The end of the construction boom?

June 30, 2022

Whether it's a housing shortage in major cities or the dream of owning your own home ... orders for the construction industry took no end, especially in the last decade, and they still don't. But it is not only the order situation that determines future construction projects: Due to a shortage of skilled workers, material bottlenecks and a lack of technological progress, the ongoing construction boom could soon come to an end.

The current problem situation

A large number of orders that cannot be fulfilled. What is the reason for this? For one thing, the companies are confronted with the major problem of labor shortages. The war in Ukraine is currently eliminating a large proportion of Eastern European workers. In addition, there is also a less temporary problem: While many skilled workers retire every year, there is a lack of younger workers to take their place in the industry.

However, a lack of labor is not the only consequence of the war: Russia and Ukraine are currently no longer available as important suppliers of construction steel, and other materials such as bitumen are also affected as rising energy prices make energy-intensive production increasingly expensive. These supply bottlenecks are currently reaching record levels for the last 30 years. While around 46% of companies in civil engineering are affected, the figure for building construction is as high as around 54%.

In addition, rising interest rates for builders, tight building regulations and the climate targets of the traffic light coalition are exacerbating the situation. What is needed, therefore, are future-oriented and efficiency-enhancing solutions with which construction companies can counter the problematic situation.

What to do?

In the last century, the construction industry has rested on its special order situation and hesitated to introduce digital innovations, which are, however, indispensable today and especially in the future.

Due to a shortage of skilled workers and delays in construction caused by delivery bottlenecks, it is all the more important to save time and thus also costs. Because currently, about one third of working time still does not contribute to value creation and causes unnecessary costs. In particular, solutions that have an immediately measurable effect on efficiency and risk and do not involve costly interventions in existing systems are now in demand.

Immediate effects through the partial automation of construction management

A measurable immediate effect without any application effort is provided, for example, by camera-based AI systems for automated documentation and target/actual progress recording. oculai is the first and only solution available on the market here. Here, cameras are attached to tower cranes to extract data about individual shell construction processes and progress from a bird's eye view of the camera images. Automated monitoring allows status quo and target condition to be compared directly, enabling better forecasting as well as planning of next steps. The automated data collection in combination with video data saves approx. 6-9 hours per week of time per site manager - immediately and without any application or training effort.

If you want to learn more about oculai's solution click here. We would also be happy to show you live how we convert your construction sites to future-proof with intelligent cameras. Just contact us.

In the long term, one thing is certain: Those who can ensure the highest productivity on the construction site with limited resources will have a considerable advantage.

Sarah Ciolacu