The hype factor of digital technologies in AEC
Journal article, 2021

Purpose – This paper aims to focus on 11 digital technologies (i.e. building information modeling, artificial intelligence and machine learning, 3D scanning, sensors, robots/automation, digital twin, virtual reality, 3D printing, drones, cloud computing and self-driving vehicles) that are portrayed in future trend reports and hype curves. The study concentrates on the current usage and knowledge of digital technologies in the Swedish architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry to gain an insight in the possible expectations and future trajectory of these digital technologies.
Design/methodology/approach – The study applies an abductive approach which is based on three different types of methods. These methods are a literature and document study which focused on 11 digital technologies, two workshops with industry (13 participants) and an online survey
(N = 84).
Findings – The paper contributes to a current state analysis of the Swedish AEC industry concerning digital technologies and discusses the trajectory of these technologies for the AEC industry. The paper identifies hype factors, in which the knowledge of a digital technology is related to its usage. From the hype factors, four zones that show different stages of digital technology usage and maturity in the industry are
Originality/value – The contribution of the paper is twofold. The paper shows insight into opportunities, the current barriers, use and knowledge of digital technologies for the different actors in the AEC industry. Furthermore, the study shows that the AEC industry is behind the traditional Gartner hype curves and contributes with defining four zones for digital technologies for the Swedish AEC industry: confusion, excitement, experimentation and integration.

Future study

Hype curve

Usage and prioritization

Hype factor

Technology knowledge

Digital technologies

Construction technology


Petra Bosch-Sijtsema

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Service Management and Logistics

Christina Claeson-Jonsson

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Construction Management

Mikael Johansson

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Construction Management

Mattias Roupé

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Construction Management

Construction Innovation

1471-4175 (ISSN) 1477-0857 (eISSN)

Vol. 21 4 899-916

Strategic outlook of new technological opportunities for construction

Centre for Management of the Built Environment (CMB) (123), 2017-09-01 -- 2019-04-30.

Subject Categories

Construction Management

Building Technologies



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6/3/2022 7