With the advent of the 4th industrial revolution, digital transformation based on cyber-physical systems (CPS), in which the Internet of Things (IoT), drones, big data, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality, and block chains are interconnected for convergence, has established as a key for innovation in all industries. The sudden emergence and devastating influence of COVID-19 pandemic has been a driver to promote the digitalization of industry and our lives. Construction companies also recognize digital technology as an essential tool for survival, dedicating departments and experts for implementation of digital technology. Innovative small and medium-sized enterprises, venture enterprises, and startups have focused on commercialization for smart construction with various innovative technologies as the basic tools. The government also included the goal of construction automation in the basic plan for construction technology promotion, created a “smart construction technology roadmap,” and started strategic research and development for technology development and practical application of Smart Construction
We focus on road construction because roads are large-scale works in the public construction market and have considerable development and application of technologies. The road construction sites cross the city center, mountains, underground, rivers, and sea through enormous linear spaces, thus the ground conditions and processes are complex and diverse. In particular, the expressways construction has impressive accumulation of technologies of various areas such as earthwork, paving, structures, traffic, architecture, machinery, electricity, and ICT . In 2019, KEP introduced “Full BIM”, which is the first case in Korea in the construction sector in which expressways are designed using only digital modeling. The original translation of this was “electricity, ICT, and others.” However, note that when using a term like “such as,” this implies that the list is not complete; therefore, the phrase “and others” is not required at the end of the list.
Innovative technologies such as digital modeling, IoT, AI, drones, robots, and platforms are combined with traditional construction to implement data-driven engineering, construction equipment automation, virtual construction, safety control, and other processes. With Smart Construction, digital transformation is implemented in all stages of construction (design-fabrication-construction-maintenance) to achieve unprecedented improvements in productivity and safety in the construction industry.
Center for Smart Construction Technology will promote the digital transformation of the construction industry with emphasis on the practical application and field operation of the developed technologies, and help Korean companies enter the global market based on their accumulated digital capabilities. We will lead “R&D linked with construction orders” utilizing expressway construction projects such that the achievements of technology development can be actively applied in industrial sites beyond the use in laboratories, enabling versatile applications of the developed technologies in other SOC sectors. In addition, in preparation for the post-COVID-19 era, we will implement SOC Digitalization and also contribute to the creation of a new construction ecosystem comprising digital data and platforms, such that startups and venture enterprises can grow into unicorn companies in the construction sector.