aec industry trends

6 Important AEC Industry Trends in Technology

Do you need to know the latest AEC industry trends in technolgy? We've got the latest information to help keep you in the know and why it matters to your construction business.


    In 2016, the top 15 AEC companies made a total revenue of $125 Billion. This was more than the $100 Billion govtech budget for that year.

Meanwhile, the construction industry worldwide is projected to grow to a whopping US$10.3 trillion in 2020. This is an increase from US$7.4 trillion in 2010.

What does this mean?

This means that the construction industry has been growing at a stable speed. And for you to be part of this growth, you need to be in touch with the latest AEC industry trends in technology.

Are you willing to know the newest AEC industry trends in technology today? Stay hooked here. You will get all the information you need.

Why Do the AEC Industry Trends in Technology Matter?

Technology has swept through every sector and the AEC industry is not left out. These trends are a major contributor to the growth of the AEC Industry.

For instance, drone technology has evolved how the construction site is managed and presented. Virtual reality, on the other hand, has changed how we view the construction site and manage its development.

All these pieces of technology effectively make construction cost-effective and easy to manage.

What are these trends you ask?

Keep reading. You will know the 6 important AEC industry trends in technology today.

Increased Influence of Building Information Modeling

An estimated 78% of manufacturers believe BIM is the future of project management. This is because the Building Information Modeling has influenced the AEC industry landscape. As a matter of fact, a large number of firms have saved a lot of money by adopting this technology.

BIM is seen as the common language shared between the software of all firms working on a single project. Hitherto, AEC firms participating in large projects brought their own unique software to the table.

If you have ever used the Google translate platform texting back and forth, you can attest that a lot is lost in translation.

It was thus no surprise when a 2004 study by the National Institutes of Standards and Technology estimated that US$15.8 Billion a year was lost in the construction sector of US alone. This occurred due to poor paper-based processes and software interchangeability.

BIM solves these trivial issues by producing a central data model that is shared by all projects and software packages.

This is achieved by taking out manual data re-entry and ensuring that a stable view of documentation is held by all parties throughout the whole project.

Up to date, BIM has been accepted by many AEC firms across the globe. However, BIM is not yet mandatory in some country government projects. Hence, it is certain that the pace of the technology will continue to speed up.

Geometrical Growth of Cloud Technology

The geometric growth of the cloud technology services stands as a key influencing factor for the AEC industry. It has helped to reduce software and infrastructure expenses while unlocking new areas of invention.

While cloud technology has been accepted by many industries globally, the pace of innovation in AEC has been moving gradually. This may be as a result of the traditional software adopted by AEC firms in the past. The providers still offer only physically installed software such as CAD.

On the other hand, the slower pace of adoption has been attributed to the higher complexity of cloud applications. This had made it slower for organizations to adapt to the cloud.

Presently, the situation is changing.

Innovative companies such as On Shape, the world's first Cloud CAD technology, are channeling this new guard. By eliminating the need to be installed physically, these solutions can be installed with higher speed and lower cost.

However, the main game changer for architecture, construction, and engineering is the ability of these solutions to handshake each other in communication. More construction projects can be coordinated effectively compared to their physically installed counterparts.

Also, most of the cloud services have user interfaces that allow easier connection and information sharing between services. Information sharing and efficiency in AEC will revolutionize the growth and adoption of the industry.

Modularization Is the New Black

Modular buildings are becoming more popular. In the future, they'll be the mainstream way to construct a building structure. These modular buildings look so much like the traditionally-built buildings. This is to the extent that you hardly noticed the modularity of the buildings.

These buildings are popular among firms with tight budgets that can't afford a brand new customized building but need more space.

For instance, in a case where a school intends to expand their education facilities on a low budget within a short time, a modular construction is the perfect way to get the project done.

A Rise in the Use of Drones

The rise of drones has been described as one of the biggest AEC industry trends. Yet, they started off as a mere gimmick.

Drones are used for progress reporting, health, and safety inspections on construction sites. It captures accurate data across large locations in a short time. It aids in accessing potentially hazardous zones thereby keeping surveyors save.

3D Modeling and Printing Technology

In the AEC industry, 3D printing and modeling represent two different opportunities. As technology advanced, the cost of 3D modeling software met the capabilities of a regular computer.

The increasing ease of use of 3D modeling software will continue to increase the momentum behind the use of 3D in architecture, engineering, and construction.

Today, software such as AutoCAD's Revit enables project teams to visualize a full structure in 3D space compared to the archaic 2D models used in the past.

The advantage of the combination of BIM with 3D becomes clear when a structural engineer is able to see if the steel beam specified is properly connected to other structural utilities like air conditioning.

Because of this shared system, the engineer can see elements that may have been hard to identify in a 2D model.

The 3D printing is a natural extension of the 3D modeling. It involves the production of a 3D physical model from a digital file.

It's accomplished by laying down thin layers of material in a succession. Currently, it's limited to plastics and some metals.

In AEC, an example of its applications involves rapid prototyping of architectural or mechanical elements. It allows teams to produce their digital projects in a physical form. By this, they will be able to determine what does not work and what works via the look and feel.

Virtual Reality

The use of virtual reality in the AEC industry is steadily progressing. It has moved from a mere gimmick into a tool that is valuable for project teams.

The VR provides an immersive environment. It also creates realistic 360 rotations which share the progress reports of a project via a mobile device.

It also reduces the cost of built mock-ups. One key function is its ability to save the time spent going to the site for minor issues.

Final Thoughts

The AEC industry is advancing rather fast with the advent of technology. However, these AEC industry trends won't need so much time before they advance further to greater technology.

It is thus wise for every stakeholder in the industry to adapt to these trends fast.

Do you want to get more information on the subject? Contact us today.


About The Author

Hi, we're the Designblendz team! We blend overlapping design disciplines to raise the standard to design, visualize, and build virtual and physical environments.