Impact of emerging technology on property developments

Faced with an acute shortage of skilled labour and overall cost escalation pressures, the UK’s construction sector is more receptive than any other around the world to the use of robots and drones on building sites, new research has revealed.

Altus Group’s Real Estate Development Trends Report surveyed over 400 major property developers from around the world, each with more than £200 million under development. 47% of UK developers predicted that construction site robots will bring major disruptive change compared with just 34% of developers globally.

Thirty years after robots became common in car manufacturing, contractors are already trialing the use of robotic bricklayers on building sites in the UK. The robots’ manufacturers claim they can lay 3,000 bricks a day, compared with varying estimates of 300-600 bricks per day for a human bricklayer.

UK developers were also more likely to see the potential for using drones on construction sites, with 41% predicting major disruptive change, compared with 28% globally. Drones currently have many uses within construction from surveying to inspections to progress monitoring and UK developers expect that use to accelerate.

Altus Group’s Real Estate Development Trends Report reveals a global property development industry being hit by the rapid change from disruptive market forces that did not exist a few years ago or have evolved substantially.

Read the full report at

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