The adoption of technology in the construction industry has been a long time coming. Although leveraging technology to the fullest across the building industry continues to lag, 2021 was a record year for investment in “contech.” Industry experts report that a huge amount of money is now pouring into construction technology, creating a fertile environment for start-ups.
Citing a report from CEMEX Ventures, Construction Dive reports that investments in contech tripled from 2020-2021, with start-ups aimed at enhancing productivity reaping the biggest infusion of cash—a whopping $4.5 billion. Green construction, supply chain and “tools reshaping the traditional construction process” also experienced strong support from investors. Indeed, the scale, scope and complexity of infrastructure challenges in need of attention across the country has upped the imperative for advancing the use of technology. Industry experts observe that the integration of technology and building is essential for the completion of faster, more sustainable and more cost-efficient construction.
“Venture capital is starting to flow into construction technology more and more frequently,” said Gonzalo Galindo, president of CEMEX Ventures…” Environmental pressure will continue and will start increasing, especially on the building materials production side,” said Galindo. “We will see much more efforts trying to reduce the carbon footprint and testing new technologies from carbon capture and research.” Two examples include Carbix, an American startup, which transforms atmospheric carbon dioxide into carbonates to build industrial products and Minolite, a Swiss-based startup, that transforms glass waste into sustainable construction materials.
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Generational Leap Forward?
Public funds are also being invested to advance the use of technology across the lifespan of projects. In fact, advancing technology is deemed essential for the achievement of the massive infrastructure work in need of attention across the country. For example, the Coalition for Smarter Infrastructure Investments (CSII) observes that allocation of funds for integrating technology into design, engineering, building and operations is key to achieving a generational leap forward for infrastructure. The $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill (aka The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act or the IIJA) has specifically earmarked funds to propel the use of technology throughout the construction lifecycle. As Construction Dive reports:
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) includes money for advanced digital construction management systems and related technologies. The program is funded at $20 million per year, for a total of $100 million, over five years. According to the text of the IIJA, the goals of the program are to:
- Maximize interoperability with other systems, products, tools or applications.
- Boost productivity.
- Manage complexity.
- Reduce project delays and cost overruns.
- Enhance safety and quality.
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Founded in 1930, Colonial Surety Company is a leading direct seller and writer of surety bonds and insurance products across the USA. Colonial is rated “A Excellent” by A.M. Best Company and U.S. Treasury listed.