Why I Speak at RTC – David Mitchell

RTC is a unique, independent conference covering all things BIM and the whole ecosystem that supports it. This ecosystem is rapidly growing and evolving due to advancements in technology, which is creating new opportunities in the construction industry like never before.

Naturally RTC has grown into a conduit for people all around the world to come together and share their knowledge on new and emerging technologies within the BIM ecosystem.


So how can we make the most from industry change and create opportunities?

Technology is reshaping the world we live in – creating massive disruption across industry, government and society as a whole.

So far the construction industry has been immune but things are about to change because globally it’s a massive market, where there is little trust and lots of waste. Essentially construction is an awesome target for integrated technologies and automation.

I believe that we must be responsive to change as to create opportunities for today and in the future by:

  • Preparing your business for a more connected, intelligent and demanding customer.
  • Identifying the technology trends with the biggest potential for you.
  • Creating a culture of ideation, speed and agility.
  • Becoming fearless digital leaders.

Really what it comes down to is embracing change and making the most from it and at the moment technology is the tool creating change and bringing about new opportunities.


What opportunities am I seeing right now?

I believe technology is under-utilised in our industry at the moment. This is tech that’s been around for some time – there’s nothing new in it whatsoever, it’s just being under-utilised and it’s on the cusp of being maximised.

Right now tech is changing the structure of our industry, especially in the way we subcontract, or the way we allocate risk.

One example is the use of drones on construction sites.

Drones are particularly interesting because it’s an example of how tech can cut through licensing barriers and red tape; currently barriers to getting involved with drones are the cost of acquiring them as well as obtaining a UAV operator’s or controller’s certificate.

Amendments to Part 101 (the legislation for Remotely Piloted Aircraft) come in to effect on the 29th September 2016 which removes much of the licensing barriers to entry.

Again, drones aren’t new technology and so the price of what once was a $85,000 drone has now been reduced today to around about $1100. And this is where the opportunity is created; through a mixture of decreased barriers of entry, the technology itself, and a team who are inquisitive enough to try new things in a different way and apply know-how.

For example drones are incredibly powerful for understanding earthworks and creating accuracy about what the progress of the work is.

Recently we flew a drone over a site, taking hundreds of pictures that were then stitched together to create a model of that site. What once was a difficult task has now been reduced to a fast (it took just 30 minutes) and accurate (to of a couple cubic centimetres) workflow where we get a record of precisely what quantity is there.

What this creates is more accuracy and an industry that is more transparent in the way it works.

RTC has been a great advocate for fostering the technology ecosystem within construction and I hope to see more people and business making the most from change, creating opportunity and sharing their story.


David Mitchell – QSx Technologies

David is a 5D QS and founder of QSx Technologies and Mitchell Brandtman 5D Quantity Surveyors. He is also a Board member for BuildingSMART Australasia and a leadership committee member of Collaborate-ANZ. With over 30 years of industry experience and a family background in construction consulting, he is known for approaching technology integration in a strategic and innovative way. He believes in open leadership, technology and the collective ability to create positive industry change.

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