Digital adoption limited among NSW builders


By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Friday, 03 September, 2021

Digital adoption limited among NSW builders

The majority of NSW builders are still in the basic stage of digitalisation, which is serving as a barrier to the adoption of improved building quality and standards, according to research commissioned by the state government.

The research found that 57% of builders and 48% of designers’ digital transformation efforts are still dealing largely in PDF document formats rather than the tailor-built digital capabilities that are now available.

The Office of Building Commissioner oversaw the research, which was conducted by Western Sydney University.

According to NSW Building Commissioner David Chandler, the findings confirm that while increased digitalisation in design is improving quality and standards, the cost of software and licences is acting as a barrier for smaller businesses.

He said the data will help both policymakers and the industry itself understand the current spread of digital capabilities in construction.

“We now have data on the industry’s current state of digital maturity, which provides us with a baseline to work from. Regulators need to take industry capability into account when putting in place laws and standards, and understand that the construction industry is driven by small businesses,” he said.

“We want NSW’s industry to be at the forefront of innovation and able to use every possible lever to increase its productivity. Digital technology can unlock many opportunities from helping to eliminate errors and deliver complex projects within budget and time, to supporting better communication between clients and contractors.”

Association of Consulting Architects Australia Vice President Agi Sterling said the software industry needs to be aware that most small practices cannot afford the expense of constantly purchasing software and training new staff on their use.

“Software vendors need to be conscious of the capacity of small design and construction companies to be able to pay upfront licence costs and provide the wraparound services to support staff, so that businesses are able to realise the benefits,” she said.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Rawpixel.com

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