Digitalization to Achieve Efficiency in Construction Management

Our question is simple and profound: Is your construction business ready for the digital revolution? Well, this is your time to find out.

Construction is a big part of the economy in many countries, whether they are developing or developed. However, the industry is characterized by considerable energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and substantial waste generation. Plus, the high demand for materials like concrete, steel, and wood can lead to resource depletion and over-exploitation of natural resources.  

These concerns emphasize the critical need for the construction industry to become more competitive and sustainable. And the good news is, going digital at the company level can help. By using modern tools and technologies, construction companies can become more efficient, which is not only good for their profits but also helps the environment!

In response to this aspect, we have a research study that charts the way forward – It analyzes how using digital tools can turn construction sustainable. It also explores the issues that may arise when employing these digital technologies. Our hope is that this paper should provide you with some practical guidance, for those looking to transition to digitalization in the construction industry.  

What You Gain from Reading this Material

Because the researchers explored various real-life examples, case studies, and diverse ideas, you can gain valuable insights out of this paper. Plus, the extensive range of information they gathered provides a comprehensive understanding of both the positive aspects and challenges associated with employing digital technologies. It can help you manage construction projects in an eco-friendly manner.

Indeed, this wealth of information is not just useful for the study itself. It is also beneficial for firms and professionals who work with clients across construction sectors. The knowledge you get from this resource can offer practical ideas and inspiration, that you might apply to your projects or share with clients. So, whether you are looking for ways to enhance efficiency, adopt sustainable practices, or navigate challenges, this research could serve as a valuable resource for you to make informed decisions.  

Here are some Observations from the Study

Now, let us see how going digital can make your company more sustainable. The study found that digitalization has that potential to significantly improve the sustainability performance of a firm by:  

• Reducing energy consumption

• Optimizing material and resource utilization.

• Controlling pollution, waste, and carbon emissions.

The authors further highlight that digitalization can be a strategic means of achieving sustainable efficiencies in construction management, provided a comprehensive digitalization strategy is developed.  

In summary, the study offers professionals a practical framework for moving towards digitalization in construction management, with a keen focus on achieving sustainable outcomes. Note that the authors emphasize the need for a proactive adoption approach to unlock both economic and sustainability benefits.  

Change Management has an Important Role  

In introducing new digital tools or processes, companies often undergo a significant transformation in their operational approaches. This study aptly highlights the crucial role of change management in ensuring the successful implementation of digital technologies in the construction industry. The authors necessitate a well-thought-out transition strategy that aligns seamlessly with the overall business objectives and sustainability goals of the company.

A smooth transition to the digital arena in construction management is contingent upon a robust change management strategy, acknowledged as the key to success. This involves addressing various facets, including meeting stakeholder needs and fostering a shared vision.

Therefore, it is imperative to establish a comprehensive digital strategy encompassing technology, people, processes, and culture. Such a holistic approach is essential to facilitate a thorough and organized shift to digital practices within the realm of construction management.

The Challenges with Construction Digital Transformation

Now, as we explore challenges in the construction industry's digitalization process, companies must strategically address these hurdles to ensure a successful transition:

• Limited Personalization: Firms face a challenge in their digitalization journey, due to a lack of comprehensive studies offering construction-specific strategies. This makes it difficult for them to find effective guidance during the change process.

• Complexity of the Industry: The construction industry's project-based nature, coupled with high demand and supply fluctuations, creates inherent complexity. Challenges such as slim profit margins, improper communication, and accountability issues further complicate digitalization efforts for construction firms.

• Resistance to Change: Mere deployment of IT experts to handle digitalization tools alongside traditional operations falls short of effective evolution. Genuine change management is crucial, and resistance to this shift within firms emerges as a formidable obstacle to successful digitalization.

Mind that a one-size-fits-all solution for these challenges may not effectively address the specific needs and nuances of your company. A tailored strategy with a comprehensive document for change management aids in overcoming these construction-centric obstacles. Only a well-defined action plan can provide a roadmap for navigating the transition, mitigating resistance, and fostering a positive organizational culture during the digitalization process. Indeed, this helps in streamlining the change management efforts, making the adaptation smoother and more successful.  

Nailing Your Strategic Plan (Construction Digitalization)

Here is how you should plan, design, and execute the digital plan within your company as per this research’s analysis - Your digital plan must aim to transform products and services digitally, create value, or both. It should incorporate tools and use cases that are in line with your business strategies and objectives. In a nutshell, the vision for digital transformation of construction firms has 3 dimensions, as outlined below:

• Value-Driven Computational Design: This revolves around simulating diverse digital design options and refining the design to align with various design criteria and the preferences of clients throughout the construction process. Realizing this vision involves highlighting key aspects such as design simulations, data-driven organizational practices, on-site digital fabrication, tailored semi-automation, gig economy participation, and the creation of digital twins. Plus, exploring different innovations that enhance computational design efficiency within the construction industry ensures becoming integrated and technologically advanced.

• Efficient Construction: The idea is to speed up the construction process and improve efficiency, by initiating techniques such as AI (Artificial Intelligence), collaborative business models, off-site construction, design Automation, and Lean methodology. For instance, standardization of Building Information Modeling (BIM) could aid in improving consistency and efficiency of data management and decision-making.  

• User-Data-Driven Built Environment: The approach encompasses leveraging significant data sets, asset management through innovative technologies, virtual reality (VR) and three-dimensional (3D) design applications, augmented reality (AR) for maintenance, energy optimization using smart technologies, a commitment to sustainability practices, and prioritizing user well-being and comfort. This centers on gathering authentic data, such as through smart sensor systems embedded in the built environment.

Navigating the Digital Changes in Construction

To sum up, using digital technology in construction depends on understanding the critical aspects of your company, such as how things are organized, how it operates, and how skilled its employees are. To make a strong plan for using digital tools, retain these 5 tips;

Change how the company works: Adjust how your company is organized and the people working there to fit the needs of digital changes.

• Prioritize cybersecurity: Prioritize and protect your sensitive data. Implement robust security measures to safeguard digital systems and maintain the integrity of information.

• Improve operations: Make your business processes better such that data and information flow smoothly. This helps control digital products and manage how things are accessed internally.

• Get everyone on board: Ensure all stakeholders of the company support the changes to work digitally. This includes all levels of staff involved in the business.

• Check if it makes sense: See if the money spent on digital changes is worth it. This means looking at both the financial and sustainable factors, not just the operations side.

Take charge of your construction business's digital journey! Learn from research, address challenges, and implement a change gradually for a more efficient and sustainable future. Embrace the digital shift – it is the key to success in the evolving construction landscape.


Nikmehr, B., Hosseini, M. R., Martek, I., Zavadskas, E. K., & Antucheviciene, J. (2021). Digitalization as a strategic means of achieving sustainable efficiencies in construction management: A critical review. Sustainability, 13(9), 5040.