AEC Industry Predictions for 2019

The “I” in BIM, Cloud-Based Technologies and Automation Top the List

In the beginning of 2018, we predicted the “Top 3 Technologies that will Impact AEC in 2018” and said that Connected BIM, IoT and Virtual Reality would all play a vital role in the AEC space in 2018. Peter Marchese, Microdesk’s Senior Technical Evangelist, sat down with BuiltIn NYC to look back at the “Top Moments in 2018” and commented that Virtual Reality was at the top of his list. Now, as we’re halfway through the first month of the new year we wanted to sit down with our resident technical expert again to look forward and craft new predictions for 2019.

Looking forward at the coming year Peter predicts that a lot of technologies will become more prevalent and better utilized as specific workflows are better understood, and more users take advantage of available features. Here are his predictions…

The “I” in BIM:

From a basic standpoint, BIM and VDC will continue to be utilized more and more, with a greater focus on the data that is inherent to our projects and work. Consider that the I in BIM has been the most important part, the information, but its only recently that we are seeing more and more companies look at that information and data beyond basic project benefits.

Similar to how the film Moneyball showed how baseball could change things up by using statistical analysis, we are starting to really see data become a useful and powerful aspect of both the design and construction part of our industry and this will only grow from here.

Cloud-Based Technologies:

Part of what will make this data analysis possible is the ongoing adoption of cloud-based technologies. The “Cloud Usage in the AEC Industry: Trends by Firm Size” white paper showcases the growth the industry has seen in the use of cloud tools and services being incorporate by AECO firms. From its usage for project coordination to its benefits helping project teams work from anywhere on the design, it’s growing by leaps and bounds. This is also shown in the large acquisitions by the companies developing and investing in these tools. Coupled with the need to stay connected, the faster pace of today’s projects and the need to have access to our information and documents when we need them, this growth will only increase.

As part of the cloud becoming an integral part of our work, I expect to see secondary components start to grow in the next year. 5G service is expected to start rolling out this year. This should lead to more connected devices on our projects, like better safety gear. Vests, hard hats, and boots that can be used to monitor performance, location, and health. We also will start to see more connectivity in site management for devices, hardware, and deliveries.


The last trend I see growing in 2019 is Automation. There has been a big push in recent years both in manufacturing as well as design for generative tools that help our designers work through more options and alternatives rather than manually to find the best solutions. These tools will continue to be developed and become more user-friendly to grant these benefits to more of the industry. We are also seeing automation in the form of offsite or modularization of construction take place more often. It’s a process that can lead to faster project deliveries, with a more controlled, consistent and comfortable work environment for those engaged in construction. It’s a process that has been utilized more and more where timeframes have compressed and with innovative thinking, it’s no longer just used for residential or dormitory-type buildings.

I expect 2019 will bring us some new technologies and growth in others we already have, but I expect these will bring the biggest growth and impact this year and am looking forward to seeing it happen.

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