Construction 4.0: a revolution or an evolution? podcast

The construction industry is undergoing a digital transformation that is changing the way we design, build, and operate the built environment. This transformation, often referred to as Construction 4.0, is driven by the adoption of various technologies, such as Building Information Modelling, construction robotics, advanced building materials, offsite construction, and 3D printing, that aim to improve the efficiency, quality, and sustainability of construction projects. Non-technical aspects of construction are also furthering change and include soft skills, interpersonal relationships, and the social and environmental implications of the digital revolution in construction. 

In this episode, we talk to experts who are leading the way in Construction 4.0 research. Professor Marzia Bolpagni is a Visiting Professor at Northumbria University and guest editor of a special issue for Construction Innovation, which focuses on Construction 4.0. Dr Barry Gledson, Associate Professor of Construction Project Management at Northumbria University, is a leading expert in this field and one of the authors featured in the special issue. 

Join us to learn more about the current and future trends and challenges of Construction 4.0, and how to adapt and thrive in this changing landscape. You will also discover the latest research and development topics that are relevant and innovative for Construction 4.0, such as building information modelling, big data, smart cities, management skills and critical thinking. 

Speaker profile(s)

Professor Marzia Bolpagni is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Architecture and Built Environment at Northumbria University. Marzia is Head of Building Information Modelling (BIM) International at Mace where she develops and implements digital construction strategies for international clients in five different hubs using Digital Engineering and Information Management. Passionate about Digital Transformation for the Built Environment, Marzia is also dedicated to filling the gap between academia and industry to inspire the next generation of professionals. Marzia is a multi-awards winner, author of EN 17412-1, the European standard on Level of Information Need and is also a TEDx Speaker.

Dr Barry Gledson is an Associate Professor and the Construction Project Management (CPM) Head of Subject at Northumbria University. He is a Chartered Construction Manager (MCIOB) and Full Member of the Association for Project Management (MAPM) and is an elected member of the organising committee for the Association of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM). Before commencing his academic post, he spent a decade in the employment of major contractors working largely as a construction project planner engaging in both the management of on-site activities and in work-winning activities mainly across the UK and for a period in Washington DC. As an active researcher, his interests revolve around digital construction innovations, and their diffusion and potential for improving construction project delivery. His latest research is focused on the digital leadership of construction firms.  

In this episode:

  • What is Construction 4.0 and how is it reshaping the built environment today? 
  • How is data being harnessed to inform smarter, more efficient decisions in construction projects? 
  • What are the common misconceptions around Construction 4.0?
  • How might interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence help us navigate an increasingly tech-driven environment?
  • What future trends will shape the Construction 4.0 landscape in the coming years?

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Construction 4.0: a revolution or an evolution?

Rebecca Torr (RT): Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Emerald Podcast Series. I'm Rebecca Torr, your host for today's episode, which explores how digital technologies and methodologies are transforming the construction industry. This 4th industrial revolution or Construction 4.0 as it is known refers to the incorporation of digital technologies like building information modelling, construction robotics, and 3D printing into the conventional construction process. Beyond technical advancements, it involves changes in project management, communication, and the societal impact of these changes. I have the privilege of discussing this subject with two experts actively researching in this space. Professor Marzia Bolpagni is a Visiting Professor at Northumbria University, and Dr Barry Gledson, an Associate Professor of Construction Project Management at the same institution. Marzia is also the guest editor of a special issue for Construction Innovation, titled "Construction 4.0: Methodologies, Technologies, and Skills." We'll be delving into this special issue and its insights during our conversation. So, let's explore the nuances of Construction 4.0, its current state, and what lies ahead. 

