Constructability impacting construction profits
A new global survey has found the prevalence of buildability issues is as high as 80% across global complex construction projects. The industry is calling for better communication and technology to improve project profitability.
With the construction industry under pressure to maximize every opportunity for profit, a new global survey suggests addressing widespread issues with constructability (also called buildability) could be of significant benefit.
The survey of the global civil construction industry found that buildability was impacting nearly 80% of complex builds.
When broken down by region, the impact was even higher than the global average in both North America (83.1%) and Asia Pacific (87%), but lower across Europe (including the UK) at 71.9%.
“We’ve been hearing about these issues for many years, but this is the first time we’ve gained hard data on just how widespread and significant they are,” said Alan Jeffreys, CTO of ADDA and rebar industry expert.
“Given the impact that buildability has throughout the value chain of a build, on effectiveness, productivity and profitability, this is a significant finding as it identifies a clear opportunity for improvement.”
The survey found the top impacts of constructability were stretched delivery times (23.3%), material waste (22.8%) and cost blowouts (16.3%).
Constructability issues begin right at the start of projects, when the initial designs fail to be feasible from a reinforcement perspective.
“As the first commodity project on a building site, steel reinforcement plays a critical role in buildability. Poorly detailed designs can result in on-site clashes, fixing problems, increased waste and delays that put the project on the back foot from day one,” said Jeffreys.
“The good news really is that improving buildability can be as simple as ensuring designs are feasible before they get to the reinforcement stage by using easy to use 3D modeling tools like ADDA Construct and through improving collaboration between constructors, suppliers and designers.
“We’ve seen projects save up to 20% on costs, including time and waste, by optimising rebar modelling and detailing.
Despite the widespread recognition of the impact of buildability, nearly a quarter of survey respondents said it was ‘only sometimes’ considered during the project.
Jeffreys said this is due to a historical lack of accountability for buildability on a project.
“It’s typically not the clear responsibility of a single job role. Often the project manager picks up the role, but is hampered in enforcing buildability with so many stakeholders providing input and controlling their own aspects of the project, from design to delivery. This results in buildability being retrofitted when things go wrong, rather than being a shared KPI across teams.”
The survey also revealed the industry is highly focused on environmental considerations, with nearly 80% measuring environmental impacts of a project.
Jeffreys said carbon emissions are another reason to get buildability right.
“By optimising steel rebar requirements for transport and fixing, and by utilising prefabrication, we can minimize our environmental impact,” says Jeffreys.
When it came to solutions, respondents were very clear on what would help, with 100% stating improved communication between project stakeholders including design, project managers and contractors would improve buildability. This was closely followed by improved technology.
“Technology can help with both,” said Jeffreys. “In terms of improving collaboration between stakeholders, software like ADDA creates a singular and shared view of a project, as well as ensuring constructability through 3D to 5D modeling”.
“This survey has identified something tangible the industry can do to improve their projects across a number of measures. We’re calling on the industry to refocus on improving constructability, and reap the benefits.”
ADDA is a leading and award-winning provider of global rebar software and services.
With products developed over many years by rebar detailers for rebar detailers, ADDA’s suite of products ranging from 2D to 5D are designed to be compatible with AutoCAD and BricsCAD, and answer the complex modelling and analytic needs of the modern construction industry.
Used on leading complex infrastructure projects from the UK to North America and Australia, ADDA Construct has been recognised as a Top Product in the US, and ADDA nominated as a Top BIM service provider in Asia-Pac.
For more information or to interview Alan Jeffreys, please contact ADDA media relations:
+61 422 660 182