Skanska: Robots could replace construction workers by 2050

Technical and operational efficiency director says sites may look like 'assembly plants dominated by robots'

Robots could replace manpower by 2050.
Robots could replace manpower by 2050.

Swedish construction group Skanska expects robots to replace manpower on construction sites by 2050 as the industry supports the drive for carbon neutral development and improved health and safety.

Speaking at the Construction Technology Forum 2019 at the Address Dubai Marina hotel, Skanska’s technical and operational efficiency director, Peter Jones, predicted that construction sites would look like “assembly plants dominated by robots” in the next 30 years.

“Sites will deliver net-zero carbon through the use of electric vehicles, and plant and machinery powered by renewable resources,” said Jones.

“There will be very little build completed on site, except for foundations and earthworks. It will be more like an outside factory, with various sub-assembled components being delivered to site to be assembled by robots or automated vehicles.”

Jones added that he believed that 90% of items would be automated and manufactured offsite. 

The forecast was shared by Arup’s global leader for digital services, Will Cavendish, who said companies wishing to stay at the forefront of the construction sector would have to make both technology and sustainability considerations “a priority”, or risk being left behind.

He added: “With the world becoming more polluted and fossil fuel use needing to reduce, the transformation to carbon-neutral infrastructure, buildings, transportation, and grids will become paramount to being able to live and operate in the Middle East.”

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