Future Technologies in the Construction Industry

Future Technologies in the Construction Industry
April, 2018

South West College (SWC) recently hosted the ‘Future Technologies in the Construction Industry’ conference, which brought together key thinkers from within the construction industry to explore emerging technologies to enhance construction productivity, profits and safety.

The conference focused on how digitalisation is revolutionising many aspects of a construction project’s life-cycle from conceptualisation to demolition.

Keynote speakers from a broad spectrum of organisations including the University of Cambridge, The McAvoy Group, PIM Smart, KOREC Geospatial, BelMCraft and SWC addressed the barriers to digital transformation.

Game changing trends such as construction automation, geospatial data capture, virtual reality and augmented reality technologies were also discussed to highlight new possibilities for the future within the built environment and the importance of embedding such into college curriculum.

The event was hosted by Connected – a Department for the Economy funded programme - designed to encourage and increase potential knowledge exchange links between academia and industry, particularly with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The overriding aim of Connected is to develop interaction and stimulate innovation to benefit both NI companies and the economy.

Digital technologies have transformed the way construction and infrastructure projects are designed, delivered and operated. Dr Ioannis Brilakis, PhD Laing O’Rourke Reader in Construction Engineering at the University of Cambridge, said:

“The construction industry is behind in terms of adapting to digitalisation however there is huge opportunity to embrace technology to improve and enrich the design, infrastructure and processes.”

Dr Brilakis also highlighted the necessity for more and more construction projects to incorporate systems including digital sensors, intelligent machines and new software applications, all of which must integrate with a central platform of Building Information Modelling (BIM).

Speaking on behalf of SWC, Padraig McNamee, Head of Technology said:

“At South West College we work closely with the Industry Advisory Board and contacts from the Connected programme to develop industry relevant curriculum. Our provision continues to grow with construction and architectural engineering programmes available at Level 3 right up to higher level.

“It’s imperative that our staff and students embrace technology and the developments within the industry they operate in, all of which will help create intelligent buildings.”

For more information about Construction Engineering programmes or training at South West College please contact linda.clarke@swc.ac.uk or call 0845 603 1881.