What skills do you need to thrive in Industry 4.0?

Image: 210355123 © Phuttaphat Tipsana |

What skills must construction professionals possess to thrive in Industry 4.0? That’s one of the key questions answered in the new book co-edited by Mace head of BIM international Dr Marzia Bolpagni.

Writing for BIMplus sister title Construction Management, Dr Bolpagni outlined the following five concepts that construction professionals must master to work in Industry 4.0, and remain competitive:

Digital leadership through soft skills
While adoption of technologies is expanding, it is the soft skills – such as emotional intelligence, self-awareness, self-management, communication and resilience – that are increasingly essential. In a world where high levels of automation, customisation and productivity are possible due to new technologies, we will need to be more human.

Lean and agile project management
Borrowing from the software sector’s ‘fail fast’ mentality, the built environment needs to understand lean construction, agile, scrum and Kanban project management methodologies. As the construction site moves closer to manufacturing, new ways of working are required; construction professionals must adopt those more fluid approaches.

BIM skills as an enabler of data
Industry 4.0 for the built environment is driven by data, and to get good quality data we all have improvements to make in information management, where BIM is the enabling or unifying factor.

Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) principles
Construction professionals should be familiar with the latest innovations in MMC and keen to support adoption as the sector moves from construction to production, which includes offsite manufacturing, modular techniques and robotics.

Reality capture
You have a role both to ensure information is captured correctly and, more importantly, acted upon. Monitoring site progress in real-time, using a control room or similar set-up is not just something for NASA projects anymore: it is already happening on the most advanced construction sites.

Industry 4.0 for the Built Environment, published by Springer, is co-edited by Dr Bolpagni, Rui Gavina, digital practice manager at the Digital Built Environment Institute in the Netherlands, and Professor Diogo Ribeiro from the School of Engineering at the Polytechnic of Porto, Portugal.

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