Construction starts with engineering. Far too often, however, the lack of time and experience may lead to the end result being less than satisfactory. Especially the younger generation has not had the time to learn enough about cost awareness and optimisation. And no wonder: very few technical colleges emphasise how different solutions affect costs. On top of that, the transfer of information between builders and designers being insufficient, valuable knowledge is never shared. All parties should see the projects as joint efforts and not as individual tasks, and in order for that to happen, everyone involved has to be prepared and willing to commit to the task at hand for the duration of the project,
A major difference between us young guns and the old foxes is that we have grown up with computers. We are used to running data models and creating information for them in collaboration with others. We are also familiar with sharing information on the internet. Data modelling has improved the information transfer between the various stages of a project, but without genuine commitment can the full benefits be achieved. That becomes obvious on site by the time the engineering solutions are put into practice. I’m certain that most designers like to know the importance of their decisions, including the financial consequences.
Construction industry professionals can no longer afford to remain in their cells, hoping that the end result will add up. Collaboration is an easier way to finding solutions and learning new things. Regrettably, we are drifting towards a culture where e-mail messages go unanswered and the ultimate purpose of plans is forgotten. What we need is a channel for real-time interaction between the production workers and the designers. It would help us to enhance the function of old practices and make building more efficient. Sitting in an air-conditioned office, it’s easy to rely on unchallenged routines, and far too often the only employee feedback is a spit in the sand.
Maybe the construction could learn from Pokémon GO: People who don’t know each other meet when they are working towards a mutual goal. In the end, everybody has learnt something and lost nothing. Plus they had a great time doing what they do. Combining learning and fun is not a new concept; we have just forgotten about it. In other words, have box of building blocks handy at all times (any illustrative means will do) and keep an open mind for exchanging ideas. We are happy to update the old saying: “Well-planned is more than half done”.