PropTech in Construction

The Real Estate industry is typically a slow-moving asset class. It is currently undergoing a digital transformation that not only changes its nature in terms of the markets and work environments, but is also influencing its growth. This movement focuses on digital technologies and innovation. The construction industry (13% of global GDP), and its broader ecosystem erects buildings, infrastructure, and industrial structures that are the foundation of our economies and essential to our daily lives. The global Covid-19 pandemic has forced many construction players to digitize and use technology to ensure the safety of their workers and boost productivity (industry has had meagre productivity growth of 1% annually for the past two decades), this dynamic will likely only continue to accelerate.

The Construction industry is one of the most labour-intensive industries worldwide where job sites are dynamic environments that implicate various workers, equipment and machines operating simultaneously which make managing such sites a challenging task. The absence of real-time information hinders managers’ capabilities to monitor schedule, cost and other performance indicators, which reduces their ability to reveal or manage the variability and uncertainty inherent in project activities. However, with the need to build more houses and infrastructure, quicker, to high quality and on time, there is a need to upscale the use of advanced technologies.

Despite several challenges being faced by the construction industry, productivity is one of the most significant problems that causes cost and time overrun. Construction firms can improve their performance, sustainability and competitive advantages in the market by adopting the best standard productivity practices. Most of the factors that affect construction productivity can be improved by monitoring productivity effectively. However, current practices for construction productivity monitoring are time consuming, manned and error prone. Recently, automated methods of monitoring productivity have used new technology and artificial intelligence for monitoring construction methods. This automated data collection for project performance control enables construction activities to be controlled and managed effectively in real time.

A case study for this would be one of Elkstone’s current portfolio companies, Evercam, which uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to help clients capture information from video time-lapses to ascertain real-time project status and site activity. It is a SaaS Product that turns generic CCTV into construction intelligence. Evercam’s technology has several applications such as assessing ergonomics and identifying design improvement opportunities, refining repetitive activities or spotting elements that could be prefabricated or assembled off-site in more controlled environments, reducing cost, schedule and risk.

Away from the construction site, Evercam has several external benefits. Marketing is now an integral element of the construction business, especially in the booming housing development sector. To expand your business and show new customers what your company can provide, you must invest in marketing. One of the most effective ways to show your projects off to the general public is to use time-lapse since it gives the viewer a sense of exclusivity and grandeur, to see the building grow from the ground up. These time-lapse videos grant you the ability to tell the story of the whole construction process, start to finish.

PropTech has the potential to fundamentally change the construction industry. We are of the opinion that there will be continued momentum in the PropTech sector as we are still in the early stages of the modernisation of the Real Estate industry. However, how well we adapt to the new systems and leverage them to our best advantage will determine how the Proptech-powered future will turn out.

By Benjamin Tackaberry

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