CONSTRUCTION INNOVATION: A MIX OF CREATIVITY, TECHNICALITY AND MEASURABILITY
One of the most critical question during this challenging times is how are we going to deal with the new normal after Coronavirus pandemic? Nobody knows what will happen after the end of these lockdowns around the world but we should be aware that the way we are facing this particular situation now is a reflection of what we could experiment in the next months. Due to cancellations and closures everyone is trying to rethink his business through a different and original approach to give a quick response of new needs of the society.
That is the reason why the keyword that should inspire the architecture world and in general all the industries is INNOVATION!
Innovation is the realization of an invention in a new product or production process which is commercially introduced on the market. To be effective, innovation must involve all functions of a company, from R&D to marketing. Creativity, as a process that leads to generating original ideas, is fundamental to innovate. It is directly connected to imagination so, even in a period of isolation and social distancing, it is something that can be freed without restrictions to start planning a new future.
Innovating requires predictive capabilities, skills, a future-oriented management, responsiveness to external changes: it should be an open process that gathers ideas even from external actors of the company such as suppliers, clients, universities, research centers in a collaborative perspective.
Innovation generates from ideas that come from people, so it’s important to unlock the potential of their creative thinking. These can be reach through new digital communications tools that are allowing people around the world to keep on working in every field on the development of solutions for an evolving world both in the social and working context.
Now let’s give a deeper look on the construction industry!
Certainly in an increasingly digitalised world, the latest technologies play a key role in innovation as they make operations safer, faster, more efficient and cheaper. Just think of drones that allow people to visit sites remotely or graphic models controlled by cloud that architects, designers and engineers can access wherever they are around the world.
However, we need to clarify innovation is not only the utilization of high-tech products, but it should be considered a component of the organizational scheme of design process that contributes to a sustainable and economic development. Before the technical implementation of the innovation, there is a complex process which should be led by the management in a way that guarantees the maximum profitability and benefits for all the involved stakeholders. In a first phase you should analyse deeply the problem to solve in order to understand it better. Then you have to generate an explosion of ideas and to choose the good ones that will be introduced to the market. Lastly you have to measure the impact of the innovation.
Collecting data and information is a critical aspect not only at the end of the process: you need to get daily feed backs on the progress of the work to understand whether you are following the right path or you need corrections. To do this you should have a clear vision of your starting point and the results you want to achieve.
The EIR, Employers Information Requirements, is an additional documentation for the BIM (Building Information Modeling) that helps owners to define precisely standards, operations, goals and legal terms of the project of control the innovative construction process more effectively. The content of the document is determined by what the organisation what to obtain through the BIM process and it covers the information requirement of three macro areas: management, commercial and technical. First of all, you define the BIM strategy and goals, for example an increasing productivity of technicians or a reduction of time wasted to search for equipment. Then you determine how the BIM model will be utilized and you specify the organizational, asset and project information requirements: this means you list the data you need to provide throughout design and construction. At the end you deliver the collected data in format which is useful for the users.
To sum up, it is important to highlight that we must begin to lay the foundations for innovation by following a structured process that involves people both creatively and technically. Architects, designers and engineers must be aware of this in order to develop projects adapted to the new requests of society. If everyone follows this working methodology, the added value generated will be a strong push to economic growth after these difficult times.
Source: Webinar “Are You Ready For The NEW Normal? Find Out How Innovation Methodology Can
Help” BIM For Owners: How to Define, Document and Put Your Organization’s Digital Twin
Requirements Out to the Street
Images’ source: https://unsplash.com/