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In the ever-evolving world of AECO industry, staying at the forefront of technology and trends is essential to success.

As we move into 2023, the industry is experiencing a wave of innovation that is reshaping the way projects are conceived, designed, built and managed. In this article, we explore the top 15 latest trends for the AECO industry in 2024, and how digital architectural Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology is driving these changes.

  1. Digital twins come of age

Digital twins, virtual replicas of physical assets or systems, have gained immense popularity in recent years. By 2023-2024, we expect to see widespread adoption of digital twins in the AEC/O industry. These twins will allow architects and engineers to monitor real-time data from construction sites, predict maintenance needs, and optimise building performance.

  1. Connected BIM & Open BIM

In 2023, the construction and architecture industry will witness the emergence of a powerful trend known as “Connected BIM”. This concept revolves around the seamless integration and flow of data throughout the lifecycle of a building or asset. While OPEN BIM, cloud computing and IoT sensors play a pivotal role in enabling this connectivity, Connected BIM takes it a step further by providing the ability to analyse and visualise data from different stages and sources within the building lifecycle.

Connected BIM empowers AEC/O professionals to gain insight, make informed decisions and optimise building performance, a concept often referred to as building lifecycle management. This trend isn’t just about sharing data; it’s about harnessing the power of data to improve every facet of a building’s journey, from initial design and construction to operation and maintenance.

It is about embracing the principles of OPEN BIM, improving collaboration between stakeholders and ensuring that data remains consistent and up-to-date throughout a building’s lifecycle. This transformative trend promises to revolutionise the way we approach building projects, driving efficiency, sustainability and innovation for years to come.

  1. Automation

Architects and engineers now have access to advanced software with artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities that can not only generate design options, but also optimise them based on a wide range of factors, including energy efficiency, cost effectiveness and environmental impact.

In construction, automation is streamlining tasks that were once labour-intensive and time-consuming. Robotics and autonomous machines are making their mark on construction sites, improving safety, speed and accuracy. Meanwhile, drones are being used to inspect, survey and monitor sites, providing a new level of data collection and analysis.

In addition, automation is extending its reach into building management and operations. Smart buildings equipped with IoT sensors and automation systems are becoming the new standard. These interconnected systems can monitor and control various building functions such as lighting, HVAC and security in real time, optimising energy use and creating more comfortable and sustainable environments for occupants.

  1. Increased global adoption of BIM

In 2023 and 2024, we can expect to see a significant increase in the adoption of Building Information Modelling (BIM) in the architecture and construction industry. BIM has proven to be a transformative technology and its widespread adoption is now reaching new heights. AEC/O professionals are recognising the immense value that BIM brings – from improved collaboration and project visualisation to enhanced data-driven decision making. With an ever-increasing emphasis on efficiency, sustainability and digitalisation, BIM is set to become an integral part of every architectural project, ensuring that buildings are not only beautifully designed, but also functionally optimised, cost effective and environmentally responsible. As we look to the future, BIM will continue to reshape the way we conceive, design, build and manage structures, ultimately leading to a more streamlined, innovative and sustainable architectural landscape.

  1. AI-powered design assistance

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionising the design phase. AI algorithms can analyse vast amounts of data to generate design options that optimise energy efficiency, cost effectiveness and functionality. Architects can now harness the power of AI to enhance their creativity and deliver sustainable solutions.

  1. Generative design goes mainstream

Generative design algorithms are becoming more accessible and user-friendly. This trend allows architects and engineers to quickly explore a variety of design variations, helping them to find innovative solutions that were previously unimaginable.

  1. Sustainability takes centre stage: Green Building.

With growing concerns about climate change, sustainability is no longer a choice, but a necessity. AEC/O professionals are increasingly using BIM technology to incorporate sustainable features into designs, track environmental impact and meet stringent green building standards.

In addition, the need to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions is a driving force. Currently, nearly 40% of all carbon emissions come from the construction industry, and a staggering 20% of all materials end up as waste – a major concern.

  1. Offsite construction and modularisation

Offsite construction is gaining momentum, driven by efficiency, cost savings and reduced waste. BIM technology facilitates the seamless coordination of modular components, making offsite construction a viable and attractive option for projects of all sizes.

  1. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) in design and visualisation

AR and VR technologies are changing the way stakeholders interact with architectural models. Clients and team members can explore 3D models in immersive environments, improving communication and project understanding.

  1. IoT integration for smart buildings

The Internet of Things (IoT) is improving the operational phase of buildings. BIM-integrated IoT devices provide real-time data on everything from energy consumption to occupancy patterns, enabling better decision-making for maintenance and optimisation.

  1. Collaboration with cloud-based BIM

Cloud-based BIM platforms facilitate collaboration by allowing team members to work on a shared model in real time, regardless of location. This trend encourages greater teamwork and reduces delays.

  1. Advanced data analytics

The AEC/O industry is becoming data-driven. BIM technology enables the collection and analysis of vast amounts of data, leading to more informed decisions about project management, cost control and performance optimisation.

  1. Blockchain for construction project management

Blockchain technology is gaining traction in the construction industry, primarily due to its ability to provide secure and transparent project management solutions. It streamlines contracts, payments and document management, while reducing fraud and disputes.

  1. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) for repetitive tasks

RPA is used to automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks in project management and data entry. This not only increases efficiency, but also reduces errors.

  1. Drones for site inspection and surveying

Drones equipped with high-resolution cameras and LiDAR technology are transforming site inspection and surveying processes. They can capture detailed site data quickly and safely, improving accuracy and reducing risk.

The AEC/O industry is on the cusp of a transformative period in 2023-2024, driven by digital architectural BIM technology. These 12 trends represent the cutting edge of innovation and will shape the future of how we design, build and manage buildings and infrastructure. Staying ahead of these trends is critical for organisations looking to thrive in this dynamic and competitive landscape. Embracing the power of digital technology and BIM will undoubtedly lead to more efficient, sustainable and successful projects in the years to come.