New Construction Methods (NCM) have become integral to our building methods and techniques. The quality and depth of these solutions, allied with the ability to deliver demonstrable value, put these at the centre of how we will build.
The technologies shaping the NCM space are a key vertical helping solve these issues. The meshing of the flexibility and know-how of humans with the consistency and accuracy of technology is now significantly advanced. 3D printing, Building Information Modeling (BIM) and modular methods of construction (MMC) are the key technologies redefining construction. They facilitate resource efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and enhanced worker safety.
With Saudi Arabia undertaking some of the world's leading and largest projects, the KSA will be at the vanguard of these technologies.
Understanding the need
The ability of developers and builders to deliver successful projects is facing many difficulties. Rising labour costs, scarcity of labour and rising materials costs are 3 key factors – whilst there is an ever-increasing need to deliver quality, quickly and at scale.
A New Blueprint
The future of construction
While prefabrication and modular construction have been around for a long time, what makes these methods compelling now is their ability to be enhanced through technology. Modular construction has been heavily optimised through the decades through automation, BIM integration, and process digitisation. 3D printing, a relatively new technology, has an abundance of applications in construction. These technologies, utilised in conjunction or separately, have the potential to optimise construction efficiency through speed, cost-savings, and productivity enhancement at levels we haven't seen before.
New construction methods have built on the limitations of traditional methods. They identify and address the challenges that have long concerned the industry.
All stakeholders are seeing the growth potential of this tech and are aiming for rapid adoption, especially in KSA, where large-scale time + cost-effective methods are sought after given the scale of the development in motion.
The adoption of this tech, however, faces several risks including resistance to change, scalability, and lack of relevant knowledge/skills for application. While some of these risks are imminent, there is scope for mitigation with several companies already providing answers to the questions posed.
An Inflection Point
We, at The PTC, believe that the perfect marriage of macro-trends and the rapid improvement in alternative techniques makes this a perfect juncture for those actors in real estate to start to implement new building technologies. The scale and rapid delivery of development projects in the Kingdom present an excellent opportunity for Saudi Arabia to be world leaders in remodelling how we build.
Many of the construction challenges are heightened in Saudi Arabia, due to the scale and pace of development. Consequently, NMC techs are already being deployed on major projects in the Kingdom. The breadth of projects is also key. From the sector creating NEOM to the heritage-rich Diriyah Gate, these provide a ripe opportunity to leverage the advances in the sector.
Whilst the giga-projects are receiving much of the focus, there is also a significant opportunity for many other projects currently in train to benefit.
As the technology advances further, we foresee the widespread use of these technologies, positioning Saudi Arabia at the forefront of this innovation. The transition to using these new technologies should see material gains once adoption reaches critical mass.