Singapore construction companies are planning to expand their use of digital technologies and are investing more than 20 percent of their spending on these digitization efforts, a report said on Tuesday.

While local industry players currently use an average of five different technologies, respondents shared their goal of increasing this to an average of seven additional technologies – more than any other country in the study, Autodesk said in its Said in “State of Digital Adoption”. The Construction Industry in 2024” report jointly conducted with Deloitte.

According to the report, the pace of digital transformation in Singapore’s construction companies is likely to be accelerated by complementary government policies.

These include Singapore’s Built Environment Industry Transformation Map which prioritizes the adoption of common data standards and Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology.

This likely contributed to the ranking of BIM technologies and data analytics as the top three technologies used by Singaporean construction companies, used by 40 percent and 36 percent of respondents respectively.

It has been noted that nearly four in ten (39 percent) are also using construction management cloud software, and prefabrication and modular construction technologies.

“With the challenges facing Singapore’s construction industry, the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and technology has become integral to helping businesses succeed and reduce construction costs,

“Disruptive new technologies combined with a challenging business outlook mean that construction and engineering leaders in Singapore and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region need to understand their equipment, workforce skill needs and how they interact with clients and contractors. It will need to be seriously considered in the way we communicate,” Sumit Oberoi said. , Senior Industry Strategist, Asia Pacific at Autodesk.

According to the report, AI is also among the technologies Singaporean construction companies are most keen to adopt, with nearly all (98 percent) seeing the technology as critical to their business growth – more than any country surveyed. The most part.

The report found that 30 percent of construction companies surveyed in Singapore are currently experimenting with or using AI or machine learning (ML) software.

The results show that among Singaporean industry players, the main benefits arising from the adoption of AI include improved efficiency (61 per cent), better margins (59 per cent), with nearly six in ten (57 per cent) Includes citing competitive advantages, new ideas and insights. As a better relationship with customers.

More than half (56 percent) also cited AI’s potential to reduce costs, a key benefit that comes at a time when construction costs in Singapore are on the rise.

Citing data from the Building Construction Authority of Singapore (BCA), the report noted that tender prices for construction projects across the country increased by more than 4 percent year-on-year in 2023.

With factors such as workforce constraints and global inflation expected to create upward pressure on costs in 2024, the ability to manage costs is particularly strong given the strong pipeline of construction projects forecast in Singapore for next year. will be important between

Accordingly, nearly half (45 percent) of construction companies in Singapore expressed plans to use AI in the future in the survey.

With the rapid adoption of tools like ChatCPT, Midjourney and Github Copilot, generative AI has moved up the agenda of senior leaders.

“No industry is immune to the transformative potential of this technology,” added Oberoi.

He opined that generative AI means that a new project proposal doesn’t need to be started from scratch, instead building content and pricing based on projects the company has completed with similar features. Must take advantage.

If all companies plan to adopt AI, AI will become as pervasive in the construction industry as data analytics or mobile apps, said David Rumbins, partner at Deloitte Access Economics.

However, integrating such technologies into business operations will be no small feat, according to the report.

The report identified a lack of digital skills as a key barrier to technology adoption, registered among more than a third (34 percent) of Singaporean respondents.

The results also show that Singaporean construction companies were the most likely of all countries surveyed to find measures aimed at closing the skills gap ineffective.

For example, while 79 percent of construction companies in Singapore hired new workers, 32 percent found it ineffective in bridging the skills gap, significantly higher than the regional average of 16 percent.

“Initiating small projects in priority areas to improve digital adoption for construction businesses, selecting a digital champion, tracking multiple measures of success, building a digital ecosystem, and assessing whether your business Whether or not the right processes and skills are in place to support the technology;

“For example, the first step to successfully implementing AI is data standardization and having an operational common data environment for teams,” said Oberoi.

“From a talent perspective, construction companies in Singapore can take advantage of relevant government-led initiatives such as the SkillsFuture programme,

“It aims to promote skills mastery and lifelong learning for industries including construction, and pave the way for a future-ready digital workforce,” he concluded.

The report also found that 30 percent of regional construction companies are testing or currently using AI in their operations, with another 39 percent planning to use the technology in the future.

More than 80 percent believe they have experienced strong business returns or a positive return on investment from implementing AI and other technologies, including data analytics, mobile apps, robotics, prefab and modular construction, and construction management software.

Meanwhile, the critical role of technology in supporting business development is increasingly recognized.

Companies seeing new technology as new project work (from 38 percent to 45 percent) and technology to improve internal processes (from 37 percent to 43 percent) increased.

Core technologies are the most used, with data analytics (47 percent), construction management software (43 percent) and mobile apps (40 percent) providing the backbone of construction operations.

Generative AI will become as pervasive as these foundational technologies in the construction and engineering industry, with 94 percent of the region’s companies now planning to integrate AI and machine learning into their businesses, the report says.

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