Engineering and construction

What are the innovation trends in engineering and construction? With an overview of the challenges and opportunities affecting this industry, Supertrends can help you anticipate and monitor them to ensure your business is always one step ahead.

Engineering and construction

What is changing?

While dealing with workforce shortages, supply chain disruption, price volatility, and inflation – to name only a few current challenges – the engineering and construction sector continues to undergo an adjustment phase toward technological adaptation as part of creating a “new normal,” primarily addressing three areas:

Digitalization and networks

The COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath highlighted that supply chains are less resilient in times of turbulence than expected, making the sourcing of construction materials and the timing of project planning and implementation extremely uncertain. Digitalization and advanced networks will increasingly be designed to enable greater supply chain visibility, and also to improve operations efficiency (reduce downtime, optimizing asset usage) at every stage – from supply to construction and maintenance – thanks to large amounts of data that would be easily retrieved and analyzed.

New time and cost-effective materials

A scarcity of traditional construction materials and their rising costs – which will continue to increase throughout 2022, according to expert estimates – is encouraging construction companies to search and invest in alternative high-performance and cost-effective new materials and techniques with the primary aim of abating costs for materials, construction, and maintenance, and reducing the time needed to complete projects. This also ties in with increasing attention to prefabrication and modularity. Construction companies will likely expand their asset portfolio and adopt these new practices and materials as a new standard in the future.

Sustainability

The industry’s interest in new construction materials and techniques also ties in with sustainability goals, as a substantial portion of carbon emissions and waste comes from buildings. Construction companies must therefore address the thorny question of how and when to convert traditional construction processes to be more sustainable and boost circularity, especially in light of increasingly stringent legislative requirements geared towards green operations. Legislative pressure and green incentives from many governments are launching the industry into exploring new sustainable methods that reward construction firms in the financial market as well.

Key technologies and innovations to watch

Digital twin

Digital twins

This technology enables the creation of a virtual model that accurately depicts a physical object such as a building, a construction site, or various types of equipment. It is used to run simulations, study performance issues, and generate improvements.

Digital twins allow operators to accelerate and automate traditional design, production, and operational processes, as well as serving as the backbone for prefabrication and helping improve supply-chain efficiency.

3D Printing

3D printing

Construction 3D printers can build large pieces of infrastructure like houses or other types of buildings by layering concrete or other materials. Future developments in this technology will enable swarm 3D printers to work autonomously, more efficiently, and in different areas of the same construction site.

By using less amounts of materials and bypassing technological steps required by conventional building, this technology can significantly reduce construction costs.

Engineering and construction

Plastic building blocks

Temperature-resistant, recyclable, and non-recyclable plastics blocks can be used for all types of construction. They function like cement blocks, but are cheaper since they do not require many pre-forming steps, not even pre-sorting or cleaning.

This innovative technology will allow a large amount of plastic to be taken out of the environment that would otherwise end up polluting the Earth, in landfills and elsewhere.

Paint a map of the most likely future with data

We help you anticipate trends and their impact on your business and on the engineering and construction sector as a whole. Through our multi-data sources, we enable more informed, faster, and actionable decisions:

Labs

Multiple API data sources are scanned with machine learning and monitored over time.

Experts

Qualified experts from across academia and business make up our expert network.

Editorial Team

Our internal experts handle curation, quality control, and content management.

Crowdsourcing

The intelligence of the crowd validates predictions and improves accuracy.

We help you untap the hidden potential of your organization and navigate the future with a new awareness. Innovative materials and building techniques to increase sustainability and efficiency, and advanced digital systems to reduce supply chain volatility and increase visibility are already here – you just need to know where to look.

We help you untap the hidden potential of your organization and navigate the future with a new awareness. Innovative materials and building techniques to increase sustainability and efficiency, and advanced digital systems to reduce supply chain volatility and increase visibility are already here – you just need to know where to look.

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