Smart Construction: Building the New Future Through Digital Transformation

As one of the oldest and most vital industries, construction is in dire need of cutting-edge technologies to provide affordable and safe housing. The global population is growing at an alarming pace, and so are house prices and homelessness rates. That’s why enhancing various building processes with the latest technological advances is crucial for the future of humanity. And the best way to ensure this is by performing digital transformation in the construction industry.

Smart Construction: Definition and Key Concepts

“Smart construction” is a general term that broadly encompasses all cases where digital technologies are implemented in the construction industry. As you can imagine, the range of such cases is enormous. It covers the use of hardware, such as robotics, sensors, and controllers, and, of course, various software solutions, for example, those powered by Big Data or AI/ML technologies.

The construction industry involves an almost infinite number of different processes, methods, and operations of various complexity. For this reason, the applicable scope of digital technologies is equally enormous. However, all those technological advances serve the same purpose: to streamline construction by imparting various beneficial effects.   

Benefits of Smart Construction

Digital transformation is a costly and complex procedure, but it offers a variety of benefits for all industries and businesses. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular advantages of implementing smart technologies in the construction industry.

Higher Work Safety

The safety of construction workers remains one of the biggest concerns in the industry. The combination of hardware and software technologies can greatly improve work safety at construction sites. 

For example, smart devices can ensure constant site monitoring. This measure serves several purposes. First, it enables early detection of safety hazards. Then, it allows real-time gathering of emergency-related information for further analysis. This way, smart solutions can learn from mistakes and prevent potential hazards more effectively, thanks to data analysis and machine learning.

Another effective measure to improve safety on construction sites is the integration of automated solutions and the use of remotely operated devices. Operators can control robots from safe locations to perform tasks in dangerous environments.  

Better House Security and Comfort

One of the purposes of smart construction is to build smart houses. This means modern digital technologies are integrated not only in construction processes but also in the fruits of workers’ labor. First and foremost, new buildings should cover the basic needs of residents more effectively than “traditional” houses. 

Since safety is one of such basic needs, smart construction should ensure it by thorough planning and implementation of hardware and software solutions. For example, building design should make provision for surveillance systems with movement tracking and face recognition. The integration of smart sensors that detect smoke, fire, flooding, or short circuits will additionally increase the safety of residents.

Improved Management

Smart construction is impossible without cutting-edge management solutions. There are many commercial and custom-made software products designed specifically for the needs of the construction industry. As a rule, they are complex modular systems that have separate components focused on particular aspects of construction, such as design, logistics, inventory, workforce management, and others.

To ensure seamless operation and total control over processes, construction management software integrates hardware and software components into one infrastructure. This allows supervisors to plan, estimate, and monitor work processes much more effectively than was possible before.

Enhanced Energy Efficiency

Thanks to precise digital technologies, the construction industry can create buildings from prefabs and cost-saving “green” materials. The same technologies also allow businesses to reduce the energy consumption of building equipment. For this purpose, the construction industry gradually switches to using more energy-effective hardware with a better performance-to-watt ratio.

Management software solutions, enhanced with AI and ML technologies, help to reduce equipment downtime and shutdown periods. This is especially beneficial in the case of operating heavy machinery with high levels of carbon emissions.

Better Productivity

The use of computer technologies benefits construction from the earliest stages, such as building design and project planning. Automated calculations speed up the design and management processes and allow changing the project on the fly. So, if the requirements suddenly change, construction managers do not have to plan everything from scratch.

Enhanced productivity of construction is the result of several other benefits mentioned in this list. Better management, smart equipment, and safer work conditions contribute to the overall improvement of productivity and faster project completion. All these benefits ultimately reduce operating costs and make the construction business more profitable.

Higher Quality of Work

Digital technologies also improve the results of builders’ work. Houses built using smart construction methods are more robust thanks to virtual modeling, simulation, and testing. VR and AR technologies help architects and designers visualize future buildings, experiment with different layouts, and much more.

One of the most important opportunities provided by smart construction is the ability to perform complex simulations. For example, architects can test the potential outcomes of various emergency situations and natural disasters based on the planned building layout and materials. Then, they can change those parameters and perform another set of tests to see if other variants provide better results.

Keep in mind that this list of potential benefits is far from complete. New technologies appear almost every day, so construction becomes “smarter” as time passes. It is highly possible that future technological breakthroughs will bring whole new levels of advantages to current construction processes and methods. 