Marzia Bolpagni (MB): I would like to start a little bit from the beginning. So construction 4.0 is what is happening in construction, when we think about the industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 is the fourth industrial revolution. And before as we know, there has been the first, thanks to the invention of the steam engines, and the second thanks to electricity and the mass production, and then the third with the invention of the computer. So that has been really changing the way that we work. And we you know, do business and also our society. And the 4th industrial revolution, as been mentioned in industry 4.0 for the first time in 2011, by the CEO of the German Institute of Research and Artificial Intelligence, that wanted really to bring attention to how new technologies and methodologies were really shaping the current situation. So the first time that we speak about an industrial revolution or something is happening now. And when when we think about the construction sector, so we translate this concept today, our our industry, so is how new technologies and methodologies are also making the change on how we deal with with our sector. So how we design how we build and how we operate in our in our sector. So that is, is a little bit of an introduction. I will also add that currently there is no one definition or agreed definition of construction 4.0. But it's something that is a topic that is evolving. And there are different elements that contribute to that, that I'm sure that we will have time to discuss later. 

RT: Fantastic! Thank you for sort of laying the groundwork there. So can we talk about, you mentioned obviously, sort of methodologies and sort of technologies, and I just wondered if you could talk to that, and sort of how they are driving this evolution, because people talk about BIM, digital twins, AI. So yeah, I was just wondering sort of how they affect the built environment, and also how they're driving like changes on a daily basis in the industry, because obviously it does filter down and you know, what does it mean for people that are in that industry? How is it changing what they do? 

MB: Let's start with the with the new technology. So when we speak about new technologies, we have artificial intelligence that is something that is being implemented currently in the past year, but more and more is a trend in particular machine learning. Building Information Modeling is more likely methodologies that is a foundation – how we structure data in order to enable more effective the decision making. We have also addicted manufacturing and digital twins. So how we connect the physical environment, our construction site with the digital environment, so we speak a lot about these integration of cyber physical space. Also, there is a 3D printing and we have other say methodologies such as link construction, the link with the geospatial environmental linked data, this is also something that is more and more is emerging. So I just mentioned a few of them. To answer to your question, how those are changing the day to day. So is improving. So if you think about also robotics, that is something that I didn't mention, but is a moving to, let's say manual work to sort of automation of the processes. So there is a driven approach by a digital that requires new skills. And that is something that my colleagues will mention later. But how did this change, is that we have the availability of a vast amount of information can be structured or non-structure, and is giving up opportunities to make an informed decision quicker. But this, of course, is requiring to have the right skills in the sector. It is so important why we need the people that are ready, from the academia to join the industry, and also collaboration between academia and the industry in order to make this happen in the correct way.

RT: Fantastic, thank you. I don't know if Barry has anything to sort of interject here, in terms of how people are adapting to these changes in sort of like on the ground, and sort of maybe the strand about how research is playing a part in sort of helping with that? 

Barry Gledson (BG): Well, like I think we'll get into this later. But like anything, you know, these these innovations can be quite disruptive for for people. And the you can get resistance to change. For example, I know Marcia listed a number of kinds of innovations in this, in the fourth, in the construction 4.0 space. And I've kind of got a list here. And, you know, it can be a little bit overwhelming for people because I think we mentioned AI. I don't I don't know if robotics was mentioned there, Blockchain. And and although this isn't directly addressing your question, when I've looked at this in the past, I've kind of realised that there's this four kind of areas of sort of construction 4.0 innovations, there's stuff that has to do with connectivity and data in computational power, right, the big data side of things, digital twins, and blockchains. This stuff, kind of related to that, that's about analytics and intelligence, this stuff has to do with advanced engineering, and the stuff that has to do with human and machine interaction. So from the people side of things, it can be a bit overwhelming first, you know, because it seems to be everything and captures a lot of things, but you can start to sort of categorise these things. I think we'll get into this. And a few more questions. 

RT: Yeah, I was just wondering sort of how data is being effectively captured, and how it's been harnessed to inform smarter, more efficient decision making in construction projects. And I know, Barry just mentioned about that. As we become more data driven, there are lots of challenges. There's lots of opportunities, but maybe you can talk about, you know, sort of how it is being captured, how it's being used, how it is informing smarter decisions, and and just sort of like how we're coping with that, I suppose. 

