be quite shocking should anything arise. Closer home, avoiding these errors saves on time, repairs and ensures timely delivery of projects. Data gathered by analysis of these drawings would help give leads to software improvements and even automate processes for detecting clashes on site and prevent rework.

In conclusion, the data revolution is here. Perfection can only be achieved through collaboration and for sure, good things take time.

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 To some, it is a curse because of the danger of job losses it poses but to the construction industry, it is the change we have been waiting for. Yes, cheers to the future of making!

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