Building tomorrow: Navigating digital transformation in construction – An Interview with Clive Parsons


FuturePlace Interview Spotlight, Clive Parsons

FuturePlace recently interviewed Clive Parsons, Director, Digital Construction Office Construction at Mirvac, where he explores how the Data Analytics in Construction is enabling more timely decision making and greater insights across the projects where it is used..


FuturePlace: What technologies do you see driving real innovation across the industry?

Clive Parsons: The real innovation across property is going to be the digitisation of the supply chain. When we look at more advanced industries, we see that this one innovation is the rocket booster for industry wide transformation. What does this mean? It means the introduction of a standardised classification system that allows all products, materials and services to be universally referenced. It means a standardised bar coding system for the logistics associated with global materials and it will mean the introduction of technologies such as blockchain to manage all of this.

With this standardisation in place, we will start to see real customer integration through on-demand customisations, an accelerated move to renting spaces and not purchasing homes, and a demand to update my home as regularly as my vehicle or phone.


FuturePlace: How is the use of data altering the industrial maturity path of construction?

Clive Parsons: Auditability and trust of building quality is already becoming an issue today. How does the customer compare the quality of the building manufacture process between properties? How does a bank or insurance organisation understand the risk? How does this buildings construction ESG performance compare to the customers’ expectations?  This is now coming front of mind for many private and corporate customers, and we require consistent and standardised industry data frameworks to deliver this.

I believe that the data view will also change the way we design contracts with the parties involved in the design, build and operate. With the right digitisation in place, we can start to contract collaboratively allowing for win-win partnerships. Expensive and time consuming arguments about subjective positioning become a thing of the past. I.e.  A developer can now measure precisely the cost of waste production and disposal per trade. Contingencies budgeted for waste can now be replaced with true cost. The trades that produce less waste, get higher rewards delivering better value for the customer. Or by measuring every lift on the crane, I can now reward efficient behaviour with improved margins for the trade and again, better value for the customer.


With the right digitisation in place, we can start to contract collaboratively allowing for win-win partnerships. Expensive and time consuming arguments about subjective positioning become a thing of the past.


FuturePlace: How can more companies embrace the full toolbox within Digital Construction?

Clive Parsons: A building is just a type of system and the rules about how to design, construct and operate a building efficiently (that we all know so well)  are the same rules for designing, constructing and operating a digital system. The first step is always to understand the architecture (the data view) and once we understand at a high level how all the parts will fit together, then we can start to build.

Each company should understand their data architecture and information flows before jumping at the first bright shiny thing they see. Understand the big picture, understand their role in the information flow from source to customer and find the low hanging fruit for their business. Focus on that, but always with an eye into how this will feed into their next digital component. In this way, we prevent stand-alone investments with limited shelf life.


FuturePlace: Why should people attend FCON-Tech and what do you think they will learn from your session and the day overall?

Clive Parsons: Digital transformation is not an opportunity, it is a threat. We have very long turn around times in this industry and if you find yourself behind the 8 Ball, that can mean 2, 3 or even 4 years to catch up. No one wants to be in that position! FCON Tech can help companies understand what they need to do now, to make sure that they’re not left behind in the big game!


Clive will be speaking at the FCON-Tech Construction Technology Summit, taking place on 22nd November 2023 in Sydney.

This is the only dedicated event in the Australian market where tech decision makers and practitioners from across tier 1, 2 and 3 contractors can come together to discover the emerging technologies that will increase their productivity, deliver efficiencies, improve safety and profitability in a period of great uncertainty and disruption.

It will showcase real world case studies delivered by industry practitioners that will cover all the key considerations such as developing a technology roadmap, selecting the right partners, building internal capability and maximising the ROI of existing tools and systems.

Interested in being a blog contributor? Send us an email at [email protected] indicating your interest and we’ll contact you shortly.

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