Enhancing the Contracting Touch Points Through Innovation: For Architecture Design and Consulting Offices

Enhancing the Contracting Touch Points Through Innovation: For Architecture Design and Consulting Offices

Solaiman A. Elkhereiji
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4501-0.ch014
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The subject of this chapter revolves around how Industry 4.0 is changing our way of life. The way we communicate, travel, socialize, learn, relax, or do business changed significantly. As a major architecture and design offices, Industry 4.0 technologies are adding new layers to our business every day. This affects the design of offices, houses, communities, and cities. The relation with contractors, customers, and all stakeholders have changed creating new interfaces, channels, and touch points. Terms such as “collective intelligence” or “crowdsourcing” come into the picture with development in the mobile technology, collaboration tools, and Industry 4.0 ecosystem. It is interesting to see how this advanced means are facilitating new mindsets in design architects and construction industry. Customer expectations are being elevated as well. This is adding a lot of touch points with suppliers and consumers, and that is why a new innovative contracts and contracting is required.
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The subject of this chapter revolves around how industry 4.0 is changing our way of life. These changes are due to a large extent to contracted designers who invented new interfaces, tools, and devices. When using maps and city guides to gather information on restaurants, museums, or theaters, when communicating with friends and family, in education and health, in shopping and retail store experiences, smartphones enrich our life as well increase and improve our experiences.

Industry 4.0 is a trend of automation and data exchange. It created an environment where technology and humans are so closely integrated. Facilitating many different activities and opportunity contracts that enhance the collaboration between stakeholders and combine several factors to produce an effective contract. Major shifts in technology and business dynamics invited the new approach of contracting which evolve around the following pillars:

  • The massive data flow in the organizations

  • The inevitable agility and change management practices

Mobile technology is currently setting as first option for carrying out most of the businesses, especially, the one related to design and engineering. Most of designers now are aware of that and they have access to the mobile platforms and technology that allow them to proceed and progress their work smoothly and successfully, in collaboration with other teams; local and overseas.

Working routine has been shifted from the traditional mode to smart mode thanks to the digital transformation platforms, which proved to be well-reputed and trust-worthy, with making sure that these mobile platforms have adequate and strict confidentiality and privacy agreements to protect the rights of all parties. Mindset change and cultural differences are gaining more land and can be better controlled over time and in collaboration with other team members actively utilizing mobile platforms and technology.

New styles will enable organizations to accomplish complex tasks in different environments and ecosystems with relative ease. Throughout the contract lifecycle, teams of people must collaborate on various tasks both pre-execution and post-execution. The main contractors may hire specialized second-degree contractors for certain activities. Human capital preparations for new contracting styles is also developing to fit between technology based operational activities and adaptive functional strategies utilize advanced technology tools to build the required contracting paradigm.

However, there exist some drawbacks in using mobile and industry 4.0 technologies such as; the lack of trust in contractual relations in terms of the working routine that the various teams follow; the extreme effort it takes to break the power of habit and mindset change requirement and associated culture. Such drawbacks will be eliminated with time as more people are utilizing the new methodologies.



Industry 4.0 related technologies are affecting the design and construction firms (Zaher, 2018). This is expected to challenge the contracting style that is adapted. Building information modeling (BIM) is one of the most promising recent developments in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry (Azhar, 2011). One example is the utilization of mobile devices and augmented reality to develop useful applications that client can carry all the time to follow up the progress in his project (Lin, Liu, Tsai, & Kang, 2015).

Industry 4.0 tools and emerging technologies appears to be the fastest growing activity for users (Nowotarski & Paslawski, 2017), and they will play a key role throughout the customer life cycle, especially to enable brands and designers to deepen conversations with their customers. (Oesterreich & Teuteberg, 2016). Stated that despite its potential benefits in terms of improvements in productivity and quality, this concept has not gained much attention in the construction industry. Such tools combine three strong factors which are frequency of use, convenience and emotion. Such tools introduce a new kind of conversations with customers (Larivière, et al., 2013).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Virtual Reality (VR): Refers to a computer-generated simulation in which a person can interact within an artificial three-dimensional environment using electronic devices, such as special goggles with a screen or gloves fitted with sensors.

Computer-Aided Design (CAD): The use of computers to aid in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimization of a design. CAD software is used to increase the productivity of the designer, improve the quality of design, improve communications through documentation, and to create a database for execution.

Revit Architecture: A tool used to coordinate all data inputs (including CAD) and produce federated project deliverables. Both programs are often used within the same firm, with BIM and CAD specialists working on different elements of a project.

Collective Intelligence (CI): A shared or group intelligence that emerges from the collaboration, collective efforts, and competition of many individuals and appears in consensus decision making. The term appears in sociobiology, political science and in context of mass peer review and crowdsourcing applications and is used today in construction and architecture.

Design Architects: Offices involved in the design and specifications of projects. They use their expertise to evaluate their client's expectations and needs and then develop ideas for the structure. They may be required to do research into local and international laws and building codes.

3D Printing: 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a method of creating a three-dimensional object layer-by-layer using a computer created design. 3D printing is an additive process whereby layers of material are built up to create a 3D part.

Crowdsourcing: Involves obtaining work, information, or opinions from a large group of people who submit their data via the Internet, social media, and smartphone apps. People involved in crowdsourcing sometimes work as paid freelancers, while others perform small tasks on a voluntary basis.

Geographic Information System (GIS): A conceptualized framework that provides the ability to capture and analyze spatial and geographic data. It analyzes spatial location and organizes layers of information into visualizations using maps and 3D scenes. ?GIS reveals deeper insights into data, such as patterns, relationships, and situations—helping users make smarter decisions

Building Information Modeling (BIM): A process supported by various tools, technologies and contracts involving the generation and management of digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of places.

Touch Points: A business jargon for any encounter where customers and business engage to exchange information, provide service, or handle transactions.

Augmented Reality (AR): An interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory, and olfactory

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