BG: Yeah. So, when when we deal with the existing assets that are in our sector, a new technology that has been implementing in the past year is reality capture. So, thanks to drones, we are able to have accurate representation of the, as is the situation, but also while the construction sector is happening or so we can capture the information to to have a record of what then will be hidden later on. Okay. So, thanks to reality capture a latest application then we can we can get this information. Also, thanks to machine learning, we can give the existing records our drawing, papers and documentation to the machine and then to have a digital replica. So, that is how we capture reality those information, but also thanks to digital representation building information modeling, we can create the information that we have and then to link with sensors to to have the digital twinning approach and to monitor from the design construction and operation. Then there is the big topic of the commodity environment. Okay, so then is a list sort of systems is an ecosystem of applications when we think about the sort of solution landscape when we have structured and unstructured information. So let's think about databases. Let's think about all the different spaces that are named in a consistent way. Okay. And then also we have unstructured information such as photo and documents that are signed and so on, even if the trend that I see now is more and more is sort of merge of what is structure and non-structure, because for example, now even with photo, let's say, the machine learning and artificial intelligence can recognise photo and do intelligent stuff. So that is quite important to say. But at the same time, I want to put the attention of how much it's important to start with the basics first, so standardised, first before having a digital approach. So because a lot of people they jump on buying new new solution and digital application, forgetting about the process the policies and setting up the ground, so that in order to get the most from this approach, you need to start having the basics right. 

BG: One of the findings of some of my own research is around this, I think it's a it's a point worth emphasising what Marzia just talked about, a skillset that that's hugely under represented within construction, really, is just kind of basic data management, you know, being able to store data correctly, access data correctly, how to move it from one place into another, people reach to buy the shiny new system, when actually just teaching the basics about standardisation of file naming and the importance of common data environments, that that kind of education piece is kind of vital in this in this thing. So from a people side, that's an area that needs to be enhanced further in construction.

RT: What are the areas that you've encountered in your research and discussions about some of the misconceptions because I think people have ideas about what digital technologies can offer, what what challenges they are on paper, you know, people get put off for certain things. Or equally, you might have people pushing for these technologies, because they have got some idea of them. But actually what what are you know, what are the misconceptions, the common misconceptions that you've seen? 

BG: Okay, yeah, there's a few. One misconception is that construction 4.0 isn't real, or it's just a fad, or it's just marketing hype. And I think it's important to address this one. You know, initially when I first heard the term, I did feel this way, because you know, there's always,s it because it's good to be skeptical, if not cynical about things. But as I started to dig a bit deeper, you know, Marzia outlined it before, we are definitely in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, you know, but nobody ever comes along and says to you, congratulations, now you're in a different industrial revolution, it's kind of this gradual thing, right. And in my own research article, in this special issue, I deal with some of this, this history and talk about why it is a new thing. It's a new era of economic innovation, because of the range, the novelty, the rate of innovative opportunities that are afforded by digitalisation. But more importantly, I think it's because of this enhanced connectivity of technology and people, the cyber physical systems, this is what sort of got it through to me that this is different, because it's about the connectivity. And it's about the use of data analytics. That's what makes the Fourth Industrial Revolution different than the third one. And the date, you know, that kind of the dates, it's interesting, because Marzia said, 2011, you know, 2016, there's no kind of like, clear boundary, it just kind of merges. But that's the same for the third industrial revolution. That's the same for the second industrial revolution. It's kind of these fuzzy boundaries between these these progress points. Anyway, fourth, industrial revolution, is real. Construction 4.0 is kind of a bit of a label, because it's the fourth industrial revolution applied to construction. But anyway, the misconception is, it isn't real and I'm here to assure you or to to terrorise you. That is it is, we're in it, okay. And the the misconception is that it's only about technology adoption. And it isn't about that. It's about optimising our processes. It's about improving and enhancing collaboration. And it's about this cultural shift to allow the opportunities of digital transformation to be realised. And I think when you start reading about some of this, you first hear about digitisation, Marzia might get into this, digitalisation and digital transformation, as these kinds of three levels.  You know, taking analogue stuff and making them digital, getting the best opportunities out of it, and then then the sort of cultural shift. So it's not just about technology adoption, but it's about the shift. A misconception, I think we get this every time there is something new, is that, you know, we're all going to lose our jobs and it's going to make humans redundant, right? Obviously that's not a message anybody wants to hear. And it's just untrue anyway. Some low level tasks might get automated, right, and this does concern me because this actually, you know, what, what about entry level jobs, this does concern me a little bit. But the idea is to have the efficiencies, to have the kind of synergy, so it can allow new insights, it's going to see the creation of new rules in construction. It's going to see the creation, we want to get people with good mathematical skills with good computer science skills with good data analysis skills. And so the misconception is it eliminates jobs, the reality is that we're going to see different types of job profiles. And I think, I think we might have done this one now. But just in case people think construction 4.0 is just about BIM, it's not. We've talked about the range of technologies out there. It's much more about the likes of artificial intelligence, about robotics, about blockchain, about big data, that's the type of thing. I think BIM was a bit of a kickstarter to this type of thing. So there's a there's a shortlist. I'm sure there's others as well. 

