How SimplyCount and AI are transforming the construction industry
The construction industry is one of the largest and most complex sectors in the world, involving multiple stakeholders, processes, and challenges. However, it is also one of the least digitized and most inefficient sectors, suffering from low productivity, high costs, and frequent delays. According to a report by McKinsey, the construction industry has an annual value-added growth of only 1%, compared to 3.6% for the total world economy and 2.8% for manufacturing1.
To overcome these challenges and improve the performance and profitability of construction projects, many companies are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) as a powerful solution. AI is a term used to describe how machines can be trained to imitate human cognitive functions, such as problem-solving, pattern recognition, and learning. AI can help the construction industry in various ways, such as:
- Design and planning: AI can assist in construction projects’ design and planning phase by using generative design, optimization, and simulation techniques. For example, AI can create multiple design options based on predefined criteria and constraints, such as budget, materials, and regulations, and suggest the best one for the project. AI can also optimize the design for sustainability, efficiency, and aesthetics, and simulate the performance and behavior of the design under different scenarios and conditions2.
- Estimation and bidding: AI can help in the estimation and bidding phase of construction projects by using data analysis, prediction, and automation techniques. For example, AI can analyze historical data and market trends to estimate the cost, duration, and risk of a project, and provide accurate and competitive bids. AI can also automate the estimation and bidding process, by extracting information from blueprints and technical diagrams, and generating proposals and contracts3.
- Construction and execution: AI can help in the construction and execution phase of construction projects by using monitoring, coordination, and optimization techniques. For example, AI can monitor the progress and quality of the construction work by using sensors, cameras, and drones and provide real-time feedback and alerts. AI can also coordinate the activities and resources of the construction site by using scheduling, logistics, and communication tools. AI can also optimize the construction process, by using machine learning, robotics, and computer vision, and perform tasks such as material handling, welding, bricklaying, and inspection4.
- Operation and maintenance: AI can help in the operation and maintenance phase of construction projects, by using analysis, prediction, and optimization techniques. For example, AI can analyze the performance and condition of the building and its systems by using sensors, smart meters, and IoT devices and provide insights and recommendations. AI can also predict the future needs and demands of the building and its occupants, by using data mining, forecasting, and optimization tools. AI can also optimize the operation and maintenance of the building, by using automation, control, and energy management systems5.
One of the innovative companies that is using AI to transform the construction industry is SimplyCount, a data-driven platform for construction estimators. SimplyCount uses AI to automatically count and sort symbols from blueprints and technical diagrams, such as P&ID drawings and electrical schematics. It is designed to help engineers, contractors, and estimators save time and money by streamlining their workflow and improving their accuracy6.
SimplyCount leverages cutting-edge algorithms, including optical character recognition and proprietary machine learning algorithms, to create the world’s best symbol counting software. As a result, SimplyCount can handle poorly drafted blueprints, rotated symbols, and scanned blueprints, unlike other solutions. SimplyCount also provides additional toolboxes that allow users to convert their data into a more useful format, such as Excel, portable databases, and exported PDFs, giving them a competitive advantage over less advanced, error-prone take-off methods7.
SimplyCount is an example of how AI can be used to solve previously unsolvable problems in the construction industry, and how AI can create value for the customers and the society. By using AI, SimplyCount helps the construction industry achieve higher efficiency, lower costs, and better quality, and ultimately, build a better and smarter world.
1: Imagining construction’s digital future | McKinsey 2: How AI is changing the game for design and construction | Autodesk 3: How AI is transforming the construction industry | PlanRadar 4: 4 ways AI is revolutionising the construction industry | World Economic Forum 5: AI in Construction: Redefining the Industry with Smart Solutions | Appinventiv 6: SimplyCount 7: About Us – Simplycount