Data is the new lifeblood of the #BuiltEnvironment

The data in the built environment closely mirrors human physiology—it’s complex, vast, deep, and needs to flow continuously.

February 2, 2022
Team Hloov

Depiction of Data as Blood Cells

One of the most critical systems in the human body is the cardiovascular system which includes the heart, blood vessels, and blood. The functions of blood determine the health of the human body. When the body does not receive an ample amount of nutrients and oxygen, cells begin to die. If all cells in the body were to die, we would cease to exist as we know it today. This most incomprehensible yet magical process is made possible by the human heart – which typically works 24/7 and 365 days for an average of 70 years and also helps to regulate the two other body systems: the respiratory and nervous systems.

A similar analogy can be made for the data in the built environment as it is a very complex sector that heavily depends on communication and the flow of information. Industry reports reveal that roughly 96% of the data produced in the built environment remains unused and thus wasted in silos. In comparison, if the same were to happen in the body, a person would suffer organ and tissue damage, resulting in risk to life. With such a large amount of data lost during the process, a sector wherein megaprojects typically take 20% longer to finish than scheduled and are up to 80% over budget; the built environment can barely stay afloat.

According to some reports, construction teams spend 13% of their time looking for project data and information, while 30% of E&C companies use tools that do not integrate. Compare this loss in resources to human body blood loss and functioning; the construction sector would barely survive.

As digitization across the built environment continues to gain momentum, leveraging data will become critical to ensure that it reaches its full potential. Data is the lifeblood of our world, and we must learn how to harness it to derive meaningful insights for everyone.

“We are quickly moving toward an era where people would recognize data as the new lifeblood of the built environment – leading to minimized waste and preservation of resources on our planet.” – Suhail Arfath

In essence, we must make a paradigm shift from ‘data as information’ to ‘information as data.’ In other words, the data itself is becoming the new lifeblood of the built environment. This new way of thinking requires professionals to equip themselves with the right tools to use and handle data in their workflows and make the most of it.

In the new digital era, the built environment needs tools built with a people-centric digital-first mindset and leverage advanced technologies like Machine learning (ML) and Artificial intelligence (AI) to process large volumes of the most valuable raw data available in its pure form from various sources and derive insights from it. Just like the human body, the built environment needs a “heart” that pumps democratized, regulated, and accurate data at the right time to the right stakeholder.

Data democratization means efficiently sharing information among different stakeholders that helps generate ideas, reduce costs, enhance productivity, and increase transparency by using the right insights at the right time without compromising security or confidentiality.

At Hloov, we believe that nature is the most exemplary teacher one can learn from, and taking inspiration from it, we are developing “Project Heart.” Like the human heart, Project Heart empowers every stakeholder within the built environment through advanced machine learning (ML) algorithms to monitor, regulate, and govern data flow, making it accessible to the right people at the right time. The goal is to democratize data for better decision-making within all stakeholders; create an efficiently managed data flow; reduce costs, and provide actionable insights that help optimize resources required to minimize waste and achieve goals.

“The future of the built environment hinges on how we go about using data in real-time so that information becomes actionable insights for effective decision-making.” – Suhail Arfath

In summary, with the growing urbanization and persistence of inefficiencies in the built environment, the productivity of E&C firms will continue to be negatively impacted. Each project requires multiple stakeholders to work together seamlessly, which is why many problems, including exorbitant costs, notorious schedule overruns, misalignments between stakeholders during planning, execution, and completion phases resulting in project failure. The increasing demand for construction calls for increased collaboration and consistency; data silos must flatten out to achieve that.

Hence, there is a dire need to rethink the approach towards the built environment and smoothen the circulation of data within it. We must strive towards a future of the built environment where information becomes actionable insights for effective decision-making in real-time so that information becomes actionable insights for effective. – Data is the new lifeblood of the built environment, and for a healthy built environment, the data must be available and accessible.

Built Environment