Top Tips for Successful Tendering
Technology’s Role in Attracting Younger Workers to Construction
Why Net Zero Homes are the Next Big Thing for Smart Resi Builders
Striking a Balance Between Luxury and Affordability
Alarming Number of Suicides Among Construction Workers
Gold Coast Leads the Way with Innovation
St James Station's Ghostly Train Tunnels Given New Life
A Look Into the New High-Tech World of Tunnelling
By Louise Morrisey
December 10, 2017
Construction tech is a thriving startup sector that has so far been flying under the radar. Technology is on the verge of revolutionising the construction sector, and a new report shows that it will have a profound impact on the Australian economy.
StartupAUS CEO Alex McCauley estimates there are over a hundred Construction tech startups on the rise in Australia, and they are hoping to partner with the local construction sector. In turn, this sector contributed $134.2 billion to the economy (8.1% of GDP) in 2015-16 and employs more than a million people.
Increased digitisation could help boost the value of the sector by $25 billion year on year by 2020. Mapping technologies like Building Information Modelling (BIM), Virtual Reality (VR), project management technology, licensing, and workplace safety software are technological pathways that allow local startups to add value.
Now, a new report finds that close to $100 million has been invested in Construction tech startups since 2016.
The report, titled Digital Foundations: How technology is transforming Australia’s construction sector, was released in October 2017 by StartupAus at the Construction Technology Summit 2017 in Melbourne. It was produced in collaboration with Aconex, Lendlease, EY, and the Victorian Government.
Drawing on interviews with 42 individuals from 31 organisations in the construction sector, including 16 representatives of the startup community, the report has found that instead of disrupting the construction industry completely, startups are looking to provide digital solutions that add value, enhance safety, and ensure greater efficiency.
It details how some of the leading Australian technology companies are vying to transform the construction sector., It also provides in-depth analysis on the wave of the change we are already starting to see. Construction technology startups are defined in the report as those creating digital and technological solutions for the planning, design, and building processes of the construction industry.
The top 20 construction companies in Australia account for almost 60% of revenues. Getting construction tech startups and the larger, established construction companies onto the same technical page was a high priority.
The report makes 6 recommendations to help turbocharge the development of a construction tech startup in Australia, along with the necessary implementation times.
Emerging trends and technologies in the space include BIM, 3D-printing, and smart buildings. Using such tech solutions to equip the traditional construction sector could potentially add $25 billion in value to Australia’s economy year-on-year within the next decade. It could also mean adding a further 100,000 jobs for Australians within the next five years.
Construction tech startup Assignar has recently raised $3 million for its cloud-based construction management offerings, and says construction companies are quickly realising the need to innovate. Otherwise, they face the danger of becoming obsolete.
Assignar co-founder and chief Sean McCreanor predicted that construction tech in Australia will boom in the coming years because of the federal government’s $75 billion infrastructure spend, not to mention the $16 billion in existing developments.
A leading Australian player in construction tech is ASX-listed construction management software firm Aconex. Nick Peace, Aconex’s head of corporate development, says the global construction sector knows that it has to change over the next five to ten years. Australian constructors are at the leading edge, he says, and implementing the recommendations will help put local construction techs and the bigger players upstream in a globally competitive position.
While FinTechs, RegTechs, BioTechs, and AgTechs have attracted much of the spotlight in recent years, it appears that construction tech is a sector where Australia is already a heavy hitter. With the adoption of technology from drones and robots to artificial intelligence and virtual reality, the way we think about the ‘bricks and mortar’ industry is about to change forever.
If you liked this article, here are a few eBooks you may enjoy:
Break Free From the Iron Triangle
Construction Software Buyer's Guide
How Construction Technology is Saving Time, Money, and Jobs
Does Australia Need a BIM Mandate?
The widest used rating system for green building is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). It’s no surprise, then, that major U.... Read More
July 1, 2018
Hear Brad Hyatt, Associate Professor at California State University Fresno, discuss what students are learning in school to prepare them for const... Read More
Budget. Schedule. Quality. The trifecta of a project. But balancing that trifecta isn't easy to do. Our webinar, led by construction industry exper... Read More
Building in the "Big Easy" sometimes isn't. The challenges faced by Landis Construction aren't often understood by out-of-towners, because when it'... Read More
The acquisition and maintenance of heavy machinery is a major expense for any size company, so it stands to reason that equipment is worth taking s... Read More
Estimating mistakes cost contractors plenty. And, with the demand from customers for estimates on-the-fly, the chances of missing the mark increase... Read More
In all big construction projects, time is money, and few projects drag along as painfully slow as high-rise buildings. A new method of construction... Read More
June 25, 2018