Construction is one of the slowest adopters of AI technologies, yet it’s one that will be completely transformed by AI in the next 5 years, with a projected 10 times growth of AI-in-Constriction market by 2024 (ref. Zion Market Research 2018). There is also a predicted to be a big workforce shortage in the construction industry with over 400,000 construction workers needed to be hired by 2021 (ref. Arcadis Talent Scale 2018). This problem must be tackled in order to sustain the economic growth. Automation with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies is an obvious solution to support the workforce. Brainpool – one of the top 10 AI consultancies, together with one of the top 100 fastest growing construction companies in the UK are in the forefront of this transformation.
Currently most construction designers are trying to solve a very complex mathematical optimisation problem under constraints by hand. Having thousands of variables creates a large number of possibilities as to how a design can be structured in order to minimise the production cost and maximise space. This level of complexity is simply impossible for a human brain to process. It normally takes designers weeks to derive an acceptable solution, which in many instances is still sub-optimal. Thanks to advances in machine learning and genetic programming Brainpool AI have designed an algorithm that is now able to identify the most optimal solution with a click of a button.
The prototype is built to optimise floor plan designs for its first construction client. Having validated the machine learning models on one dataset the goal is to then adapt the solution and make it available to broader construction audience and to expand it to other areas of construction such as stairs, walls, roofs, and ultimately the whole house design.
Apart from tackling the construction industry challenges, Artificial Intelligence can also solve a lot of environmental issues that the construction industry is struggling with, such as increased pollution, material wastage, lack of work or space efficiency.
According to the UN over billion people still live in an unacceptable condition and providing shelter for people should be our priority. Artificial Intelligence, when used capably, has the power to help us solve some of these biggest challenges and improve the living standards.