As we move forward into a highly competitive future, individuals and professionals must reinforce their working domain with leading-edge skills to thrive and succeed. Professional or skill development is no longer a rarity, it’s a potential requirement. With disruptive trends, technology, and processes taking over, honing a specialized skill-set makes it easier for you to do what is expected of you, or something that piques your interest. The construction sector on a global level is one of the fastest-growing sectors in every country for people, companies, and professionals. Furthermore, if construction enterprises need to thrive, they do require skilled professionals to build a robust platform that is capable of working on a global level.
The world of construction and infrastructure has its advantages and disadvantages. One of the most critical aspects of construction engineering is the presence of the word or phenomenon called “disaster”. Through modernized tools and processes like Building Information Modeling (BIM) and autonomous technology or automation, disaster risks can be mitigated substantially.
These new improvements have changed the way AEC professionals design, analyze, and build projects.
- The Current Construction Scenario.
Looking at the current population scenario, it is important to reflect technological advancements from the AEC fraternity and provide a means to help the current population through sensitive conditions. The word “disaster” carries a myriad of meanings, which could range from human errors in building infrastructure, usage of low-quality materials, lack of skill, or natural disasters.
The lack of knowledge in people that move from a rural setup to an urban one creates inferior or substandard construction that lacks optimum structural components to withstand disasters. Understanding the word “resilience” comes from an understanding that talks about the capacity of a person, system, or thing to recover with flexibility. It is important to understand that resilient construction is not the same as sustainable construction.
New technological tools and processes use resilient tools and technology to design buildings, communities, or landscapes that respond extremely well to any kind of construction disaster. Moving from traditional workflow to a BIM or automated workflow has contributed to the resilience factor. A legacy or traditional retrofit comprises of processes that include limited scalability in terms of –
- Data Compilation
Architects, engineers, and various AEC professionals are included in this process wherein a survey records all the measurements of building elements viz. floors, walls, doors, etc. This is the first data stack; the second data stack is collected and analyzed for seismic parameters.
- Data Conversion
Vulnerability judgment – Data in terms of vulnerability includes seismic processes like earthquakes, floods, etc.
Structural study – To come up with a seismic calculation, structural engineers take into consideration the exact structural configuration of the building or project.
Retrofit outline –As a conclusion of the vulnerability assessment, the architects and engineers come up with a proposal that includes building elements like beams, columns, etc. This structural analysis ensures the building is resilient during a natural disaster.
This process includes the process of creating high-quality documents or document stacks that include crucial information like –
- Existing building plans
- Study of structural analysis
- Retrofit Information
- Building details
- Cost estimation or BOQ
- Construction Process
Once the construction process is complete and approved by all the parties – internal and external, the installation of elements like slabs, walls, and various other elements begins.
With this traditional retrofit method, the project experienced a myriad of bottlenecks that made the whole process inefficient and non-resilient.
- Traditional methodologies to create spreadsheets
- Absence of an integrated platform for all the stakeholders
- Manual modeling techniques to include digital models into a retrofit setting
- Manual hand-sketching techniques for a geometric survey
BIM’s contribution to disaster management
New processes like BIM integrated with modern tools and technology optimizes disaster resilience, performance, and sustainability for a construction project. BIM can be referred to as an Information and Communications Technology nerve center that facilitates the use of information at every stage of the project lifecycle.
The deployment of BIM is extremely beneficial for every project phase or lifecycle viz. design, development, FM, and demolition.
The role of BIM for pre and post-disaster management can be listed as –
- Pre-Disaster Phase
The Design Phase –
- Assess design options
- Facilitate design team involvement early on in the design process
- Minimize construction waste
- Run structural performance & resilience simulations
Design and Construction
- Adopt health and safety standards
- Use lean processes to improve onsite construction
Evacuation & Rescue –
- Quick evacuation
- Asses or evaluate evacuee conduct or attitude
- Governing BIM data compliance
- Furnishing accurate BIM data corresponding to disaster management
- Escorting evacuees to the nearest safe locations
- Optimizing fire safety
Recovery & Reconstruction
- Deploying 4D BIM to enhance quality management and optimize the process for change orders
Enhance new construction resilience
Leverage new mechanization
Moving from traditional workflows to efficient ones using modern processes and technology takes construction to an all-new level. Legacy processes in construction never took into consideration the value of “data” or “information” gathering, sharing, and analysis. This is where Building Information Modeling (BIM) makes a substantial stand.
Adoption of BIM with tools or software like Revit, Navisworks, Laser Scanners, IoT, or autonomous systems boosts project efficiency, productivity, and reduces turnaround times thereby cutting down on costs and construction waste.
Offering various skill-set training programs for professionals expands the scope of an enterprise to take-in global projects and showcases its services and solutions. There are various job roles in the construction sector that require specialized skills-sets viz. General Laborers, Surveyors, Project Managers, Civil Engineers, Production Managers, etc.
The importance of learning
Making technology education available at every corner of the globe is crucial as trends in construction are quite mixed and definite as well. With BIM adopted early on in the project lifecycle, gives exceptional long-term benefits.
Since labor constitutes a very large part of construction, it is critical to monitor their productivity; also called labor productivity. Labor productivity is not a measure of their capabilities, but the ability to transform work through overall effectiveness. For example – Buying a piece of equipment for a laborer can enhance labor productivity as technology has always complemented human intelligence and physical aspects as well.
Owners and Contractors are often concerned about labor activity in terms of their skill-sets, safety, and more. Monitoring labor productivity at low-level measures assesses the productivity of an individual, but making a large-scale impact can be used to derive global industry standards.
Self-paced learning or e-learning is playing an important part in training professionals for various skill-sets. This approach makes it easy for professionals to learn in their own time, and achieve the necessary skills to thrive in a fast-paced construction sector. Numerous enterprises understand the significance of providing on-job training for individuals to make them perceive the depth of actual project execution.
Factors that affect on-site productivity
- Age – Skill – Experience
- Leadership and Incentives
Other factors that influence job site productivity would be listed as –
- Project Size
- Labor skills or availability
- Equipment application
Taking brilliant and visionary professionals and turning them into high-level project management individuals is one of the most crucial driving forces for an AEC firm to grow. Upgrading to a high level of project management requires laser-focus training on people management, technical skills, forward-looking vision, empathy, and a will to make significant changes in work and society. Enterprises hire gold-standard project management individuals to lead and create a firm vision that works in the best interest of the people and the company.
The skilled workforce is in high demand, and there is a substantial shortage of skilled professionals. This challenge has got enterprises from all over the globe to bring in training programs that specifically work on industry-based scenarios. With the adoption of new processes and technology, it is important to get in the best talents who can stir up exceptional results through skill-based training. It will be interesting to see how enterprises can close the gap of skilled workforce shortage and continue to thrive in a competitive AEC market.
As we move forward into the future, the frequency and magnitude of these natural disasters may elevate due to various global factors, and construction resilience would be one of the most critical aspects in terms of sustainability and precautions that require the presence of global collaboration.
BIM processes and technology will play an important role in terms of construction project management, environmental resilience, etc. It is also important for the concept of resilience to be integrated into work culture and practices that augment productivity.
The adoption of BIM can be adopted to build professional governing bodies, necessary training, relevant education, universal codes, and robust frameworks.
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