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In the near future there will be a spike in autonomous vehicles, technology, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Each of these advancements will change the existing infrastructure and create a demand for change in not only the designs but also the skills required to build and maintain the infrastructure of the future.

1) More Collaboration

One of the ways that the construction sector is changing is by encouraging more collaboration with other industry professionals. By using digital programming such as BIM (Building Information Modelling), colleagues, developers, and building managers can provide insight to the project. Having the input of multiple professionals means that it will be easier for project managers to find construction related problems before they happen, control costs, and optimize the building for performance.

Public Infrastructure

2) More Public Involvement

In recent years there has been pressure on building managers to share their plans with the general public prior to construction. This is because consumers want to have their opinion expressed on future building projects to ensure that more sophisticated services are offered and the building is adapted to their lifestyle. If you’re interested in more ways that the public can get involved in planning, read Swipe Right: How technology is Making Urban Planning More Inclusive.

3) Crowdfunding

Although it is not new, Crowdfunding is another way that infrastructure will change in the future. Essentially, if citizens are allowed to have input they will feel connected to the building and that will make them more likely to participate in the re-emerging trend of crowd funding. The phenomenon of crowd funding has increased over the years and will help shape the future of infrastructure. While its main objective is to get the funding to support an architectural goal, it will also help the project get approval quicker since it demonstrates the support of the citizens for the future project.

Infrastructure Collaboration

4) Environmental Initiatives

In recent years there has been an increased interest in sustainability and environmental initiatives. The interest in protecting the environment will only continue to expand as new solar power technologies and renewable resources are introduced to the industry. If you’re interested in learning about some of the revolutionary environmental initiatives being made by architects today, read A Skyscraper That Eats Smog.

5) Focus on Building Maintenance

In further attempts to be sustainable, construction companies will focus on less building and more maintenance. Since many buildings are being met with resistance, it’s suggested that infrastructure owners will focus on their current property assets rather than obtaining new ones. This may mean implementing new technological advances into their buildings which is expected to lead to better building productivity, longer asset lives, improved safety, and fewer catastrophic failures.

Virtual Reality for infrastructure

6) Virtual and Augmented Reality

In addition to new technology being introduced to buildings, construction sectors are anticipated to also use virtual and augmented reality in their planning. As explored previously in How Virtual Reality Can Help City Planners, virtual and augmented reality is becoming a popular tool for the construction industry and will continue to influence the industry in the coming years. Similar to how BIM can be used to foster a collaborative environment and spot mistakes in the infrastructure before construction, VR and AR will allow for further analysis of potential problems on the job site.

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