For nearly fifteen years, the real estate sector has been experiencing remarkable growth. All over Montréal, construction sites have been turning into large-scale developments, and as the many cranes around Montréal suggest, this relentless pace shows no sign of slowing. This is the visible manifestation of the tremendous efforts made by teams that design, plan and carry out the construction work. Behind these changes in the city lies the transformation of the construction sector, which has been increasingly turning to innovative technologies and approaches to carry out projects that are more and more demanding, all while respecting deadlines and budgets.
A look at innovation in the construction sector
For the 14th Major Metropolitan Projects Strategic Forum on May 6, the Chamber is looking to highlight the lesser-known phenomenon of innovation in the construction sector and the trends and opportunities that are changing how things are done in the industry. There are many important challenges. While adherence to deadlines and budgets remains essential, new considerations resulting from the digital transformation and increasing environmental and safety requirements are leading to fresh ways of operating at every project stage. For example, failing to make use of sustainable development principles is no longer possible in 2019, and the same can be said for sophisticated project management software and digital modelling technologies. It is also necessary to invest in a well-trained workforce to get the most out of this new toolbox.
Furthermore, intense competition and strong cost pressure are pushing companies to develop or adopt new efficient technologies and approaches at every project stage, from design to delivery. Indeed, Montréal is distinguishing itself by the dynamism of its real estate sector, in large part because of its stakeholders’ leadership and commitment to innovation.
Trends and opportunities
The idea of a conservative construction sector with little innovation has unquestionably become a thing of the past. The sector is experiencing an eventful period of change characterized by new technologies and approaches. Which innovations are leaving a mark on the construction sector today, and what will shape the industry of the future?
In a blog post on the trends characterizing the sector in 2018, GenieBelt emphasizes eight key elements: the BIM process (Building Information Modeling), project management software, virtual and augmented reality, robotics, drones, offsite and modular construction, green construction, and a more competent workforce.
Meanwhile, Autodesk’s five technologies to watch in 2019 included the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and machine learning, predictive analytics, virtual and augmented reality, and standalone equipment (robots and drones, for example), showing that the construction sector is in the same position as other economic sectors.
Finally, HowStuffWorks highlights a series of technologies that will impact the construction sector in a few years, including carbon nanotubes, permeable concrete, 3D printing of houses, and transparent aluminum.
In this context, construction stakeholders must not only remain alert, they must also establish close collaborative relationships with the university and research sectors in order to develop and adopt tools that will allow them to face current and future challenges.
The Major Metropolitan Projects Strategic Forum will bring together the sector’s key stakeholders to discuss the new technological environment characterizing the construction sector. Come and hear them speak on May 6 at the Palais des congrès de Montréal.