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Complex contracts accused of inhibiting tech uptake

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The complex nature and culture surrounding construction contracts is getting in the way of increased collaboration and innovation around new digital tools, according to a panel of experts speaking during New Civil Engineer’s latest webinar about the impact of contracting models on technology uptake.  

Topcon managing director Dave Bennett said that “we have had many reports around broken contracting and broken contracting models, and things do need to change in [contract models]. There are a number of industry working groups pushing for this, including I3P.” 

A recent survey of ICE members by Topcon found that 92% thought that introducing new technology was essential to business success in the civil engineering sector, but 87% of those surveyed said that the industry was too slow to pick up on new technologies.  

Balfour Beatty site engineer Guy Murphy said the issue coming between the construction and civils industries and new technology uptake was due to a culture of being a “reactive” industry, rather than a proactive one.  

“We need to fix our attitude, we are a reactive industry, if we have a safety issue, or a design issue, we react to them,” he said. “New technology is going to let us be proactive, I think it is a change in mindset that is the big stopping point, and once people realise that we will see an explosion of new technology – we are right on the cusp.”  

This latest webinar from New Civil Engineer gave a snapshot of perspectives taken from across the civil engineering community, highlighting areas where the industry needs to think and act differently based on insight from those working at the sharp end. 

You can watch the webinar on-demand here

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