Image: John Williams/Dreamstime.com

Analysis

2020 predictions: Offsite champion Mark Farmer and BDP’s Alistair Kell

5 January 2020

Mark Farmer, the government’s offsite housing czar bigs up onsite robotic scanning; while Alistair Kell, principal of information, technology and process at BDP, is backing AI-driven H&S to make notable strides in 2020.

Mark Farmer 

What is your New Year resolution?

To use my new role as government MMC champion to turbocharge change in the industry, big up augmented reality and onsite robotic scanning.

What piece of kit might you buy in the sales (non-work)?

I’ve jumped the gun and already bought it – a Garmin Fenix 6X watch!

What is your most important lesson learnt from 2019?

Not to overcommit my diary, however well intentioned!

What technology are you most excited about in 2020?

Augmented reality and its onsite construction applications.

What individual or company is going to be one to watch this year?

Berkeley Modular and its new advanced manufacturing facility in Kent.

Which construction technology do you think might make the leap into mainstream adoption this year?

Onsite robotic scanning and data capture.

What do you see as potentially the biggest barrier to digital construction progress in 2020?

The usual one – an industry that does not want to modernise and has a serious lack of leadership.

What industry event are you looking forward to attending?

Mipim – I did not attend in 2019 so interested to see how market sentiment has shifted in two years.

Alistair Kell

What is your New Year resolution?

Keep calm and carry on.

What piece of kit might you buy in the sales (non-work)?

Nike Vaporfly Next% running shoes (proof that technology does make you faster, but only in green).

What is your most important lesson learnt from 2019?

Technology marketing is far more optimistic than technology reality.

What technology are you most excited about in 2020?

Voice-driven AI (ask me about this “virtually” later in 2020).

What individual or company is going to be one to watch this year?

Not any single company or individual but tools like Hypar, Testfit and Prism are demonstrating how real value could be brought to certain AEC sectors – it will be interesting to see how these develop.

Which construction technology do you think might make the leap into mainstream adoption this year?

I’d like to think AI-driven site health & safety could make a step forward, we often forget we should all be going home safely at the end of a day’s work.

What do you see as potentially the biggest barrier to digital construction progress in 2020?

Too many experts speaking in riddles, which the audience does not question enough.

What industry event are you looking forward to attending?

Any number of bank holidays scheduled throughout the year.

Main image: John Williams/Dreamstime.com