We cannot imagine modern life without infrastructure. Roads, utilities, telecommunications, railways, dams, bridges, and buildings are indicators of economic growth, high quality of life, and interconnectedness. Infrastructure means development and progress. However, building infrastructure is challenging, time-consuming, and expensive.
Innovations in the civil engineering and infrastructure construction industries can significantly improve how we build our cities and communities. Improvements in project management, funding, and collaboration are also necessary.
Is it possible to build infrastructure more efficiently? Read on to learn more.
The Lifecycle of an Infrastructure Project
Infrastructure projects are highly complex and include several stages, such as planning, design, construction, management, and maintenance. Moreover, they involve tens or hundreds of professionals working across different sectors.
Since the lifecycle of an infrastructure project is so long, the only way to increase efficiency is to look into each stage of the project separately. Improving construction techniques is important, but so is improving project management. Combining more advanced technologies with better management approaches is thus essential.
A Turn Towards Sustainability
With environmental concerns more prevalent in society, it is impossible to discuss infrastructure trends without referring to sustainability. We need to build sustainably to ensure new infrastructure will withstand the test of time.
Building clean, energy-efficient, resilient, and sustainable infrastructure is the primary goal today. Is society there yet? Modern construction techniques and technologies are becoming more and more environmentally friendly.
A great example is microtunnelling. This drilling method is ideal for building or repairing infrastructure without causing damage to the environment. It’s safe to say that cost-effective and sustainable construction methods already exist. Many more will appear in the future as technology advances.
The Importance of Digitalization
Construction is a fundamental part of infrastructure development, but there is a lot of planning involved before construction happens. Embracing digitalization can significantly increase efficiency when it comes to infrastructure projects. Why is digitalization valuable? Digitalization includes more advanced collaboration tools, software solutions that streamline communication, better data reporting, and better resource allocation.
Digitalization can also help generate, integrate and analyze data, which is crucial when managing large projects that involve numerous teams of specialists. Thus, digitalization can make many processes more efficient. Tasks such as allocating materials, updating designs, reporting errors, and gaining access to funds become more transparent.
Digitalization is one of the best ways to increase efficiency at multiple levels of an infrastructure project. Although adopting digitalization can be costly, the return on investment is substantial. A company can expect significant cost reductions after implementing digital tools.
The Critical Importance of Private-Public Collaboration
Many infrastructure projects are publicly funded, and they must serve the community. Improving collaboration between private and public entities can increase overall efficiency for infrastructure projects that affect public life.
Close partnerships between public and private entities can have huge benefits because they lead to a better understanding of people’s needs and extra financing.
Building better infrastructure faster can raise the quality of life and revitalize the economy. Thankfully, there are many valuable tools that can improve how we plan, manage, and deliver infrastructure.