Man has been building for a millennia. In fact, out of the acclaimed 7 wonders of the world, 5 of those are civil building structures that have stood the test of time! Man has always been testing his limits since the age of time.
Around the BidiiBuild circles we have an unofficial mantra “Building Africa, one brick at a time.”
But is this true? The question points back to the role of construction across the continent. Whenever I mention that I work in construction my usual suspicion is that they picture bulldozers, excavators and lots of workers clad in overalls (including myself) and they aren’t wrong. Construction is all this and a lot more. I would like to take a bit of a closer look at the role of construction in our daily lives and what better way to start than with some numbers (We love numbers here)!
The global construction industry is a 10 trillion dollar industry with volume of construction output expected to almost double to $15 Trillion worldwide by 2025. World construction markets are at a tipping point already with 52% of all construction activity in emerging markets today. In 2016 an approximate 286 mega projects commenced in Africa by itself. This is a clear indicator that construction is not only building the continent (literally) but is one of its top employers as well.
A case study is the ongoing standard gauge project in Kenya. The project estimated to come with a hefty bill of $1.02 Billion dollars has of date employed at least 35,000 people comprising of skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers.The numbers are clear, construction is a BIG deal! but we all know that so what else are we also seeing from this data? Civil engineering and construction projects even those at a smaller scale are also facing new complexities in terms of project demands, health and safety concerns and a younger more sophisticated workforce.
New technology and digitization is part of the new world. From cutting edge technology advancements in industries such as manufacturing and mining to software developments tackling challenges in education and the finance. Construction has not been left behind with new software that tackles issues such as real time communication among your workforce and the back office, safety checks and procedures and real time tracking of project work on the field using drones! The new era is here to stay and has brought some amazing benefits, with production costs getting lower and output increasing in the same breath.
As highlighted by this Mckinsey report Mega construction projects generally take 20% more time are 80% over their set budgets. Here at BidiiBuild we are driven by a different ambition, we love building things and testing the limits of efficiency and collaboration. We think that the tagline of the “biggest” and “tallest” structure isn’t enough, it should be the best managed too.