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Building the Future of the Construction Industry through Artificial Intelligence and Platform Thinking


Data in the construction industry is heterogeneous, organizations do not work closely together, and construction software is highly specialized for individual users and applications. As a result, knowledge from previous construction projects is often not shared, linked, or transferred to subsequent projects. Additionally, the manual work on-site leads to long and unstable design and construction processes. Based on a review of common challenges in this work a new vision for the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) Industry is developed. A platform thinking approach with methods of artificial intelligence (AI) for data preparation and for construction applications can benefit existing companies and support the overall ecosystem with innovative as well as disruptive business models. Additionally, a new ecosystem can emerge. This article shows how artificial intelligence can be established in the AEC Industry. The proposed approach suits applications in the whole value chain of design and construction. The implementation of a platform thinking approach throughout the industry is still missing, but its implementation in parts already shows great benefits. In a current research project, a platform ecosystem will be established and used to implement a number of prototypical applications. Using the proposed approach, construction data can be structured and linked with data from other organizations while simultaneously ensuring legal and technical security for the users. Ultimately, the resulting database will enable various applications within the industry.

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Correspondence to Svenja Oprach, Tobias Bolduan, Dominik Steuer, Michael Vössing or Shervin Haghsheno.

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Svenja Oprach, MSc Since 01/18: Research Associate in the Pro-Motion Program of BMW AG in cooperation with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

01/2016-12/2017: Expert for Lean Construction in the BMW AG Construction Department

10/2009-11/2015: Study of Industrial Engineering at the KIT

Tobias Bolduan, BSc 10/2018 - 06/2019: Master Thesis at BMW AG, A new approach for integrating BIM and GIS based on Model View Definition and Profiling Geospatial Application Schemas, Technische Universität München (TUM)

10/2015 - 07/2019: Master of Science, Environmental planning and ecological engineering

Dominic Steuer Since 06/2018: Research Associate at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Since 03/2018: Manager at Steuer Tiefbau GmbH

08/2016 - 03/2019: Specialist, Project Engineer at BMW Group in Oxford

10/2009 - 05/2016: Study of Industrial Engineering at the KIT with focus on Entrepre-neurship, Construction and Innovation

Michael Vössing Since 05/2016: Research Associate at zthe Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

10/2009 - 04/2016: Study of Industrial Engineering at the KIT

Dr.-Ing. Dipl.-Kfm. Shervin Haghsheno Since 2013: University professor at the KIT

2004-2013: Various positions at Bilfinger GmbH

1999-2004: PhD at the Institute for Construction Management, TU Darmstadt

1994-1999: Study of Civil Engeneering, TU Darmstadt, and Economics, Distance University Hagen

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Oprach, S., Bolduan, T., Steuer, D. et al. Building the Future of the Construction Industry through Artificial Intelligence and Platform Thinking. Digitale Welt 3, 40–44 (2019).

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