Jenga in the construction sector

We like to talk about sustainability, efficiency, and the economic potential of BIM, but I keep feeling like I’m in the Big Short before the crash.

You just stand there and see what should happen, but the market doesn’t react. He’s rushing to his doom like there’s no tomorrow and you just don’t get it.

It would be logical for economic operators to take the construction value chain, start optimizing it, and create economically viable buildings to build and operate.

We have everything we need. It starts with building a structured information model, refining it with simulation, connecting to communication platforms and construction support apps, operating software, and IoT, and creating a digital twin-based, efficient building that is cheap, fast to build, and consumes little.

But that is not what is happening, because the value chain is dismembered. This scenario does not occur in reality.

📍 Investors don’t care at all how their house is designed or how much it will consume, because they will pass the cost on to someone else.

The investor wants to put the contractor out to tender, and then – when the house is already expensive – bargain it down to cheaper, more expensive to-run engineering and inferior materials. The main thing is to be cheap.

📍 The majority of contractors do not want to use the technology. In the end, we will find out how much material is in the house. It also means more control and it has to be dealt with. And how will you account for extra work if there is no fire fighting? Well, that’s the benefit.

📍 It is not in the interest of the operators to have a system at the customer’s site that stores the data of the house. In the end, the customer can replace it if it is not done well.

So, everyone is working to maximize their own profit and it’s not in their interest to do it faster and easier, because then you can’t charge as much. The client or the tenant will pay for it anyway.

And until there are players in the market who realize that this is not right. Until actors emerge who can link the value chain, this will remain the case.

The good news is that this will not last forever.

Players – including investors, developers, and planners – are beginning to recognize this and are “shorting” the market.

The rest of us are happy to pull the
overrated jenga elements out of a
crumbling system and live out our own futures.

But there will be a tomorrow, and what is cheap now will soon become an irrecoverable competitive disadvantage.

In the meantime, we are building the new system to be ready when you need it.

Do you want to give it a try?

(Photo credit: Detroit Free Press)

Csaba Livjak

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