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The Role of AI in Construction and Engineering

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a buzzword that has been making waves in the construction and engineering industry, promising to revolutionise the way projects are planned, designed, and executed. AI is the ability of machines to perform tasks that would typically require human intelligence, such as reasoning, learning, and problem-solving. According to a report by McKinsey, AI could potentially add $13 trillion to the global economy by 2030. In Australia, the adoption of AI in construction and engineering is still in its early stages, but there are already signs that AI can provide significant benefits to the industry.

Project Management
With the use of AI, project scheduling can be optimised, taking into account factors such as weather, supply chain delays, and worker availability to ensure projects are completed on time and within budget. This can lead to increased efficiency, reducing the time and resources required to complete projects. Project managers can make better-informed decisions about scheduling and resource allocation by utilising AI’s ability to process and analyse large amounts of data quickly.

Data Analytics for Improvement
By analysing data from construction projects, AI can identify patterns and make predictions about potential issues or opportunities for improvement. With this capability, construction and engineering firms can proactively identify and address issues before they escalate, improving project effectiveness. Teams can identify areas for improvement and optimise project performance by making informed decisions based on data-driven insights provided by AI technology.

Optimised Design
AI can assist with building design, using machine learning to generate optimal designs that take into account factors such as energy efficiency, environmental impact, and building performance. With AI’s ability to process vast amounts of data, it can identify the most cost-effective and sustainable design options that meet the project’s requirements. This capability can result in the optimisation of building design, reducing construction costs, and improving overall project performance.

AI can help identify safety hazards on job sites, reducing accidents and injuries. With AI’s ability to analyse real-time data from job sites, it can identify potential safety hazards and alert workers and supervisors to take necessary precautions. AI-powered robots can also perform tasks that are hazardous to humans or require more precision than humans are capable of, such as welding, bricklaying, or demolition. This capability can reduce accidents and injuries, improving overall worker safety and well-being.

It’s amazing to see that AI has the potential to provide significant benefits to the construction and engineering industry, ranging from more efficient project management to improved safety on job sites. Although AI has still yet to break into the mainstream in Australia, its potential benefits make it worth considering for construction and engineering firms looking to improve their operations. With AI’s ability to process and analyse large amounts of data quickly, it can provide valuable insights that can lead to more informed decision-making and better project outcomes.
Is your company leveraging the benefits of using AI? How can you use AI to increase your competitiveness in the market?

Shivendra helps construction and engineering companies win more projects and grow profitably. Regarded as a master of practical implementation, Shivendra has guided organizations such as Downer and Siemens as well as smaller contractors to achieve double-digit improvements to their bottom line. Underpinning his extensive industry experience are qualifications in engineering and a PhD focused on rapid cost improvement techniques. He is the author of two books, The Competitive Contractor and From Paper to Profit, the host of the Competitive Contractor podcast, and the founder of Shivendra & Co and The Constructors Network. You can find more about Shivendra & Co on