The construction and civil engineering sector is one of the largest industries in the world. According to research from McKinsey, it contributes about $10 trillion to the economy. One of the reasons that the industry is growing so quickly is that it is investing heavily in big data and artificial intelligence and other innovative forms of technology.
McKinsey reports that artificial intelligence will be a major disruptor to the civil engineering and construction professions in the near future. Anybody that is looking for PSR jobs or is new to the profession should familiarize themselves with the changes that are being brought on by new AI technology.
The ramifications of this go well beyond people working directly in the industry. It also creates opportunities for investors that buy stocks in the real estate and contracting industries.
AI Leads to Interesting Opportunities for Investors Buying Real Estate and Contracting Stocks
Forbes author Kathleen Walch states that artificial intelligence is changing the civil engineering field in countless ways. Most of the discussions about advances in artificial intelligence relate to the impact on the computer and electrical engineering disciplines. The biomedical engineering profession has also benefited from new developments in machine learning and other artificial intelligence applications.
Civil engineers are also strongly benefiting from new developments in artificial intelligence technology. Although these applications don’t get the same amount of publicity as artificial intelligence technology used in other fields of engineering, they are still having a profound impact on the careers of civil engineers and everybody that is dependent on their work.
What does this mean for investors buying stocks in the real estate and contracting sectors? They will see key financial ratios such return on equities, profit margins and debt-to-income ratios improve dramatically, due to the lower costs, improved service models and higher customer satisfaction as a result of AI-driven construction and civil engineering advances. This creates a lot of great opportunities for the income-seeking investor that is trying to buy stocks in these industries.
The Growing Utilization of AI in Civil Engineering Will Be Gradual but Profound
Experts from McKinsey have written about the projected timeline for the integration of artificial intelligence in the civil engineering field. They proclaim that it has already begun to have a fairly strong impact on the industry. The increased utilization of AI will probably be relatively modest for the immediate future.
However, the civil engineering profession is going to be much more heavily influenced by developments in AI over the course of the next decade. There is still some debate as to the exact role that these new technological developments will play. Some of the most probable changes that AI has created and will continue to make are listed below.
Major improvements in designs
The most significant change that AI has created is by improving the quality of civil engineering designs. Artificial intelligence has led to the inception of three-dimensional Building Information Modeling (also known as BIM) tools. We talked about a construction manager using such a tool in the past.
These models depend on a number of different inputs. Previous projects and simulators help improve the accuracy of these models.
Construction projects that rely on BIM technology are likely to be superior in many ways. They can account for geographical variables that could compromise the longevity of the final project. These factors include wind speed, extreme temperatures, foot traffic and even the probability of a terrorist attack.
The models can evaluate the performance of a structure under varying conditions. This will help designers figure out the best materials and dimensions to pick for their design.
Ensuring the profitability of a project
Companies in the construction industry have a difficult time maintaining decent profit margins. Part of the problem is that contractors often struggle to keep costs in check.
Cost overruns can happen for any number of reasons. Contractors need to understand the numerous issues that could cause the project to go over budget, so that they can finish the project at the lowest possible cost.
The contractors can identify employees that are responsible for the most waste, so that they can be better trained. They can also help the team notice areas on the development site that are most likely to have accidents. they can also help with inventory tracking, which makes sure that contractors don’t purchase excessive materials that end up going to waste.
Meeting timetables and providing realistic deadlines
Another major challenge that civil engineers and contractors face is dealing with project deadlines. Their reputation hinges on project timeliness. Contracting companies that failed to meet these deadlines can face expensive penalties.
Artificial intelligence algorithms can look at data from previous projects to get a better sense of time constraints. This will help them provide realistic projections for clients and create accurate benchmarks to make sure employees are sticking to deadlines.
This could be very important for new contracting companies. They will be able to maintain good reputations for project timeliness and avoid costly consequences for breach of contract by missing development targets.
AI is Going to Be Invaluable to the Future of the Civil Engineering and Contracting Professions
AI is quickly making its way into new facets of our lives. Many professions are becoming more dependent on AI tools. The civil engineering field is among those that will be especially reliant on this technology in the years to come.