What will the future of the construction industry look like?


At the Building our Digital Community Conference in March we spent the day looking at what's possible in the future of construction focusing on digital innovations. 

At the end of the day of presentations we asked delegates to send through their thoughts on what the future of construction looked like. We've some of their ideas along with thoughts from Pamela Bell. 


I’m interested in what our construction industry might be like in the future if we become a place where excellent behaviour is the norm.

This might look like embracing collaboration at a contractual level, sharing our lessons learnt as we try different innovations (digital tech or otherwise), and leading the way in flexible working conditions. 

At FCON23 in Melbourne this week, the Australian Contractors Assoc laid down a gauntlet for better behaviour with the Culture in Construction Standard
The three areas they have focused on to improve the culture are:

  • time for life
  • well-being
  • diversity and inclusion 

You can read their pledge here

At the Institute, we are calling for excellent behaviour in the delivery of construction projects to be celebrated at the NZ Building People Awards 2023. 
Find a good human near you and nominate them before 22 May

Pamela Bell, Chief Everything Officer, NZ Institute of Building 


A selection of Digicom Delegate's thoughts

"We can only move forward into the future by learning from the past and incorporating the vision of a better future to shape a better world for generations to come."

Marcel van Oosterom

"We will move past BIM for construction sequencing as a planning tool and use it as everyday Agile sequencing tool, with on-the-fly changes being accounted for and changing the plan for each day across multiple project tasks."

Theresa Wells


 "In the future those of us that are not digital natives need to all surrender our fears of failure and become early adopters of technology."

Jennifer Clarke

"I believe that the future is what we want it to be, doing, building and living today.

Taking the time to look at the horizon for direction doing the mahi along the way.

The wind might blow our sails, but we as sailors get to stir the direction."

Juan Martinez 


"I’m from the delivery side of construction. My thoughts are that we need to collectively embrace emerging technology, drive innovation and not be afraid to give new ideas a crack."

Tim Harman


"The future is not a time or place, it doesn't need these spatial constraints. It can only exist as the future, never to be reached by definition alone. We need to realise that, and that our mindset of the future must always be changing. Our innovation, our drive to succeed, our acceptance and confrontation of challenges, these all influence and build the pathways we travel towards an unknown number of future opportunities. 

The future is a human concept, and while technological advancement is propelling us faster and further forwards, the core aspirations of what we can or could achieve for our industry are rooted deeply in the human factor. We must never lose this, we must embrace this, and not stray away from supporting our people, forming relationships, growing our bonds, including them and working together for the betterment of all."

Ewan Opie

"The Future will be aware. We saw it among all the presentations, no matter how technical the subject was or how much digital prowess was used, in the end, what stands out is the people behind. More importantly, the awareness they brought through their digital tools, to answer a brief or overcome a challenge.

Stephanie Gardener

"I envisage in the future the ability to upload a 3D file .fbx .ifc or similar, specify a selection of materials, and have AI produce realistic renders from pre-set views. Also, construction savvy AI to produce feasible sequencing to allow fast options for construction programming. 

It is also not beyond expectation that AI will be able to confirm or even design feasibility, especially for structural elements...

Perhaps the future is AI...in my head anyway."

Darrell Edwards

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