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Now the construction industry is also changing

Endlich sei auch digitales Umdenken in der Baubranche angesagt, so die Meinung von Emmanuel Gilgen. Der Gründer der Initiative building360 beleuchtet, welche Transformation durch die Corona-Krise in der Branche angestossen wird und lanciert ein neues Bau-Branchen-Netzwerk.

von Emmanuel Gilgen

The construction industry was spared, while the music industry, the retail trade or the cab industry have undergone major changes in recent years. Globalization, digitization and, not least, crises such as the bursting of the “dotcom bubble” in 2000 or the financial crisis from 2007 onwards have called business models into question or replaced them with new ones.

Although digital methods have been introduced in the construction and planning industry and BIM – Building Information Modeling – is also increasingly present. Viewed objectively, however, little has changed in the familiar business model. The highly hierarchical and fragmented, Taylorist structures remained.

These structures go back to Frederick Taylor (1856-1915). His idea was the consistent separation of thinking, which was the preserve of managers, from the actions of labor. The construction and design industry has similar structures and the separation between planners and contractors continues to be a reality.

The Covid 19 crisis relegated millions of workers to the home office. This time, the construction and design industry was and is also directly affected. The industry was forced to rethink digital. Hierarchical controls over physical presence were only partially possible. Video conferencing also changed collaboration: mutual trust increased and we increasingly met at eye level.

Is Corona the trigger for an industry change? How are ways of living and working changing and what influence does this have on the construction and planning industry? What are others experiencing or what lessons are they learning for their future?

Such questions are addressed and discussed in the newly launched construction industry network The network with its members uses a digital whiteboard and a WhatsApp channel for exchange. Short videos by opinion leaders pick up on topics and ideas are further developed in a forward-looking manner.

Emmanuel Gilgen, born in 1988, is co-founder of the digital community platform, which focuses on development opportunities in the construction and planning industry. Originally a structural draftsman, he holds degrees as a technician HF and a Master of Advanced Studies in Construction Management. For many years, he worked as a project manager in the field of architecture and construction management, and as a process, quality and knowledge manager has recently been heavily involved with aspects of organizational development and cultural transformation.