The Knowledge Era Is Here: Are You Taking Advantage of It? Are You Even Aware of What’s Happening?
In previous articles we have discussed the seemingly impending transformation of the construction industry due the development of new technologies such as 3D printers. The main concern is if we can keep running our business the way we always have. Will the market require our expertise as people if anyone can design and “print” their own structures?
Also we have heard about the exponential growing of computer technologies and even Artificial Intelligence (AI). Google has undertaken a serious bet on AI with their project Deep Mind looking for the development of “a computer system that works like a human brain, using information from its environment to make decisions free of human interaction.” Click here for more information, but be prepared not to fall over in your chair!
Sound like Sci-Fi? It shouldn’t! Are you aware that Amazon is also working on the development of drones? Click here for more information. Just as each scenario will shortly become reality, it shows us a trend that technology will be more specialized and autonomous from human interference. But where does leave the experienced professionals in the building industry? Are we looking at another case of innovation forcing out the “old” in place of the “new”???
In a recent company meeting within Gould Design, Inc. we discussed briefly about this subject and something that came up was regarding building inspectors:
- An approval from a governmental body will be still required for any new structure
- Specific technical knowledge will always be required to design and erect a residential dwelling (now and in the future)
- Multi-Family and commercial projects will also require similar expertise
Since construction is not limited to structural concerns but to a plethora of areas, a multidisciplinary team of experts will seemingly always be needed to gather information for:
- And very soon electronic and informatics experts
It does not seem that human interaction is EVER going to fade out. Or will it?
As more informatics tools are developed, more specialized users are needed. University students are earning degrees in informatics these days! So it is possible that in the future the customers get more involved in the construction or design of their own houses. A customized home for everyone is a likely scenario, similar to the purchaser of a new cell phone that can ask for specific conditions from their new phone and the apps it contains (and design by themselves). This is not anything really “new” per se, but maybe, just maybe it is more achievable for a bigger audience.
This implies an even more specialized design projects. It will demand better and extra-efficient designers, as tools utilized within the market become more demanding. And more “intelligent” tools will be needed to be used for expert users as truss designers. But where does this leave the software user? Totally reliant upon the software utilized, that’s where.
So it seems the “human factor” is not going to disappear. It’s going to play a new role and maybe we got into a process of “hyperspecialization” (Is that even a real word? LOL!) as technology gives us a broad spectrum of possibilities. After all, isn’t it the software user’s job to know when the software is making an error? But how many component designers out there actually know how to manually calculate:
- Heel heights
- Pitch breaks
- Drift loading
- Girder point loads
- Structural fascia loads
- Multi-Pitch soffit adjustments
- Etc., etc.
I am afraid that not many of those folks are left!
The good news is that GDI is primed and ready to embrace the changes to come; we are recruiting every type of skill set from qualified specialty engineers to those brand new to components and training them from ground zero. Our mission is to provide support to your company’s design team working remotely while maintaining contact with you in real time. Just as the truss design tools have grown more detailed and specific, so must the technicians using them. Every company needs someone who is dedicated to growth, taking that new-wave approach to knowledge and supporting the task at hand.
The other great news is that, according to Business Insider, the construction industry is the second most booming industry for the next the next 8 years. Click here to view the article. Therefore materials, equipment, engineered wood products and professionals, will be needed in the short-term to meet demand. It also means that the conditions of the market are quite different from 10 years ago. Therefore, the necessary skill set of the design professional must be suited to match.
The wave is coming, are you ready to ride it? Where will you get your help from?
Previous articles on similar topics:
Click here to view “3D Printers: How Will They Affect The Construction Industry?”
Click here to view “3D Printing: Can The Building Industry Survive This Technological Breakthrough?”
Javier Dominguez – Design Professional
Gould Design, Inc.