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Australia’s slow tech adoption in construction deepens housing crisis, experts warn


Australia’s housing affordability crisis is reaching alarming levels, with projections from the State of the Nation’s Housing Report 2022-23 indicating that over 1.8 million new households are expected to form across the country between 2023 and 2033.

This growth is set to worsen the existing housing deficit, with an estimated cumulative shortfall of approximately 106,300 dwellings in the next five years and around 79,300 dwellings from 2023 to 2033.

The report also highlights an impending shortfall of apartments and multi-density dwellings, with an anticipated average annual net addition of around 57,000 units in the next five years, falling short of the levels observed in the late 2010s.

Leon Ward, Digital Construction Specialist for Australia + New Zealand at PlanRadar, said, “Over the last five years, Australia has seen significant challenges in maintaining sustainable levels of new residential builds. While numerous factors contribute to this deficit, it’s important to recognize that unequal access to and adoption of construction technology tools have also played a significant role in creating this divide.”

The construction industry’s historical reluctance to swiftly adopt technology can exacerbate deficiencies in real estate development, leading to inefficiencies, project delays, increased costs, and missed deadlines.

This situation can contribute to a scarcity of available housing units, particularly in high-demand areas, intensifying challenges related to housing affordability.

Slower tech adoption may also impede the implementation of innovative construction practices and sustainable building techniques, limiting the industry’s capacity to address environmental issues and comply with evolving regulations.


Ward emphasised the importance of prioritising technology adoption to enhance the industry’s resilience and sustainability, stating, “Embracing digital tools goes beyond mere advancement; it plays a key role in shaping a more efficient and robust future for construction in Australia.”

Digital technologies can significantly improve housing construction outcomes in several key ways, including enhanced design and planning, improved project management, optimised resource allocation, enhanced quality control, increased safety, and sustainability and energy efficiency.

However, digital-driven construction in Australian residential projects faces various challenges, such as substantial initial investment costs, the need for significant shifts in processes and mindsets among construction teams, data security and privacy concerns, and potential skills gaps in digital literacy among construction workers.

Despite these challenges, digital-driven construction presents abundant opportunities for Australian residential projects, such as facilitating collaboration and communication among stakeholders, streamlining workflows, automating tasks, and optimising resource allocation.

Ward noted, “We believe that integrating smarter, standardised digital tools into housing construction brings about tangible benefits for both construction companies and homeowners. From efficiency gains to cost-effectiveness and sustainability, embracing digital tools is a significant support driving positive outcomes in the Australian real estate sector.”

PlanRadar, an award-winning digital B2B platform, is working towards creating time and cost savings in construction and real estate projects by digitising task management, documentation, and communication for over 150,000+ users in 75+ countries worldwide.

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