Construction companies throughout Australia are embracing new technology to improve practices and operations, a survey of 170 building firms has found.

Released by construction management software provider Procore and conducted by independent research company ACA Research, the How We Build Now – Tracking Technology in Construction 2019 report shows that many builders are using new technology in their operations.

Across those surveyed, BIM/CAD was most commonly used followed by prefabrication, digital project management tools, integrated management platforms, the internet of things (IoT) and drones.

Amongst large firms (above 500 employees), BIM/CAD was used by 57 percent whilst the other aforementioned technologies were used by between 33 percent and 38 percent (see chart).

Even amongst small (10-99 employees) and medium firms (100 – 499 employees), technology is gaining ground.

Amongst small firms, 38 percent use BIM/CAD whilst 29 percent use prefabricated parts, 25 percent used digital project management tools, 21 percent use integrated management platforms, 19 percent use IoT and 18 percent use drones.

Optimism about the value of these tools is high.

All up, 41 percent of those surveyed indicated that they would use six or more new technologies in the business throughout 2019 whilst 86 percent believe that increasing technology use important to improve productivity.

Despite the residential slowdown, meanwhile, the survey indicates optimism about the industry outlook.

Whilst only 22 percent of those surveyed anticipate an increase in the value of their own projects over the next twelve months, 64 percent expressed confidence about industry conditions for the next year.

As well, there is a focus on training and development.

All up, 91 percent of those surveyed expect to increase training over the next twelve months whilst 92 percent agree that upskilling their workforce is important to improve productivity.

Tom Karemacher, Vice President APAC at Procore, said the research shines light on the state of technology uptake within construction.

“Construction companies are constantly looking for ways to drive growth, reduce risk and delays, or simply to find that elusive work/life balance …”, Karemacher said.

“Our customers tell us that, whilst they’re looking at ways to consolidate legacy technologies, they are also planning for the future.

“We invested in this research to shed light on technology adoption in construction, and how new technologies are influencing more efficient processes and better business outcomes.”