It was recently reported that Microsoft HoloLens "mixed
reality" technology is being used on construction projects in
the UK to allow interaction with virtual projects – this is
yet another fascinating example of how new technologies are an
increasing feature of the construction industry.
Other recently reported examples include the use of robots and
robotics, automated bulldozers, drones, electric car charging
points, smart buildings, smart furniture, smart devices and smart
installations, increased data collection, cyber security issues,
use of virtual reality, 3D printing of concrete, building
information modelling (BIM), modern offsite manufacture and
pre-fabrication, solar panels, among others.
It will be exciting to see where these innovations take us and
what comes next. There will be opportunities for new supply chain
partners and existing suppliers will be presented with
opportunities to diversify their existing businesses. New issues
for asset owners and facilities management companies will continue
to materialise – such as cyber security where buildings are
connected to the internet. In response to the changing nature of
new buildings, there may be an increased value in looking carefully
at ongoing services and maintenance requirements.
Approaches to contracting will continue to evolve, having regard
to the way new buildings are created and assembled and recognising
the key nature of building components, services and technology
– perhaps an increased focus on the supply chain contracts
that deliver critical elements.
In a contractual context, traditional concepts of a building
being constructed in "a good and workmanlike manner" will
perhaps become less relevant and general concepts like a building
being "practically complete" will increasingly merit
closer consideration to take account of the performance of key
building components, services and other technology.
Investing in and embracing new technologies and ways of working
is critical in every area of modern business and it is well worth
taking a look at how the construction industry is innovating and
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The use of letters of intent can be fraught with difficulty. In this Insight we review the key case law on letters of intent of the past few years and seek to highlight some of the lessons that can be learned from them.
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