A new year - where are we heading?

In many studies on artificial intelligence, the construction industry is not listed. The question therefore arises, where does AI stand in construction practice and when will it be used as standard?

Artificial intelligence (AI) applications have become a transformative technology over the past decade and, as a result, are already commonly used in many industries (see Figure 1): leading the way are manufacturing, finance, education, and sales. (Deloitte Research 2019)

Figure 1: Application of AI in various industries (source: Deloitte Research 2019)

Since the construction industry is not listed in the figure, the question arises: where in the figure would one place the construction industry?

Looking at the four quadrants in the figure "Transition", "Developed", "Germination" and "Growth", we believe that the construction industry would be located in the starting blocks (Germination).

Initial applications exist as stand-alone solutions. In a survey conducted at SDaC's third roundtable on Jan. 13, 2021, 197 people participated (see Figure 2). Of these, 48% believe that in less than 5 years AI applications will be used as standard in construction practice. Consequently, more and more AI applications will be piloted and widely applied in construction projects in the coming years.

Figure 2: Results of the survey in the third SDaC RoundTable on the use of AI in construction practice (Source: SDaC).

To get there, Reim et. al (2020) suggests four steps to implementing AI applications in your own organization:

  • Creating an understanding of the potential and challenges of AI in the company.
  • Discussion on changing existing business models and its roles.
  • Alignment of IT strategies with business model strategies, with the aim of promoting new competencies, services and customer segments.
  • Organizational acceptance through pilot projects, the formation of AI teams, training on AI, the development of an appropriate strategy, and internal and external communities for further development.

In order to meet the expectations from Figure 2, there is an increased need for action in construction companies to create an understanding with training and education as well as the transformation of existing structures. 

Where do you see a need for support from, for example, research, policy or consulting? Please feel free to contact us Contact.

These are our goals in 2021:

  • The main functionalities of the platform are realized technically.
  • Initial technical prototypes for the applications will be completed based on the data provided in the consortium.
  • On 23-25.04.2021 our first SDaC Hackathon will take place. Information will follow on our homepage under: https://www.sdac.tech/hackathon. Thus, our goal is to promote innovations for the construction industry.
  • We initiate a DIN Spec for the exchange of information of the supply and value chain of building products.


Reim, Wiebke; Åström, Josef; Eriksson, Oliver (2020). Implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI): A Roadmap for Business Model Innovation. AI 1, no. 2: 180-191. https://doi.org/10.3390/ai1020011

Deloitte (2019). Global artificial intelligence industry whitepaper. https://www2.deloitte.com/cn/en/pages/technology-media-and-telecommunications/articles/global-ai-development-white-paper.html