Smart Buildings Not Always So Smart
The deployment of intelligent building control and operating systems have the most acute impact on automation in construction.
Even though these systems are tested during design, some companies are learning that when rolled out at scale, they are not always performing as expected. This may extend the testing and commissioning phase of construction adding unforeseen cost to a project as well as handover delays.
An additional complication arises when construction companies are building robot enabled structures which will replace the jobs previously performed by people. Some construction companies have been required to sign confidentiality clauses about the buildings they are constructing. For example, clients demand confidentiality when they are building large fully automated warehouses intended to replace facilities which once employed several hundred people. Building operators can be concerned that a leak ahead of a formal announcement could bring the risk of union action or sabotage.
Generally, insurance would cover deliberate damage to a facility; it might not cover the cost of delays because of site blockades.
Construction companies should keep a close eye on the development of automation technologies. The adoption and integration of automation could be the best opportunity for construction businesses to thrive in the next decade. However, dont forget that companies implementing automation technologies can expose new challenges. Companies must regularly review their risk register and if gaps are identified execute strategies to mitigate them.