Engineering blog
31 May 2019

Upside Down: The Rise of Connected Construction

One is gravitational force and the other technology. This prevailing phenomenon of dual gravity has led the 2-planets to orbit each other in proximity. One makes us grounded and the other keeps us connected.

Smart city has become the newest model for what our future cities would might look like. With increase in number of internet – enabled devices, smart cities have evolved from a plan into an urban for these connected devices to collect data and respond to users’ needs.

“The resulting cities are based on the idea of becoming “living labs” for new technologies at the urban scale, blurring the boundary between bits and atoms, habitation and telemetry. If 20th century French architect Le Corbusier advanced the concept of the house as a “machine for living in”, these cities could be imagined as inhabitable microchips, or “computers in open air“.

However, there are many ways to approach smart city principles. From single small-scale interventions (smart homes) to large scale overhauls of entire urban systems (The Green: The Edge, Deloitte, Amsterdam). Furthermore, entire cities can be built from scratch using smart city ideals as in the case of New Songdo in Korea and Masdar in the United Arab Emirates.

Retrofitting (existing infrastructure upgradation) and Pan-city development are other approaches in smart city technology, wherein connected devices (furnished by Internet of things, IOT, technology) are integrated into roads, transport networks, buildings, energy tracking platforms, waste management systems and more.

McKinsey’s smart city bibliotic research – Smart Cities: A digital solution for a more livable future, reports “Until recently, city leaders thought of smart technologies primarily as tools for becoming more efficient behind the scenes. Sensor data and high-tech command centers promised a revolutionary new way to manage complex operations and automate infrastructure systems.

We find that cities could improve some key quality-of-life indicators by 10–30 percent—numbers that translate into lives saved, reduced crime, shorter commutes, a lower health burden, and carbon emissions averted.” Germination of such projects across the planet is a collective initiative by traditional troupers. National governments, urban planners and real estate developers, for the first time have worked alongside the maestros of IT — IBM, Cisco, and Microsoft.

Smart city proposals are not just limited to embedding technologies into the fabric of the city or in the final physical result. Another element of this technology is how could it be used at the planning stage i.e. at primary construction and operational practices. A set of connected construction practices will emerge within construction design.

It will be focused on the concentration of comprehensive workers, smooth functioning of infrastructure and entrepreneurial economics. One of the most significant technological breakthroughs in this regard is building information modelling (BIM), which offers both 3D models of buildings and data management abilities. The latter consolidates all the data of a building’s site into one access point. 3D models and renders are becoming the preferred tools for visualizing and designing cities.

According to the United Nations Population Fund, 2008 marked the year when more than 50% of all people, 3.3 billion, lived in urban areas, a figure expected to rise to 70% by 2050 (UN, 2008). In Europe, 75% of the population already lives in urban areas, and by 2020 the number is expected to reach 80% (EEA, 2006). The exponential population growth contributes to the economic and social significance of cities, but also to their inferior environmental sustainability.

The importance of urban areas is a global phenomenon, as confirmed by the diffusion of megacities of more than 20 million people which are gaining ground in Asia, Latin America and Africa (UN, 2008).

Hence, many city governments have started to think about how they could adopt their existing urban environment to infuse smart city ideas after experimental flagship examples such as that of cities like Barcelona in Spain, Seoul in South Korea (declared as the world’s 1st smart city back in 2014). China and India have also taken some drastic initiatives to adopt smart city agendas to mitigate future crises as a result of burgeoning urbanizing populations.

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Appendix 1

  1. Smart Cities: Digital Solutions For a more Livable Future

  2. AD Essentials: Smart Cities

  3. Vito Albino, Umberto Berardi and Rosa Maria D’ Angelico, “Smart Cities: Definitions, Dimensions, Performance, and Initiatives”, Journal of Urban Technology, volume 22, number 1, 2015.



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CAD Evangelist. "Upside Down: The Rise of Connected Construction" CAD Evangelist, May. 31, 2019,

CAD Evangelist. (2019, May 31). Upside Down: The Rise of Connected Construction. Retrieved from

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