Australia’s construction industry is cautiously optimistic, but is following its New Zealand and Asian counterparts in digital transformation
SYDNEY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Procore Technologies, Inc., one of the world’s leading providers of construction management software, today released the third edition of its benchmark construction industry report, How We Build Now. Despite significant headwinds, 85% of Australian respondents remain confident about the 12 months ahead, up from just 43% in April 2020. Although optimistic, Australia is behind the APAC average of 91% and is also on track. bottom of the pack when it comes to technology adoption.
“Australia’s construction industry remains remarkably resilient, however, there are lessons to be learned from our Asia-Pacific neighbours,” commented Tom Karemacher, Vice President, APAC at Procore Technologies. “Our research found a clear correlation between positive industry sentiment and intention to adopt the technology, with ASEAN countries taking the lead in this area. This enthusiasm should be instructive for the Australian technology industry. construction, highlighting the power of digital transformation to relieve key industry pressures and support growth.
The report highlights that despite battling skills shortages, building bans and rising material costs over the past two years, these challenges have continued to serve as a catalyst for technology investment, with more than two in five Australian respondents (43%). pandemic has accelerated their adoption of digital technology. This is a steady increase from the 39% who updated technologies, systems and processes in 2020. However, there are still clear barriers to digitization, the biggest being changing practices and established behaviors.
The research also revealed a very pragmatic approach to technology adoption within the Australian construction industry. According to respondents, advanced technologies – such as 3D printing, robotics and drones – are less likely to drive industry change than more mature technologies, such as big data and data management platforms. digital projects. Australian builders expect to save an average of 13% on total project spend simply by managing data more efficiently.
When it comes to APAC, Australia is lagging behind the digital maturity curve, with lower adoption rates for everything from BIM to big data, and from prefabrication to robotics. To add to this, a lower percentage of Australian construction companies plan to adopt digital technologies than their regional counterparts. For example, New Zealand businesses (46%) are almost twice as likely as their Australian counterparts (24%) to believe that next-generation BIM technology will drive change.
Hannah Morton, partner at global sustainable engineering consultancy Cundall, said: “The challenge is to engage all parts of industry on this journey. I believe technology is an asset at every stage, from initial feasibility, design development and modeling to project management, procurement and commissioning and post construction verification. »
Although behind in digital adoption across the board, of all regions, Australia and New Zealand were most likely to have site-specific security plans, setting the bar high for health and safety.
Additional highlights from the report include:
- Australia rein in overhaul – The average Australian construction company spends one hour out of eight (12% of its time) on rework. Encouragingly, this figure is down from 18% in 2020, and 43% of construction decision makers believe the technology will help improve resource efficiency through fewer errors. Of the five markets surveyed, the Australian construction industry spends the least time on recovery work.
- Sustainability priorities lowest in Australia – Less than half (48%) of Australian respondents say the construction industry should adopt more green building practices, the lowest of the five markets surveyed and behind New Zealand at 64%.
- Rising costs and skills shortages are major concerns – 63% of respondents cited rising material and equipment costs as their top concern over the next 12 months (up from 40% in 2020), followed by skills shortages and declining profit margins.
- Gender diversity needs to be improved – Diversity and innovation go hand in hand. However, while Australian construction companies have high rates of diversity and inclusion policies, on average only one in five jobs in construction are held by women. Moreover, 61% did not see the need to improve this.
- Paper practices remain high – Paper is still commonly used by Australian builders for site activity records (29%), environment (27%) and estimating and pricing processes (26%), regardless of size of the company. New Zealand businesses are less likely to use paper in each of these processes.
“Each time we conduct the How We Build Now survey, we see different challenges developing for the construction industry. Fundamentally, the most resilient and ambitious companies are leveraging technology to boost productivity and profitability. Being our first APAC-wide report, we hope this will provide companies with a good understanding of where they stand in the industry and how they can grow by comparing not only their Australian counterparts , but also those of neighboring countries,” concluded Karemacher.
Third in an annual “benchmark series”, the research behind How We Build Now – Tracking Technology in Asia-Pacific Construction in 2022 was conducted by the independent research firm YouGov. After surveying the Australian industry for the first two editions in 2019 and 2020, this year it has been expanded to include five markets. 1,138 construction decision makers and influencers were interviewed for this report in Australia (314), Malaysia (223), New Zealand (114), the Philippines (259) and Singapore (228).
The report was officially launched in Sydney on May 31, at an event featuring YouGov, SafeWork NSW, Cundall, Meriton and Fletcher Construction Company.
Download the How We Build Now 2022 – Asia-Pacific Construction Technology Tracker 2022 here.
Procore is one of the world’s leading providers of construction management software. Over a million projects and over $1 trillion in construction volume have been executed on Procore’s platform. Procore’s platform connects key project stakeholders to solutions Procore has designed specifically for the construction industry – for the homeowner, general contractor and specialty contractor. Procore’s App Marketplace offers a host of partner solutions that seamlessly integrate with Procore’s platform, giving construction professionals the freedom to connect with what works best for them. Based in Carpinteria, California, Procore has offices around the world. Learn more at Procore.com.