Urbanization is “the population shift from rural areas to urban areas, the gradual increase in the proportion of people living in urban areas, and the ways in which each society adapts to this change.
Urbanization in the United States is occurring at an exponentially rapid pace. In fact, studies suggest that over the next 30 years, 80 million people in the U.S. will move into urban centers, turning small cities to medium, medium to large and so on.
To put this into context, the U.S. will need to build the equivalent of 114 cities the size of Boston, Massachusetts to accommodate the population shift. In order to accommodate this rapid shift, building owners, cities, and construction companies are moving to adopt digital pipelines to improve communication, reduce waste, and build faster. These advances alone, however, won’t allow the U.S. to meet the challenges ahead. New construction techniques that mirror manufacturing will need to be adopted to further shorten development time and reduce costs. This is certainly a challenge for the AEC industry, but where there are challenges, there are opportunities.
As building design, construction and operation morph, Building Product Manufactures (BPM’s) are being presented with a unique opportunity for rapid growth. Leading BPM companies will support the digital pipeline that allows all stakeholders to have the information they need to design, construct, predict and operate the building. Additional opportunities will be created as new construction techniques will likely require new products to support these improved processes. Furthermore, new materials will need to be explored so these buildings can operate in a sustainable fashion.
No longer is sustainability in manufacturing simply a matter of material waste and carbon footprint reduction. Think reduction in weight and operating costs while enhancing overall connectivity. To support consumer demands, BPM’s will have to take into account the end of life of products and ensure that most, if not all, of their components are either recyclable or reusable. Lastly, as our workforce ages, leading BPM’s will incorporate innovative digital tools into their exiting processes to ensure engagement with younger employees. These tools will not only allow younger employees to better communicate their ideas; they will also help them to explore their ideas in ways they are already comfortable with, contributing to a truly digital pipeline.
Throughout our history, industry in the U.S. has always capitalized on challenges. Urbanization is the challenge that will create tremendous opportunities in manufacturing for revenue and market share growth. The companies that will be tomorrow’s leaders are the ones that seize these upon these opportunities today.
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M2 Technologies is a technology consulting firm for the manufacturing industry, focused on helping manufacturers improve productivity and process efficiency while reducing manufacturing costs. Using generative design, best in class manufacturing, and asset management processes, our team of experts can help you become more sustainable, more profitable and more prepared to meet the demands of urbanization in a rapidly changing world.