Digital Transformation of Domestic Construction Industry in 2022

Industrials Author: EqualOcean News, Boying Ji, Manyu Zhang Editor: Tao Ni Apr 28, 2022 08:10 PM (GMT+8)

This is the Chinese version of the report released by EqualOcean Intelligence.


The digital transformation of the construction industry refers to the practice ofusing digital technologies such as BIM, cloud computing, big data, Internet of Things, mobile Internet, AI and others to promote the digitalization of enterprise operations in the construction industry. Its core task is to stimulate the flow of data in the industry and accelerate the construction of an industry data ecosystem. 

With the application of engineering procurement construction (EPC) and BIM platform, the domestic construction industry has gradually entered the stage of building digitalization. However, various business phases are still marked by low operational efficiency: the entitiesin the construction industry have different interests and generally use distinct information management systems, resulting in a very low degree of information connectivity and a lot of redundant information at each business stage.


China’s macroeconomy iscurrently shifting into a period oflow-speed growth. Meanwhile, the National Bureau of Statistics reported that the annual growth of China’ s construction industry in 2020 decreased to 6.2% from double-digit rates in previous years. The industry currently focuses on the digital reformation instead of original large-scale construction projects. 

The development and key point of digital application in the construction industry 

EqualOcean Intelligence reported that the digital applications are mainly in the building construction business, which spans multiple business stages and involves many entities. Digital applications accumulate industry data atmultiple business stages to promote multi-party synergies in the industry, and toimprove the efficiency of business processes at a single business node. 

Nowadays, the intelligent construction collaborative management platform is widely applied in the industry. Based on BIM, AIoTand other technologies, the platform realizes the integrated management and control of the whole process of engineering projects, promotes business, process, and data collaboration among multiple participants, and achieves efficient project management.

EqualOcean Intelligence divides the whole business process of building construction into five stages: investment decision-making, planning and design, construction stage, operation and maintenance management, and demolition and recycling. We mainly analyze digital applications in the previous four phases. 

With the centralized land supply policy, the investment decision-making stage determines the profits and costs of the entire project construction. Through digital technologies such as geographic information science (GIS) and AI, the owner can achieve lean, batch by batch, and standardized digital pre-investment management. 

During the planning and design phase, design concepts need to be transformed from two-dimensional to three-dimensional through BIM technology, and the business model should be reshaped with such concepts as three-dimensional, collaborative and digital. 

In the construction phase, the digital application of a BIM smart construction site cloud platform can improve business efficiency and realize collaborative management and control. The BIM intelligent construction site solution energizes operations and construction management, and realizes interconnected collaboration, decision-making assistance, intelligent production and scientific management. 

At the stage of operation and maintenance management, the BIM operation and maintenance management platform integrates the data of a project’s whole life cycle to realize refined operation and maintenance management. 

Throughout the entire life cycle of a building, the integrated application of BIM technology is a key point for the digital transformation of the current building construction business, and the BIM model is the key carrier for data integration. 

Policies continue to promote deep application of BIM. The domestic BIM market size increased from CNY4.05 billion in 2016 to CNY11.91 billion in 2020, with a CAGR of 31.0%. 

However, the development of BIM application fell short of expectations: domestic penetration rate of BIM application was less than 40% in 2020. BIM is maturely used atdesign and construction stages, but its application is extremely weak during operation and maintenance management.


Collaboration promotes construction industry digitalization

The digital transformation of the construction industry requires companies from every sector in the industry to work together to promote and achieve it. 

The industry digitalization not only needs innovative technology-based start-ups to achieve breakthroughs in production technology in key sections to improve the production process, but it also requires enterprises with digital collaboration awareness and ability to provide a powerful handle for business collaboration throughout the entire life cycle of the construction industry. 

Therefore, to realize construction industry digitalization, start-ups and enterprises need to achieve synergies indata, resource and business. 

EO Intelligence has analyzed the digital services to theconstruction industry, then we categorize the industry by one-node technique application and collaborative technique application. One-node technique application is divided by business stage and business form.


Digital service providers for the construction industry


Shenzhen XKool Technology Co., Ltd., established in 2016, is a leader in AI applications in the building industry and a nationally certified high-tech enterprise. XKool was co-founded by senior architects from the world's top architectural firms, senior computer scientists from Silicon Valley, and well-known designers with cross-border working experiences. 

XKool Technology is committed to transforming new technologies into ABC (AI-driven BIM on Cloud) and corresponding cloud tools, a new language underlying the building industry, to create an intelligent design and management platform covering the entire industry cycle.  

Future trends of construction industry digitalization  

Based on the relatively weak digital foundation of the construction industry, the management capabilities of enterprises and their levels of digitalization in the industry are uneven, and a large number of enterprises have not yet formulated a model and system to accumulate internal data. Different firms are using different data systems, and sometimes their data are inefficient, useless and stored on various servers. 

The industry will accelerate the construction of an emerging ecosystem platform with data as an asset. In the next five years, based on the commonality of data in the industry, accelerated construction of "data islands" with data as assets will be the short-term trend in the industry. 

Top digital service providers are going to integrate themselves more deeply with internal and external capabilities to build services and product chains throughout the entire life cycle of construction industry. For internal capabilities, they tend to redefine and disassemble complex business models, modules and processes to achieve overall optimization of internal business processes. For external capabilities, leading enterprises start to establish strategic partnerships with companies in the industry chain to facilitate data sharing throughout the entire life cycle of construction and provide integrated services for users. 

Final owner-centered strategy will be the core development doctrine of digitalization for the construction industry. Companies and service providers at every node and stage of construction are going to deliver their products and services by the final owner’s needs. 

Synergies among enterprises in the industrial chain need be maximized through a digital ecosystem platform. In order to maximize profit, enterprises should collaborate with each other in areas such as data, resource and project process. This transformation will be led by enterprises’ data collaboration to open up data sharing within the ecosystem, making data the determinant of decision-making, and then reshape the business logic of the industry. 

This article contains only excerpts from the report. For more details, please click to download the full report here.