3 technological innovations that are set to shape the construction industry in 2020

The construction and built environment sector has typically been focused on traditional working methods that have served global corporations successfully for many years now. There is, however, a significant shift occurring in regards to technological innovation and how it is disrupting the industry worldwide.

A construction worker using technology

With the implementation of industry 4.0, as well as vast amounts of money being invested in research in this area, there has never been more choice for construction businesses to streamline their general processes and make improvements.

After working in executive search for a number of years now, I personally have begun to notice the importance of technological development in this sector. Rather than a luxury for big industry players, technological innovation has now become an industry norm, highlighting exactly why businesses should take note.

Take ACS Group, for example, one of the largest construction groups in the world. They actively state on their website that they proactively “respond to the growing demand for improvements in processes, technological advances and quality of service from its clients and from society.

So, which technologies are set to make a real impact in the next year? I’ve listed three below:

Virtual reality

Virtual reality typically allows individuals to immerse themselves in their environment, enabling them to view and analyse their surroundings in greater detail. This, of course, can be extremely beneficial for construction project managers who spend a significant amount of time scaling and assessing structural concepts.

Every construction project differs in some way. Typically, 3D modelling has been used by corporations to visualise a project before any operations begin. Virtual reality, however, allows for an enhanced process.

Using virtual reality to visualise and construct a digital version of what a project will look like once completed allows for more significant preparation among leaders. Combined with other expertise such as budgeting and external collaboration, images and plans of a built structure can be given to a number of people without having them actually visit the site, saving time and money and improving accuracy.

Artificial Intelligence

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in construction may be in its early stages, but there is no doubt that it is set to transform the way data and safety are handled in the industry.

Dealing with any issues like skills gaps, project resources and risk assessments, can all be made inherently more accessible and filtered down from the C-suite to other employees with the use of AI.

While human error will always be a stumbling block for construction businesses, AI allows for greater accuracy at each stage of the construction process. In turn, implementing these technologies will enable employees at all levels to develop their skills, working alongside AI to improve operations.

Project Management Apps and Software

Organisation is critical to the successful completion of any construction project. For leaders especially, who are responsible for a wide range of areas related to a specific project and the wider business, they are accountable if anything goes wrong.

Traditionally, leaders had to be incredibly agile and efficient when managing construction projects. While these traits are still important, the development of project management apps and other software allows for greater accuracy and precise measuring of every detail.

Additionally, when dealing with external clients and contractors, having every meeting, discussion and agreement collated into one piece of software can be crucial in maintaining operations long term.


It is incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to predict precisely which innovations are going to benefit the construction and built environment sector the most in the years to come. For 2020, however, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and project management apps are something that businesses of all sizes should consider in order to remain competitive.

Here at Imperium Global, our recruitment specialists have years of experience in the construction sector, placing top-level candidates at global industry leaders. For help sourcing top talent, contact us today.

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