Lagos – Experts in the built environment on Wednesday said that new digital technology was an inevitable tool for architects and engineers to deliver faster and effeciently in the 21st century.
They made the assertion at the 2019 Association of Consulting Architects Nigeria (ACAN) two-day symposium and Business forum held in Lagos.
In his keynote address, Mr Olusegun Ladega, a past President ACAN, said that the new exponential digital technology was significantly going to impact on how the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry operates .
Ladega, also Managing Director, Interstate Architect Limited, said new technology would enable the industry to produce faster, smarter and within affordable price ranges for the mass market.
He said with new technology, the design process is now fully digitised and architect no longer need to design with pen and paper.
“Architects would no longer need even the computer, but building information and modelling softwares which enables you to do a virtual construction of the building you want to build.
” You are able to examine and resolve all the problem areas you may encounter on site and by the time you finish the design process, you would have a near perfect set of documentation to enable you put up the building.
“Even things like scaffolding, structuring, technology and the machine to be used would have been deployed in a virtual sense that would work out the best and most practical way to put up the building, ” he said.
Ladega explained that in the next decade or two, the roles and designation occupied in the industry may be totally transformed as it competes with technology, robotic and things like artificial intelligence.
He said as the roles, designation and functions maybe affected, the industry would, however, be made more resourceful, effective and responsive to the need of the masses.
According to him, the built environment, would be a completely different industry in terms of set up, function and designation that would deliver such.
Ladega said this would be so because the digital technology would empower a new set of people to be able to deliver the service required while the former would need some form of model training and re-skilling programme.
The former ACAN president said when the capacity of the technology is fully realised, a greater percentage of workforce would be empowered to solve the problem of the built environment.
He also noted that new technology would give the country an opportunity to leap frog into the realm of more advanced technology to deliver effeciently.
According to him, some of the advances would more or less be inevitable for people to key into because it is a reality that needed no government policy to fasttrack.
” When digital camera first came, their capacity was low and they couldn’t give clear images but now, from your mobile phone, you can do high resolution images, videos and voice recorder.
“You don’t need any government to say key into this, people would just key in,” he said.
Also, Mr Tayo Babalakin, a former ACAN President, said the theme of the symposium affects all the stakeholders in the built environment because it would address how the future of work in the industry would be.
Babalakin, also Chairman Organising Committee of symposium, said the event was organised to address the constant barrage of technology, explosion and how the environment would have to be shapened to respond and prepare to the barrage.
“In terms of development, a country is measured with its infrastructural development, and as such, considering the population explosion, there is need to look at the technological trend of the AEC.
“Stakeholders in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction industry need to remodify their thinking to be unconventional in addressing the problem of people,” he said.
According to him, they must imbibe the 21st century technology in their operation to be able to work faster and effeciently.
In his welcome address, Mr Mansur Ahmadu, President, ACAN, said the association intended to make the maiden symposium part of its annual calendar event.
Ahmadu said the association strove to build competency, raise the quality of its services and protect the society from quacks and undesirable foreign incursion, especially the firms nor legally registered to offer service in the country.
“The symposium features Business-to-Business networking as well as ‘Meet the Architects forum, directed partners of architectural firms and present their products and discuss mutual benefits and interest in the industry ,” he said .
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that ACAN is the professional body representing consultant architects in private practice in Nigeria
The association was established in 2004 and has over the years been positioned to advance the practice of architecture in Nigeria.