The trend of digital technology application in the construction field

Building information modeling (BIM)

BIM is a digital technology software that uses 3D modeling to create objects, analyze them, and transmit information in a digital form.

The three-dimensional spatial model is a fully digitized model, linked to the project’s information database, showing all spatial relationships, geometric information, dimensions, quantity, and even components of the work. BIM can be used to represent the entire life cycle of a building from design, construction to operation.

BIM’s level of development in all areas and in the 

Architecture, Engineering and Construction industry (AEC) (2016-2021)

Source: Worldwide CAD Trends 2016

In the world, BIM has been in flux over the years. As of 2016, 19% of professional CAD (Computer-Aided Drawing) users and managers across all industry sectors used BIM and that is forecast to grow to 29% in the next 3-5 years. The use of BIM in AEC will continue to grow from 38% in 2016 to an expected 54% in 2021.

Current BIM usage is highest in large companies (30%) and about the same in medium sized (15%) and small (13%) companies. By region, By region, BIM usage is highest in EMEA (22%) and North America (20%), followed by APAC (11%).

Current application of BIM in Vietnam

In Vietnam, BIM is also focused on implementing and developing a road map since 2017, with a plan to be widely applied by 2021. However, the road map for applying digital technology in construction is not compatible with the development environment set forth for this model.

Currently in Vietnam, the legal basis is still incomplete, causing many difficulties when applying BIM to entities participating in construction investment projects. Applying BIM requires large investment costs for initial facilities, application software, training and maintenance compared to traditional methods. Hence, although this technology is not new in Vietnam, the level of development is inadequate.

In addition, the construction works that have applied BIM in management and operation are still very limited, mostly private projects using foreign capital with mainly simple structure. A few large and complex constructions such as Landmark 81 tower invested by Vingroup have applied to the entire rough construction of the structural frame.

Augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) 

Technologies that combine the real world and the digital world are becoming more and more developed in Vietnamese construction market. However, they are mainly exerted in the entertainment and tourism industry.


Augmented Reality (AR) is a quite new technology term in Vietnam. Augmented reality technology allows the connection of virtual objects into the real world and stimulating virtual experience. AR is widely used in entertainment activities, but the current trend is gradually shifting to more important industries such as construction. Augmented reality integrated into the management of construction sites to identify utility systems or other infrastructures that can be buried behind walls, floors or other obstacles.

Actual market growth rate increasing by region (2019-2024)

Source: Mordor Intelligence

The North American market segment is expected to grow significantly over the forecast period, due to the US dominance in the global software market. The Asia-Pacific region experienced the highest growth due to a slower technological shift compared to other regions in the world. It is expected that in the next 3-5 years, AR will become a trend applied in most industries, including construction.


One type of more modern digital technology application is Mixed Reality (MR). MR works similarly to AR in the sense that a virtual object is projected into a real space. However, MR allows virtual components to be anchored to specific points scaled accordingly to the size of the actual object. MR is a combination of VR and AR, increasing the interactivity of the digital and the real world.

Mixed reality market size (2015-2022)

Source: Global Forecast to 2022

The global mixed reality market is valued at US $ 382.6 million in 2019 and an expected CAGR of 47.9% during the forecast period (2020-2025). The increasing adoption of MR in the construction and architecture segment is currently a swing in the industry, which significantly affects market development.

MR and BIM

Mixed Reality with the Building Information Modeling has the potential to take the construction industry to a new level. Building models are converted into three-dimensional shapes, which are then projected onto an existing building space and attached to the appropriate location. Construction engineers can interact with the model as real buildings, eliminating the need for measurement, planning evaluation, RFI submissions, etc. This integration is likely to reflect changes made in the virtual environment back to the BIM model and vice versa.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Digital Twins 


AI is applied to construction to enable predictive maintenance, improve quality control, reduce design time, and reduce waste. This digital technology can automate certain tasks through human simulation and information gathering. From there, the AI ​​performs new and different activities based on the calculation of the previous actions.

In the construction industry, AI has been applied significantly, but the widely spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has put on a negative impact. According to a new report of Data and Reporting, Global Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Construction market is forecast to reach US $ 4.51 billion by 2026, with a CAGR of 24.1% in the pandemic phase.

Changes in processes and policies at construction companies are increasingly focusing on the deployment of technologies such as AI and IoT, which expect to drive these digital applications to grow stronger after the COVID-19 epidemic.

Digital Twins 

Digital twins are a digital replica of an actual object, created from data streams collected from sensors embedded in that object. Thus, digital replicas are parallel reflections of the object in real time. In some cases, this technology can also reproduce a closed product life cycle, bringing the product to the development stage to continually optimize future products.

According to IDC, by 2020, 30% of the world’s 2,000 largest companies will use data from Digital Twins to improve the organization’s productivity by up to 25%.

Digital copies will be a useful tool in the construction industry such as providing diagnostic or prognostic information, calculating power consumption reduction, emissions reduction, etc. to increase investment return. Technology helps to create structural copies of construction works that are created, easily disassembled, and reused.

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