Overall, the potential benefits make smart building an incredibly promising industry for new businesses and investors. That’s why the size of the smart construction market is growing steadily. Experts predict that it will reach $121.6 billion in 2026.

Infographic of the smart buildings market overview

Best Practices and Strategies for Successful Adoption

The construction industry is very diverse, resulting from different traditional approaches, material preferences, and environmental conditions. These factors usually vary from country to country and even in different regions of the same country. So, defining the best smart construction strategy that can universally apply to every location is a tricky task. 

However, there are several crucial steps that are absolutely required in order to adopt smart construction:

  1. The use of AI/ML and Big Data for smart design, simulation, and testing.
  2. The use of enterprise resource planning and construction management software to speed up work processes.
  3. The use of on-site monitoring and automated checkups to ensure work safety and quality. 

These three essential aspects must be ensured to implement the benefits of smart construction. Combined with each other, they can provide an infrastructure that uses software and hardware solutions to facilitate most operations in this industry. However, if you have additional resources, you may implement additional steps to integrate even more digital technologies. This way, your business will be able to build smart houses and, possibly, even cities!

Digital technologies will soon become an integral part of the construction industry. Considering the current progress, it is possible to predict the most promising trends that will become dominant in the near future.

Improving Energy Efficiency of Building Processes

Digitalization in construction will ensure better logistics thanks to smart trackers. Powerful management software will reduce downtime periods and ensure the smooth flow of work processes.

Reducing Waste and Carbon Emissions

All “smart” industries aim to become “green” as soon as possible. In the context of construction, waste reduction is highly important both during operations and as a feature of newly built houses. For example, architects can design an automated heating management system that controls thermostats based on ambient temperature inside and outside the house. 

Creating a Self-Sustained Energy Infrastructure

Digital technologies require a reliable source of sustainable energy. That’s why smart construction invents various methods to satisfy this requirement. As one example, it is possible to link a house and an electric car to share one energy pool. Solar-powered houses with smart power management are another example of such energy infrastructure that is gaining more popularity. The use of various technologies to generate, accumulate, and distribute green energy, such as solar and wind energy, will become integral to smart construction.

Much Higher Use of Robotics and Automated Processes

Smart construction methods may reduce the amount of workforce required to complete a project. However, the adoption of smart technologies also raises skill requirements for workers. One of the most possible future trends is the growing adoption of robotics in construction. It includes the use of drones for surveillance, autonomous vehicles for long-distance delivery of building materials, and remotely operated robots for work in dangerous environments, such as heights.

The Growing Importance of Big Data, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence

The role of data analysis is of vital importance for all aspects of construction. It helps mitigate or eliminate the drawbacks of existing methods and invent improvements. As a result, AI and ML technologies will allow more effective automatization of many construction processes.

Better Integration of All Electronic Devices Within a House Into One Complex Infrastructure

Smart houses should be the logical product of smart construction. Users will be able to monitor and control everything in their houses from smartphones, tablets, or laptops. For example, Smart sensors and meters can track electricity, gas, and water consumption, so the “smart home” may estimate monthly expenses and suggest ways to reduce them.


For the last few years, main construction industry trends have focused on adopting the latest programming technologies in all the designing, building, calculating, and other processes. Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Big Data open so much potential that has yet to be explored in full. Cost efficiency, optimization, improved management, hazard risk elimination, and advanced analytics are only a few benefits from the long list.

To enjoy all the perks of smart construction technology, you need to find professional and reliable specialists who can create bespoke software tailored to your company’s specific needs. Intellectoft is a company with 15+ years of experience in digitalization in the construction industry. For many years, construction has been our domain area of expertise, along with fintech and healthcare industries. Our smart construction solutions include but are not limited to creating from scratch and upgrading:

  • ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software;
  • Inspection management solutions;
  • Project management systems;
  • Customer and partner portals;
  • Analytics and reporting software;
  • Project onboarding and staff training solutions;
  • Construction integrations, and many others.

If you already know what specific digital solution your construction company needs or just have a blurred idea of what digital solution you want, don’t hesitate to contact us and describe your problem along with your requirements. Based on our industry expertise, we will offer you the most efficient and cost-effective solution that will help you create architecture masterpieces or achieve your unique business goals.

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