RT: That's so helpful. Thank you so much. I think there is a lot of fear and sort of mystery about digital technologies. And, obviously, resistance to it, you know, you've described it really well there in terms of the fear of losing jobs. And, you know, the fear of develop, can I do this, like, can I learn these skills,

MB: I think it's more about tasks than it is about jobs, you know, some tasks will be taken care of, if you like, rather than jobs that, you know, we're always gonna need people it's about, again, cyber physical systems, it's about connectivity. It's about people as much as it is about data, robots.

RT: Obviously, you've mentioned the different elements and about, you know, optimisation and, and then you said, obviously, about the cultural shift. And I just wondered, in terms of like, your this is, obviously, something that you've you've done a lot of research on is about looking at the human element, the softer side, so not digital technologies, but actually people that have to use these technologies, people that have to help create an environment where they want, that people want to use them and actually use them in the best way. And so I just wonder if you can talk about how essential those interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence are in navigating this tech driven environment and how you sit from your perspective really?

BG: Yeah, great, here we're talking about things like communication and collaboration. And being good at managing relationships with the team, with clients, with stakeholders, this is the type of stuff we do in construction anyway. And leadership skills in terms of managing changes, but very important in this area, actually. In construction 4.0, when we're trying to integrate digital technologies, we need close collaboration from team members. So anybody who's got strong interpersonal skills, can more effectively communicate and help foster that type of collaborative environment that we need to do that. I talked about relationships, I think so building and maintaining positive relationships, it's always necessary. It's always vital for construction, projects and success. So people who have strong interpersonal skills can more effectively communicate with clients with stakeholders. In here, that type of thing might look like translating technical information into making it more understandable for non specialists. Okay, the change management piece is a massive part of digital leadership, which is kind of my research area. Because you want to be able to inspire people and motivated teams through change. So that's a strong sort of interpersonal area, leaders with the strong interpersonal skills can help navigate these complexities of digital adoption. And then people, interpersonal skills go, typically good at negotiating. And I think that, you know, when you're introducing a lot of change, or you're procuring technology, there might be contracts and kind of negotiations to do, and there will be different opinions on technology. So you need people who can constructively resolve sort of conflicts as well. So that's sort of some areas of the interpersonal skills and if I just get into emotional intelligence, which we're not always as good as we could be in construction at, right? And this is important, I'd say, and we can go right back to the work of Daniel Goleman, and his emotional intelligence framework or his EQ framework. And we want to talk about things like adaptability, right? You need to be adaptable when you're having rapid technological changes, especially the type of stuff that construction four brings. So what we do know is that individuals with high emotional intelligence are often more adaptable, and they're more open to change. They're more resilience in the face of kind of technological change. Some of my own research backs up this importance of adaptability and having the confidence to self-learn and not be afraid of technology or try out new things. And because new things are coming all the time, there's always new software's etc. coming out. When you read about this, you realise that adaptability, and digital literacy, these have both been identified as key skills for success in the digital workplace by Business Management scholars as well. So I want to emphasise those two things. And stress management is another kind of emotional intelligence, they call it they call it self-regulation, I think in emotional intelligence speak. And construction projects can be high pressure environments at the best of time. So people with good stress management is important for wellbeing for making good decisions. It's stressful to adopt new technologies, it's change stressful. So professionals with high EQ tend to be better at managing this stress more effectively. And then just maybe two more. Self-awareness, there's another emotionally intelligent skill, people aren't always the best at being self-aware. But anybody who is kind of self-aware is better at identifying their strengths, their weaknesses, their emotions. And in this context of adopting technologies, if you're self-aware, you might identify relevant training for you. And you might identify irrelevant training that you don't need, you know, so I think knowing thyself is always a good thing. With this, and then empathy. Again, we're not blessed with this a lot, I think in construction, but you know, we're all going through this journey together, everyone's having different challenges upon their job role, you know, quantity surveyors are pricing jobs differently, designers are designing projects differently, construction planners may be using different software. So understanding different challenges that other team members are having during digital transitions can help foster this more supportive collaborative environment. So there's a few I think it was a quite a long list actually.

