INSIGHT: Focus on what’s important in the age of digital disruption

By Mark Cummins, Head of International Operations, chapmanbdsp.

Focusing on what’s important in the age of digital disruption…..

The fourth industrial revolution is leading the construction industry through a significant change that has technology and automation front and centre in design and construction.

We now have digital tools that allow us to digitally optimise designs, manage collaboration and coordination across design teams and automate design processes.

As we become more immersed in the digital environment, digital tools have become an essential part of the design process that help us streamline and guide our design and decision-making processes. However, the digital environment often distances us from human interactions.

I have been in the industry for well over 20 years and am an advocate for embracing the latest innovations and technologies so that we can create better, more efficient and more sustainable designs. I was lucky enough to lead the engineering design of Melbourne City Council’s CH2 Building in Melbourne, which gained the title of the greenest building in the world in 2010 and was a lighthouse to show the industry how to achieve net zero carbon.

The most interesting thing about this building is that the entire coordinated design philosophy was conceived around the table over a two-week intensive design workshop which allowed the architecture, structure and MEP services to be fully integrated.

Following the workshop, every design decision was validated and optimised by detailed digital analysis using a digital twin and a design for performance philosophy using NABERS, LEED and Greenstar.

For me, the most important thing about CH2, is that it was primarily designed and coordinated around the table using a human centric design approach and used technology to validate every design decision.

From my philosophical point of view, I see that we are in a new age where technology is at the front and centre of everything that we do, but it should not replace the interactions between people that allow us to achieve great things together.

We must remember not to get lost in the digital environment but also focus on the importance of our human interactions and the benefits and enjoyment of working and collaborating together as a team.

So, what’s important to me as a leader at chapmanbdsp, is not only being able to embrace the latest digital technologies but also being surrounded by a people focussed team that can also use the latest technologies in a collaborative manner to maximise the benefits for our clients and have some fun along the way.