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The Data that Drives Us

Shanaz Khan

7 min read

May 3, 2023


Table of Contents

As a company fueled by a passion for cutting-edge innovation, we are steadfastly guided by the power of data. In this exposé, we take a deep dive into the numerical intricacies that shape our unwavering mission and vision.

For decades, the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry has been surfing on turbulent waves—lack of connectivity and transparency between the different verticals, the growing disparity between the industry and its workforce, rampant exploitation, low wages, limited opportunities, non-existent workforce advocacy, and more. These issues are heightened by the lethargic pace of technological adoption and digitization. While some factions of the AEC industry have acknowledged that it is broken, it still isn’t solving the issues from within. 

Part 1: AEC is One of the Largest Industries in the World

Blog 5- The Data that Drives us-01-1Graphic; Source: Foundamental

Despite the industry’s global net worth and the size of its workforce, construction is among the least digitised sectors in the world, second only to agriculture and hunting.

Blog 5- The Data that Drives us-02-1McKinsey Global Institute industry digitalisation index

In an epoch of change and the arrival of the fourth industrial revolution, AEC has lagged far behind.

Part 2: AEC Employs 1 in 14 Workers Globally

While the state of the AEC industry paints a bright picture for the most part, the state of the AEC workforce tells a completely different story. The whole sector appears fragmented. While the industry is on a path of unprecedented growth, the workforce that drives it has not been a party beneficiary to this growth.

In terms of career growth, it typically takes 22-25 years for an architect or engineer to reach the top ranks due to strict hierarchies and sluggish career progression.

Blog 5- The Data that Drives us-03-1Traditional career path of an architect and engineer

And, even though most AEC workers work more than 40 to 50 hours a week, they get paid less than professionals with similar work schedules like doctors and lawyers.

In the US alone, which features among the top 5 countries with the highest salaries for architects, the pay gap is mind-boggling!

Blog 5- The Data that Drives us-04-1Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

To further aggravate matters, a 2017 Women in Architecture survey revealed that, in addition to being vastly underrepresented in AEC, women consistently earn less for doing the same jobs as their male counterparts. The general practice seems to be one of penalising women for wanting a family and taking the lion’s share of child care.

Graphic 7Female partners and principals of UK architecture firms take home a shocking £55,000 less than males in the same role.

Mental health and job satisfaction play a crucial role in any professional’s career trajectory and growth. Let’s look at how the AEC workforce fares.

Blog 5- The Data that Drives us-05-1Source: The Architect’s Journal, The Monograph

Working overtime (often unpaid), unrealistic deadlines and inefficient workflows and processes are the top three causal factors. Other key factors involved a lack of support and/or acknowledgement from leadership, disengagement or alienation from the job, and a lack of growth within the firm.

The employee burnout and satisfaction data enumerated above drive home the point that the data driving AEC needs to change. A complete overhaul is warranted if the industry intends to survive the fast-changing landscape and market.

Part 3: The Opportunity to Take Charge

The construction industry, known for its traditional methods and manual processes, has long been criticised for its lagging productivity. However, a new wave of technological innovation is poised to revolutionise the sector and close a staggering $1.6 trillion productivity gap while contributing about 2% to the global economy and propelling the industry towards a future powered by artificial intelligence and autonomous machines. The key? Digitization.

Blog 5- The Data that Drives us-06-1Digitization of the AEC industry could close a $1.6 trillion productivity gap.

At the forefront of this movement are cutting-edge technologies such as building information modelling (BIM), robotics, drones, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, which are reshaping the way construction projects are planned, designed, and executed. Design thinking and methodologies have evolved massively over the last few decades–starting from the 2D drafting era to the current decade where fabrication, computational design, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) have taken precedence over analog. However, the speed at which these technologies have been adopted lags far behind.

Enter Novatr.

About three years ago, Oneistox was born as the brainchild of architects who witnessed firsthand the struggles of their peers. It emerged as a platform to help architects and engineers prosper. Three years later, our mission has evolved, our dream has grown, and so has our brand.

Novatr is poised to be the bridge between the dreams of AEC’s future and the skills imperative for its realisation. It is the obvious next step towards transforming the future of AEC with tech-first skills by advocating for and accelerating the adoption of the latest tech.

And how do we plan to achieve all this and change the data that has been driving us, you may ask? By carving out a unique space for the perfect convergence of modern education and technology -

  • By crafting an AI-powered future of education for the AEC industry, with innovation and collaboration serving as the base of the foundation
  • By establishing global research labs to explore emerging technology, future-ready materials, and seamless, end-to-end project lifecycle collaboration that can potentially revolutionise the AEC industry 
  • By advocating for the accelerated adoption of technology in AEC to steer it towards being more innovation-driven and provide a fertile breeding ground for the next generation of innovators.
  • By forging a community of forward-thinking AEC professionals who learn and grow together, by harnessing the power of technology.

Also read: AEC is Broken. Novatr is Here to End Exploitation!

Novatr isn’t just a platform that provides insider experience and industry expertise, so you can get the real knowledge and exposure you need to grow. With access to technology and industry leaders as mentors, creative, tech-first curriculums and inspiring hiring partners, it is more than a platform – Novatr is a movement and a toolkit for success. You can now have a clear vision for the future and the confidence to make it happen.

Blog 1 images-04-1We are on a mission to disrupt the status quo and change the data that has been driving the AEC industry.

We envision a future where AEC professionals are paid at par with other professionals like doctors, lawyers, or software engineers. A future where the composition of the workforce is not determined by gender but by the tech-first skills that individuals hone. A future where there is a perfect convergence between the industry’s demands and individual creativity and aspirations. And finally, a future where AEC is a frontrunner in digitization and technological innovations.

To Conclude,

Opportunities are rife. It will only be a matter of time before the people who drive the AEC industry start abandoning it for other, more fulfilling career paths unless the fundamentals of the industry are altered to suit the ambitious, tech-savvy generation of professionals who are the future of AEC. Novatr is working hard to do something about that—to not only retain AEC talent but also make them fall in love with the profession again. We are a community of like-minded individuals ready to disrupt the status quo and help the next generation of AEC tap into a world of possibilities.


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