RT: No, it's absolutely amazing. And it's really insightful just to sort of see how it does affect people. And I guess that's the thing, isn't it? These things have to be implemented by people. And we all have, you know, different capabilities and emotions. And you know, we're a whole person, isn't it so that you're bringing that to the equation. And we want to talk about the special issue that you, because obviously you've got a paper in the special issue. But yeah, I think it's, it's great that we have this special issue to sort of give some insights and shed some light on this subject, because like, like we've already discussed, there's so much sort of mystery and fear and misconceptions around it. So I think this is great that that we've been able to put together a special issue. And, obviously, Marzia, you're one of the co-editors. So it's great to have you here to tell us a bit more about the the issue. And maybe you can just tell us sort of what inspired you to come up with this special issue and maybe some of the topics that it's featuring?

MB: Sure, yes, I'm a co-editor of this special issue together with Diogo Ribeiro and Rui Gavina and the special issue includes 17 papers from 63 authors from 16 different countries. So quite a large effort at international level. And what inspired us to? So the three of us have been working on a framework regard regarding construction 4.0, that really doesn't not just focus on the technology, because a few years ago, we found a different publications that were focusing on the tech part that of course is important, but we wanted to enlarge these for the reasons that we discussed before. So, our special issue focuses on the technology, but also the concept, the methodology, but also the soft skills, because for us, if we don't link these three elements together, you just have just one part of the bigger picture. So, you needed to, to be aware and and to study and to implement all three of these aspects. So, the main topics that you can you can find out we mention some so, there are among these 17 papers you can find research from academia but also from practitioner regarding Building Information Modeling, computational design, artificial intelligence and machine learning, Big Data, Data Analytics, lean construction, advanced project management, sustainability that is such an important topic where to apply those technologies and methodologies, circular building economy, risk management and also the legal perspective because we can have the best technology but then if you don't change the the context in the business model, you cannot make the change in an effective way. Regarding the technology we have papers regarding reality capture, computational construction and manufacturing, buildings, prime materials, also quite interesting paper, smart contracts blockchain and cybersecurity. And then regarding the digital leadership is a paper that was mentioned before by Barry Gledson. And also digital communication. 

BG: Just to emphasise, it's a fantastic special issue. Everyone should read it, everyone in the construction industry should read it. And it was very well edited, I'll just say that.

RT: Oh, fantastic. Oh, no, it's brilliant. And then I think it'll be great to sort of hear a little bit more, because obviously, you've touched on your paper Barry about digital leadership. And it'd be great if we could talk a little bit more about that, why the research area is important. And then also you can speak to, you know, the challenges that we've mentioned that perhaps professionals face, and how they can navigate or overcome those hurdles. And, yeah, so I'll hand over to you.

