chapter  1
20 Pages

Construction 4.0

Introduction and overview
ByAnil Sawhney, Mike Riley, Javier Irizarry

The Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Industry 4.0 framework can be adopted and adapted by the construction industry to transform itself into a highly efficient, quality-centered and safe industry capable of successfully delivering on the demands placed on it by society. This adoption and adaptation of the Industry 4.0 framework for the construction sector is called Construction 4.0 and is comprised of both physical and digital technologies. Broadly, the framework consists of two main components: (1) cyber-physical systems and (2) Digital Ecosystems. Each of these two components is further supported by emerging technologies and systems such as robotics, industrialized construction, additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, unmanned aerial systems, and digital fabrication. It is envisioned that the current challenges that the industry faces can be overcome by using the Construction 4.0 framework. It promises to reshape the way built environment assets are designed and constructed. The authors envision far-reaching implications of the Construction 4.0 framework. Two broad streams of innovation are taking place in the industry. On the physical production front the construction industry, albeit slowly, is embracing the use of digital fabrication, modern methods of construction, robotics, and equipment, products, and tools with embedded systems. Building Information Modeling and Common Data Environment are catalyzing a digital transformation and changing how the design and construction processes are conducted. For example, unmanned aerial systems are used to collect images to monitor construction progress, quality, and safety on the site. While the two innovation streams—physical and digital—can progress independently, the Construction 4.0 framework links the two streams and fundamentally transforms the way we design and build today and in years to come.