The purpose of this paper is to conduct a critical analysis of the commonly projected visions on the future of built environment, focusing on transformative research. The primary question is will the construction sector be able to make the projected transformative leap even if the history of technology adoption in construction suggests otherwise? And, what role can academic research play?
This paper is based on a reflective research and qualitative review of academic articles, white papers and reported projections for the future of construction. The reflections are based on discussions with colleagues and students, including thought experiments.
There is a general agreement across various sources about the key technical and social drivers for the future of construction. However, these projections seem to be emanating from industry insiders, and more diversity and creativity is needed in exploring alternative possibilities.
The paper should be useful for researchers in assessing their research strategy, especially those aiming to focus on the future of construction and transformative research. The findings of this paper suggest the need for collaboration and explorations with diverse disciplines, including those that may not appear immediately connected to digital construction.
The paper should be useful for individuals and organizations, especially start-ups that are seeking novel opportunities to disrupt the future of construction.
The originality and value of this research lies in a timely critique of the commonly projected trends in the future of digital construction. The use of reflective research and thought experiments emphasizes the need for divergent thinking and creative research methods in construction research.
Singh, V. (2019), "Digitalization, BIM ecosystem, and the future of built environment: How widely are we exploring the different possibilities?", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/ECAM-01-2018-0004Download as .RIS
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