The Power of Paradigm Shifts

Nemetschek EN
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Munich, 12 August 2020 – Any innovation in today’s world requires an industry that is stuck in an old paradigm for too long and the development of a core technology challenging that paradigm. The Nemetschek Group believes that it is about time for a paradigm shift in the construction industry.

The construction industry is the largest industry in the world. Yet it has been practically stagnant with one percent productivity growth annually over the past two decades. But aren´t we in the age of digital transformation? An age where anything seems possible and other industries such as transportation, manufacturing, or even agriculture multiply their productivity? Why has this not been reflected in the construction industry as well?

Processes need to be challenged occasionally. That’s when old paradigms are thrown overboard to fundamentally change an approach. iPhone, SpaceX reusable rockets, or something as revolutionary as international money transfers without actually sending any money across the borders are just some examples. So, what is it in the construction industry that needs challenging?

We are seeing impressive, creative signature buildings rise across the globe. But we are also seeing most of these being finished later than planned, with costs exploding. “Buildings are becoming more and more complex, involving many professions. Currently, massive time on a construction project is spent on the coordination between architects, structural and MEP engineers, energy experts, and others,” says Viktor Várkonyi, Chief Division Officer of the Planning & Design Division and member of the Executive Board of the Nemetschek Group. “An architect wasting 30 percent of her time is too much. It is clearly time to challenge the industry and call for a paradigm shift.”

Looking at the development that has taken place over the past 30 years, the direction becomes clear. In the late 90s, the industry collaborated by sharing and exchanging files. Then the professions started to collaborate on the same file or data set by reserving and exchanging individual elements or sets of elements. And today, design professionals are still working in silos, in a data-protective way, rather than agile in cross-disciplinary teams.

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