BG: Okay, just to talk a little bit about digital leadership first, just in case people need some kind of definition. This is really about steering organisations to take advantages of the opportunities presented by digital innovations in digital transformation. It's kind of no different than traditional leadership, if you like, it's got some aspects of traditional leadership, like vision, formulating strategy, communicating strategy, articulating benefits, predicting benefits. And then for people who are sort of familiar with leadership styles, it’s a bit like transformational leadership style, because it's about getting people to want to change and want to improve. And I just want to capture one of the quotes from somebody I interviewed. And they described digital leaders as the right people in organisation to lead the transformation of digital, while promoting its benefits, but also, and I think this is the important part, dealing with challenges that come along with that transformation. Okay. So that's what digital leadership digital leaders are. And so why is it important? I'll sort of briefly touch upon this, but then spend a bit more time talking about the challenges, I think. Why is it important? Because digital leaders need to understand and navigate the necessary technological changes, to make sure that the firm gets the most appropriate solutions for them. And it's about strategic vision, and identifying goals, aligning business objectives with digital initiatives. It's about the cultural shift piece. It's about the change management piece. It's about data in decision making processes, which Marzia talked a bit about before, it's about integrating various technologies to have a kind of firm, relevant digital ecosystem, okay, because you don't wanna take you don't try and adopt everything you just want the right things for your firm, and digital leaders would oversee that, you know, are they getting the correct technologies to produce the type of value that they want to produce? It's about identifying and developing talent in the in the staff base. And there will be risks, of course, so it's about risk management. So a lot of this is traditional leadership stuff, you know, and it's about getting competitive advantage for their firms. So that's why the research area is important for digital leadership to support digital transformation and construction firms. And some of the challenges really, which are probably a bit more interesting, a bit more value, I think, to people who are listening is that there will be resistance to change, of course, as there always is. And you will have employees who are accustomed to traditional processes and tools or doing things a particular way. So, so some ways of trying to work around that. And yes, communicating the benefits of the changes to the firm is important. But I think because people can be a little bit selfish, right? Emphasising particularly how any digital change will improve an individual's work or an individual's product or process. So appealing to the kind of selfish nature is one way of trying to get over resistance to change. And know that challenge is that, you know, there will be a lack of digital skills or limited experience, limited expertise amongst the staff base in ways to try and address this. It's just too easy to say, hire new talent with the necessary skills. But we all know that that is not as easy as it sounds. And recruitment is often the the biggest challenge that leaders or firms face anyway. So so my own research suggests that it's better to invest in training programs and upskill current employees. That's probably the better way to go. And some of the leaders that I interviewed talk about things like the law of marginal gains and just being able to add another sort of 10% on the people's skill sets. That can be one way of addressing that that's more realistic than this magic unicorn new staff who can do it all. In my own research. However, the most important findings about training were about access to training, the timeliness of training, the relevancy of training, to somebody's actual job role rather than generic training. And trying to keep staff engaged in training. So this is a thing now that we are seeing more individualised training about specific job roles, rather than very high level stuff. And I think that's a good way for the industry to go. Something else I found out about how to address kind of the lack of digital skills is some forward thinking companies are using buddy systems to try and partner up perhaps more experienced construction staff, with fresher graduates or more IT literate, and they're doing mentoring or even reverse mentoring, and they're actually having seating arrangements in the office, putting these people together to try and force these things to happen. So that's a bit about the challenges of the lack of digital skills. I think it's worth talking about learning curves as well. You will get learning curves associated with any new technology. And as such, people try to have more gradual transitions to allow time for adoption and adaptation. 

RT: It's extremely interesting. And I think what I liked about your conclusions was that it's not out with the old in with the new in terms of people, it's that, you know, the the investment in people. And I guess, as we wrap up this conversation, and like, how do you see Construction 4.0 developing over time, and sort of, you know, what does it mean for the construction industry as as we do, sort of adopt these, these new technologies. 

