To make the sector more productive, the President of the Commonwealth Association of Surveying and Land Economy (CASLE), Segun Ajanlekoko, has advised architects, quantity surveyors and other professionals in the construction industry to invest in digitalisation of their businesses.

Ajanlekoko said this during a seminar of the board of registration of architects and quantity surveyors in Kenya. He said the world has witnessed series of developments, which revolve around the economy, society and environment, adding that while technology and digitalisation evolve, professionals have to evolve alongside or be sidelined just as the COVID-19 pandemic has shown.

“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.

The CASLE President, who is also the past president of Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, explained that with the existence of architectural software, there is a need for consultants to build services around new delivery mechanisms and reintegrate themselves into the process by creating algorithms, and developing new construction systems.

He said no matter the extent to which technology had advanced, quantity surveyors and architects would always be relevant in the construction industry.

He said: “In order for quantity surveyors and architects to remain relevant in the construction industry, they must find a balance in innovation. There must be a transformation from the traditional means to digital means. Digital transformation is intrinsic to the way of life and work culture of Nigerians. Nigeria’s construction industry must follow the footsteps of China and India by investing in technology so as not to be left behind.”

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.

The CASLE boss revealed that more than 80 per cent of employees in construction companies don’t have access to a personal computer and Internet while not more than 20 per cent of construction workers have access to a tablet.

“There must be a cultural shift and the replacement of traditional cost modeling with information technology and software packages and this will reduce the need to travel and improve international working and onsite communication. For consultancy architects, automation will lead to the disappearance of the generalists approach and lead to standardisation, systemisation and specialisation. Virtual reality, artificial learning and machine learning will increase the efficiency of construction project and have a great impact on the architectural profession,” he said.

Source : Guardian