Emerging technologies offer new solutions to the construction industry, improving processes, enabling automation and effective decision-making mechanisms and changing current ways of work. Previous research has tended to consider a direct causal relationship between the emerging and prospective technologies and the future of construction. However, the future of construction will be influenced not only by the developments in the information technology (IT) industry, but also by other technological changes. Societal, economic, environmental and political factors will shape the future, together with emerging technologies. This paper presents a scenario-planning exercise that aimed to identify possible futures that the construction industry might face. In order to achieve the aims of the research, a literature review was carried out on scenario planning and future studies related to construction and construction IT, which was followed by a mini survey and two prospective workshops as part of the La Prospective scenario-planning approach. In a future study, it is important to understand the forces, issues and trends in order to inform and enable further thinking and action towards achieving a preferred future state whilst being prepared for what might be round the corner. Therefore, the paper first investigates the driving forces of change, main trends, issues and factors that might shape the future, focusing on factors related to society, technology, environment, economy and politics. Secondly, four future scenarios that were developed keeping these factors in mind are presented. The scenarios start from a global view and present the images of the future world in year 2030. They later focus on the construction industry, imagining how it will be shaped by the future world and trying to visualize the information and communication technology implications for construction. Finally, a preferred future scenario for 2030 is introduced based on the principle that the future can be influenced if we know what we want it to be. Focusing mainly on the IT vision, the paper concludes with recommendations in the areas related to innovation, communication and collaboration, education and training, process improvement, interoperability, user-centred IT and sustainability, in order to reach the desired state determined by the vision. © 2010 The Royal Society.
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences|
|Publication status||Published - 13 Aug 2010|
- Construction industry
- Economy and politics
- Information technology vision
- Scenario planning