What's your name and what position do you hold?
David Purdon. Technical Director at Diatec Group
What are your day to day responsibilities?
Managing our Technical Services programme specifically those in the AEC sector. I am also involved in our research and development of new solutions as technology and needs change.
What is your professional background?
I started in industrial design and moved into design and visualisation. I spent a few years in IT and virtualisation and have been involved or working around the AEC sector for 20+ years.
What short term impact do you see the pandemic having on the industry?
The immediate impact was on site and on premise. Construction took the brunt and those in precon were affected dependant on what remote and cloud solutions had or were able to spin up.
A year on, the impact is business sustainability. How can we create a business model that can work around outbreaks and pandemic type scenarios?
What key technologies do you think will have a lasting impact on the construction sector?
Cloud and central accessibility are the main technologies at the moment. The next will be offsite and modular fabrication and construction.
The traditional model of how we construct assets and infrastructure is not sustainable. However the construction sector was not the only sector to be majorly impacted. Retail, health and leisure for example, all need to review their business models going forward.
When it comes to digital transformation, what key challenges is the industry facing?
I think the biggest challenge is still fear; Fear of open collaboration on cloud platforms. Fear of not having data on premise is holding back companies taking the next necessary steps to a sustainable business model. And fear of innovating beyond what has gone before – which is understandable in a volatile marketplace.
Where do you see the industry in 5 years’ time?
Industrialisation in fabrication/modular methodology and automation onsite will be the normal standards in the delivery of projects. I see a move to better and more sustainable design and construction methods.
The big one will be in precon, where new life/work balances brought about by need in the last 12 months will be a standard for all companies.
David Purdon is speaking at the CIF’s 2021 Digital Construction Summit on June 17th. For full details and bookings go to www.digitalconstruction.ie