BG: So, regarding the, let's say, the new trends, I'd like to mention probably two, one is the use of technology for ESG. So the environmental, social and governance, so we see more and more that we don't just value, the time, the cost and the quality of our action, but also the value. So it's important to be able to have technology that support this. So how we are making values for our communities, you know, when when we start a project, so that is that is quite an important one. And then to reinforce what Barry was mentioning, regarding the security part, that is the ethical and security aspects of how we use these emerging technologies. So we are now discussing, for example, bots that can attend meetings on our behalf. And this is almost reality. In other sector, but I see this also a trend, we have a automatic scripts of the meetings, and so on. So this really can lower our attention maybe to having conversation. So really going back to what Barry was was mentioned before, we need to take into account how these technology are changing the way that we interact one to each other, at first, but also how will we want this technology to be used because the possibilities are, are quite a lot. But it doesn't mean that we need to embrace all, so especially in a sector, that construction that deal with really sensitive information that can be our houses, you know, our schools, our offices, but also buildings can can be secure, with high profile, such as airports, and so on. So the built environments where we think about is a cyber and physical integration, we need to understand which data we would like to collect, and, and how those are used for us and not against us. So I think that the ethical part is really important. So especially for the people working in academia that are listening to this podcast, I really recommend to further investigate because at the moment, we don't have a framework for, let's say, privacy, and ownership data and so on. So I really recommend everyone to include those aspects in their research.

RT: That's fantastic. Thank you, I think yeah, just because it can be done doesn't mean it shouldn't be done, sort of thing. And I think that's that's a really important message. And but yeah, the you know, it's got it's got to be a benefit. It has to be a benefit, has to, you know, take us further as a society doesn't it? You know, when you look at the wider things, you know, we want it to be progress, you know, all around. 

MB: And we want to bring this value and the technology can bring value, but we need to be really smart in the way that we use our, this technology for us, yeah.

BG: We're talking about Construction 4.0. And there is this kind of other thing, people starting to talk about Construction 5.0. I don't like this when you get these labels, but what they mean is the kind of human centric side of things. And, and I think we're going to see a kind of delicate conversation about the intrusion into people, I'm trying to frame that in a more positive light. But with health and safety, I can see workers wearing sensors, I can see that, I can see, you know, like the Fitbit type that we all wear, you know, to monitor sort of health and safety, perhaps, location, I think you'll see more sensors on construction workers, that's what I think we'll see. I don't know whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, but I think we will see it. And if I kind of frame some of my answers around the people side of things, we're gonna have higher demand for people with digital skills and competencies. I think. I don't want to use the phrase, we might have said earlier about getting on board or something. But I think it's just kind of essential now. And equally, I think there will be greater demand for people outside of construction to work in construction, whether we can incentivise them or not. But the data scientists, the data analysts, because if we don't get that, that type of character into construction, we'll be analysing the data, and perhaps not with the necessary competence to be able to do so and then drawing conclusions that are not necessarily correct. So digital skills, competencies, data analysts, I will say that firms will be able to learn more about the working practices of their employees because of everything's online, you know, when people are more productive, when they're less productive, and this is kinda like the dark side a little bit. So I'm sure the listeners will love that one. But I think it is just because you can do it, will you do it? Should you do it? And Marzia’s quite correct to talk about the need for kind of ethical frameworks and stuff like that for for employees, but you know, people abuse things, right? Whenever a new system happens, people abuse it. So we need to be vigilant against that type of thing. And then I think I'd be remiss if I didn't say, given that I am spending a lot of time researching about digital leadership, you know, soft skills, such as communication, adaptability, leadership will be even more valuable in this sort of technological era. Because we need to maintain balance, because life’s all about balance, right. So there you go. I think that's my my list.

RT: So that wraps up our conversation on Construction 4.0. A big thank you to Professor Marzia Bolpagni and Dr Barry Gledson for sharing their insights. My thanks also goes to Podcast Producer Daniel Ridge, and the studio This is Distorted. You can delve deeper into today's topics by visiting our special issue of Construction Innovation co-edited by Marzia, titled "Construction 4.0: Methodologies, Technologies, and Skills." You can also find more information about my guests, and a transcript of the episode, on our website. Thanks for joining us, see you next time!