Study: Construction industry still slow to adopt new technology

James Benham

Ben Bigelow

Joe Horlen

The construction industry is hesitant to pay for and utilize technology according to the 5 th Annual Construction Technology Report, a survey-based study developed in part by Texas A&M construction science faculty members Ben Bigelow and James Benham ’01, who is also chief executive officer of JBKnowledge, the technology solutions company that publishes the annual report.

[ ] ( The report tabulates and analyzes construction industry survey data on topics like AEC software usage, integrations, cloud adoption, BIM/VDC workflows, mobile apps, data security, emerging tech, and the level of IT staffing and funding using.

The survey is distributed, with additional assistance from the Mechanical Contractors Association of America and the Construction Financial Management Association, to 50,000-plus industry professionals from commercial, industrial, transportation, waste management, power and manufacturing sectors. Additoinally, more than 2,600 builders provide feedback.

The 2016 construction technology report found:

  • IT spending is lower than previous years and IT staffing is insufficient;
  • Research and development budgets are being implemented in more companies (42.4 percent of those surveyed); and
  • Builders are using Building Information Modeling, mobile apps, drones and job site scanners and sensors.

The number of construction professionals surveyed using a manual process for invitations to bid construction jobs grew yet again in 2016 — the highest level since the survey was launched in 2012. Cyber liability coverage more than doubled since 2015, indicating that more professionals are understanding the importance of protecting their sensitive cloud data.

"The Texas A&M Construction Science Department is proud to be a partner in the development of the Construction Tech Report each year,” said Joe Horlen, head of the Department of Construction Science at Texas A&M University. “Our industry partners are asking that our students be more technology savvy every year and several of our faculty are engaged in research that leads to the development of new technological solutions to industry workload and problems. Technology is having a dramatic impact on the construction process, and we are committed to producing the best possible students available for the industry.”

Sarah Wilson

posted May 2, 2017