Current site: Peikko Group Global (English). Do you want to change country or language?

Peikko Group Global (English)

Megatrends on the path to the future of construction — digitalization

Megatrends are significant, long-term, and typically interrelated phenomena that evolve gradually. While they have a substantial impact on our future, they do not foretell it. Rather, they serve as a valuable framework for discussion of changes in the world around us, such as decision-making processes or strategic planning. Gaining insights from megatrends helps to both understand and shape our common future.

Digitalization is the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities; it is the process of moving to a digital business.”

  • Gartner, Definition of Digitalization


Digitalization opens up new opportunities to make operations more efficient, increase safety, quality and transparency, and create new business models in the construction industry. Furthermore, digitalization has a significant effect on the work of a designer because the amount and availability of digital design tools are increasing.

“Digitalization is one of the most influential megatrends at Peikko, especially considering the development of design tools. The trending cloud-based software is easier to use and deploy,” explained Sampo Pilli-Sihvola, Director of Software Engineering at Peikko Group.

Tuomas Harmaala, Business Manager, Designers, Peikko Finland; said: “We try to understand the future needs of designers and changes in working methods. The goal of increasing the industry’s productivity is one significant driver of the changes. Another driver that has gained ground recently is responsibility and the pursuit of sustainability.”


AI facilitates design work

AI (Artificial Intelligence) is quickly changing the way we manage the construction industry and its operations. By combining developing technologies, optimal solutions can be obtained cheaper and faster than before. For the construction industry, this means e.g., smoother supply chains, better product solutions, faster turnaround time, more efficient detection of problems, and better information flow between different parties.

From a designer’s perspective, the concrete benefits include, for example, enhanced design work through automation, but also a significant improvement in the efficiency of information search.

Tuomas explained: “The construction industry has become aware and interested in utilizing the opportunities brought by digitalization, and the knowhow has grown. Examples of practical applications are BIM based working, algorithm-based planning, utilization of automation and machine optimization, as well as the utilization of point clouds in measuring, planning, and monitoring work progress. Algorithm-based design facilitates the comparison of several different designs with a significantly smaller amount of work than traditional planning and thereby helps to optimize plans.”


Opportunities and challenges

Building information models are virtual 3D models of a physical and functional building. BIM technology enables better cooperation and the transmission of information between the parties involved in the project. It combines and enables the knowledge of various construction professionals on how to design, modify, and implement a building. The joint working model saves time and helps to optimize costs through more precise planning. With BIM modeling and better resource management, construction processes can also be optimized from the perspective of sustainable development.

“Responsibility creates a new challenge for the designers—in the future, it will become something to be pursued in the same way as cost efficiency and safety. The design tools must therefore also be able to inspect responsibility features,” said Tuomas.

Data security and data flow. Managing a large amount of data and using it effectively can prove challenging for the advancement of digitalization in the construction industry. The industry needs efficient systems for data management and analytics and to ensure that information flows in a standardized, yet seamless and transparent manner throughout the entire construction value chain. Data protection guidelines and their compliance will be key challenges in the construction industry. Legislation and industry regulations can also affect the application of digital technologies.

“The shared use of software is a critical factor in software selection. The physical products should be available in digital form on several different platforms. Keeping this information up to date is challenging, but on the other hand, new products can also be effectively marketed digitally to wider target groups,” commented Sampo.

Costs and investments. Despite the initial cost, digitalization should also be seen as an investment in the future. Digital development shortens project turnaround times and improves the quality of construction when the data is in a machine-readable format. Automatic real-time data reduces the possibility of human errors. Digitalization also enables better productivity when new technologies spread to construction sites. Operating models become more efficient and information transparency between the entire production chain and other parties to the construction project improves.


On-site changes

Construction site automatization: Wider use of robotic technologies will change, combine, and replace traditional ways of building. Cloud-based technology and mobile construction drawings, installation instructions on tablets, and quality assurance with electronic systems will become more common on construction sites. Virtual construction sites offer the possibility of remote monitoring. Up-to-date information about the machines and logistics on the construction site facilitates work planning, reveals problem areas, and improves worker safety.

Intelligent buildings: Smart buildings can react to their environment and changing conditions automatically, improve safety, optimize the energy consumption of the entire building, and offer better living conditions for residents. Virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) can further support building design, construction, and building maintenance. Collecting and analyzing data helps to support decision-making, optimize construction processes, and predict building maintenance and repair needs.


The embrace of technological advancements and digitalizing construction processes has become crucial to keeping up with industry competition and changing methodologies.

Tuomas concluded: “The digitalization of the construction industry allows Peikko to be among the leading players in developing the industry. By understanding the needs of our customers and responding to them, as well as facilitating the development of our customers’ operations, we will remain a relevant operator in the future.”


Interested in Megatrends? Read our other articles
Megatrends leading the path to the future of construction – Urbanization and Prefabrication
Megatrends on the path to the future of construction — the need for shorter, reliable supply chains