RC108 SeptOct2023 - Magazine - Page 16
THE FUTURE OF CONSTRUCTION
Looking ahead at the challenges and changes
facing the construction industry
What will Canada’s infrastructure sector look like in 2050?
From technological advancements, to solving labour shortages and making sure infrastructure
projects are adapted for climate change, there are plenty of action items to be crossed off the
list over the next decade-and-a-half.
In an effort to look at the issues currently facing the construction and how they might be
resolved, as well as what the sector may still be dealing with in 17 years, we enlisted the help
of ReNew Canada’s Advisory Board and asked them to provide their expert perspective on the
future on infrastructure.
President, Residential Construction
Council of Ontario (RESCON)
Technology—and in particular digital
twinning—will be a critical element in planning housing
in the future.
Digital twins are being increasingly used in the automotive, healthcare, systems engineering and aerospace
industries. Municipalities are also using digital twinning
to create smart cities. It’s only a matter of time before the
futuristic technology becomes commonplace in the construction industry.
A digital twin is a virtual model in a computer that is
designed to accurately reflect a physical object. By providing a digital representation of a real-world scenario, the
technology can be used with data collected from scanners
and sensors, allowing designers to test changes to structures in real time.
With digital twins, developers, architects, and engineers
will be able to recreate a replica of a building in a virtual
form, allowing them to study changes in behaviour of a
building when plans are revamped.
The digital twin delivers information in a centralized
platform and allows developers and designers to experiment digitally with changes to a structure.
For highway construction, digital twinning could
also be used to make better decisions on routes and
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RENEW CANADA – SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2023
With the construction industry increasingly focused
on decarbonization, digital twin technology can help by
enabling enable developers, architects, and engineers to
run “what if” scenarios and get a better handle on the
impacts of using different types of materials on emissions
The technology could also prove to be a key component in tackling the housing supply crisis and associated
issues. By using a digital representation of a housing
development, for example, a developer would have better
insight on the infrastructure, housing and transit needs of
The digital twin market is growing by leaps and
bounds as cities and regions around the world adopt the
technology to better plan for growth and figure out how
best to provide transportation, utilities, and housing.
Going forward, the sky is the limit for use of digital
twinning to build faster and better in the construction
President & CEO, Maven Consulting
My thoughts regarding the future of are
centered around the areas of technology,
sustainability, and safety.
Use of AI in areas of asset management for infrastructure owners to predict maintenance needs and replacement cycles for their assets, as well as the use of AI to
enhance project planning (supply chain) and risk assessments with the application of predictive methods.
Applications of AI with intelligent transportation systems (ITS) can also be used to optimize traffic management
systems, parking systems, and municipal lighting systems.
Continued use of Building Information Modeling (BIM)
again, for municipal asset management, and applications
to project and construction management to allow for
more efficient management of projects, leading to reduced
delays and cost overruns. Applications of BIM in the form
of 3D designs overlaid with 4D details including cost and
Use of drones for inspecting work faster and with more
detail. Vast applications for drone use for asset management applications.
Implementation of energy-efficient designs of green
infrastructure that incorporate low-carbon, ecologically
friendly materials, with more ESG reporting becoming
mainstream in conjunction with increased permitting