Today’s construction and built environment sector faces exciting but immense cultural, societal and technological changes. This is evidenced through a myriad of issues; a rapid escalation in the need for improved sustainability; better information management and advanced construction techniques; to test and challenge established practices.
While these challenges are significant, there are a number of platforms and tools that can improve communication, learning and sharing – not least social media. The core challenge here is “what can social media offer in support of Construction Innovation, Information, Process and Management?”
My guest editorial to Construction Innovation, Information, Process and Management (Volume 14 Issue 3) provides a snapshot of social media (past, present and future), including why and how this new collection of tools can be used to purposefully improve construction.
Social media, alongside web 2.0 applications have been major disrupters for many industries, from music to books thorough to newspapers and journalism. These disruptions have led to new platforms and avenues for future innovation and creativity. Just how much social media, BIM/modelling, and the move towards transparent, responsible sustainability will disrupt construction and the built environment in coming years is one of the salient questions to address (and one that makes construction such an exciting industry).
Social media is by no means a panacea solution for construction improvement or, indeed, a means of replacing all construction communication. It is, however, a vital tool in today’s construction improvement “toolbox”. The discussion now needs to move beyond social media as a technology to social media as a crucial enabler.