To boost productivity in the building industry, President of the Commonwealth Association of Surveying and Land Economy (CASLE), Segun Ajanlekoko, has urged architects, quantity surveyors, and other professionals to engage in digitalization.
This was stated by Ajanlekoko during a seminar hosted by the Kenyan Board of Registration of Architects and Quantity Surveyors. He said the globe has seen a succession of changes centered on the economy, society, and environment, and that as technology and digitalization advance, professionals must adapt or risk being left behind, as the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated.
“In the past, consultants and other professions in the construction industry were limited to certain constraints, but this has changed, with these professions waxing stronger. Technology plays an enormous role in increasing the clients’ requirements by bringing new services and duties that would drive the demands for quantity surveyors and architects. In projects like prototype housing, architects are at risk of being sidelined, which can also affect them from participating in other projects,” he said.
Due to the existence of architectural software, the CASLE President, who is also the past president of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, explained that consultants must build services around new delivery mechanisms and reintegrate themselves into the process by creating algorithms and developing new construction systems.
Quantity surveyors and architects, he argued, will always be relevant in the building business, regardless of how far technology had progressed.
“To remain relevant in the building business, quantity surveyors and architects must find a balance in innovation. There must be a shift away from traditional methods and toward digital methods. Nigerians’ way of life and work culture are inextricably linked to digital development. Nigeria’s construction industry must follow the footsteps of China and India by investing in technology so as not to be left behind,” he stated.
He advised quantity surveyors and architects to develop vital skills such as numerical skills, problem-solving skills, analytical and data interpretation skills’ digital literacy, and others in order to remain relevant in present day world.
According to him, the future of the construction industry is deeply rooted in digitalization, which is about the disruption of the status quo and changing the narrative through innovation.
He said: “The likes of Uber, smartphones and Amazon have successfully disrupted the ecosystem through digitalization. Professionals in the industry need to adapt to the constant change in technology. The only way to do this is through digital construction.”
“Digital construction is the application of digital tools to improve the process of delivering and operating the built environment.
According to the CASLE Boss, more than 80% of construction workers do not have access to a personal computer or the Internet, and less than 20% of construction workers have access to a tablet.
“A culture transformation is required, with old cost modeling being replaced by information technology and software packages, reducing the need for travel and improving international working and onsite communication. Automation will eliminate the generalist approach and lead to standardization, systemization, and specialization for consultancy architects. Virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and machine learning will improve the productivity of construction projects and have a significant impact on the architectural profession,” he said.