ANY INNOVATION IN TODAY’S WORLD in an industry that is stuck in an old paradigm for too long requires the development of a core technology challenging that paradigm. We believe that it is about time for a paradigm shift in the construction industry.
A Needed Paradigm Shift
The construction industry is the largest industry in the world. Yet it has been practically stagnant with one percent productivity growth annually over the past two decades. But aren´t we in the age of digital transformation? An age where anything seems possible and other industries such as transportation, manufacturing, or even agriculture multiply their productivity? Why has this not been reflected in the construction industry as well?
An architect wasting 30 percent of her time is too much. It is clearly time to challenge the industry and call for a paradigm shift.
Processes need to be challenged occasionally. That’s when old paradigms are thrown overboard to fundamentally change an approach. iPhone, SpaceX reusable rockets, or something as revolutionary as international money transfers without actually sending any money across the borders, are just some examples. So, what is it in the construction industry that needs challenging?
We are seeing impressive, creative signature buildings rise across the globe. But we are also seeing most of these being finished later than planned, with costs exploding. Buildings are becoming more and more complex, involving many professions. Currently, massive time on a construction project is spent on the coordination between architects, structural and MEP engineers, energy experts, and others. An architect wasting 30 percent of her time is too much. It is clearly time to challenge the industry and call for a paradigm shift.
Towards Integrated Design
Looking at the development that has taken place over the past 30 years, the direction becomes clear. In the late 90s, the industry collaborated by sharing and exchanging files. Then the professions started to collaborate on the same file or data set by reserving and exchanging individual elements or sets of elements. And today, design professionals are still working in silos, in a data-protective way, rather than in “agile” and “cross-disciplinary teams.”
It is my clear belief, that the industry needs to move to an “integrated design” approach. This is not about losing one’s data sovereignty, it is about forming teams to improve workflows and outcomes. All disciplines can work with their preferred solution and on their own tasks and parameters, but in a centralized model.
This disruptive approach will significantly change the way the different design professions work together. Today, about five percent of architects and structural engineers already work in an integrated design manner. They are the role models for what is required to make the construction industry accelerate—finally!
About Viktor Várkonyi
About the Nemetschek Group
The Nemetschek Group is a pioneer for the digital transformation in the AEC industry. With its software solutions, it covers the complete life cycle of building and infrastructure projects and guides its customers into the future of digitalization. As one of the world’s leading corporate groups in this field, the Nemetschek Group increases quality in the construction process and improves the digital workflow of all those involved in the construction process. This revolves around the use of open standards (Open BIM). The innovative solutions of the 16 brands in the four customer-oriented divisions are used by approximately six million users worldwide. Founded by Prof. Georg Nemetschek in 1963, the Nemetschek Group today employs more than 3,000 experts.
Publicly listed since 1999 and quoted on the MDAX and TecDAX, the company achieved revenue in the amount of EUR 556.9 million and an EBITDA of EUR 165.7 million in 2019.