7 AEC & Manufacturing Industry Trends to Watch in 2022

Here are seven AEC and manufacturing industry trends to watch in 2022:

  1. Cloud collaboration
  2. Survey drone use
  3. Smart home automation
  4. CFD software use
  5. Blockchain technology 
  6. Robotics
  7. Investing in human capital

Let’s explore these AEC and manufacturing industry trends with help from our professionals on the Pinnacle Series and Eagle Point Software team!

Cloud collaboration

“Cloud Collaboration is the most prominent trend that I see continuing and evolving in this year,” says Don Quinn, Civil Technology Manager at Eagle Point Software. “Organizations will need to continue putting more focus on moving their platforms and workflows to the cloud and make it the standard mode of operation. Engineering projects involve a lot of data. Having a ‘single source of truth,’ where teammates can access the most current updates and revisions, is a significant time-saver, will help to limit errors, and reduce rework.”

That “single source of truth” is a great description of Pinnacle Series! In Pinnacle, users can find thousands of learning assets covering dozens of important AEC&M software programs. Plus, we have built-in custom content and collaboration tools enabling employees to connect and work on projects together.

Survey drone use

The other trend Quinn highlights is the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones or UAVs, to conduct survey work. 

“The use of drones for field survey is becoming more accurate, and provides a significant turnaround time for early design work, as well as real-time assessments,” he says. “The use of UAV will continue to grow rapidly over this year, and organizations should stay on the forefront of this technology and get their employees trained and licensed to operate and use them.”

Smart home automation

In 2022, smart technology will continue to be adopted in people’s everyday lives and homes. Chad Close, Building Technology Manager for Eagle Point Software, sees a lot of opportunities for the construction industry to get involved right from the design phase. 

“Currently, most homeowners convert their home into a ‘smart’ home through the aftermarket purchase of appliances, hardware, software, and services,” he says. “These often perform individual functions rather than take an overall integrated approach to the entire home. Collaboration between the architect, electrical designer, contractor, and installer of the home automation system is important for an integrated approach to smart home automation for new construction and major renovations.”

For instance, he suggests that instead of having separate smart home settings to control lighting, temperature, security, ventilation, alarms, appliances, and so on, they can all be connected to work in tandem. Users could have one setting for waking up, one for going to work, and one for going to bed. This could be particularly useful for people who are elderly or have disabilities who can benefit from easy, built-in smart home automation.

CFD software use

Speaking of technology to adjust ventilation, Close’s other trend highlight is CFD software. “CFD or Computational Fluid Dynamics software has been used for some time by mechanical designers for hospitals and other project types that have strict requirements for temperature distribution and ventilation,” he explains. 

“COVID has made designers think more about using CFD to study airflow for other project types like schools and commercial projects. Being able to design buildings with ventilation rates that exchange air fast enough to minimize infection helps address current and future health concerns.”

Prepare your teams for this trend by acquiring and training them in software including Ansys, Autodesk CFD, SimScale, CFD Module, Flowsquare, Solidworks, and others. You can visit our Content Catalog to see which trainings are available on our AEC & M e-learning platform!

Blockchain technology 

Blockchain isn’t just for Bitcoin anymore. Bianca Holtier Coury, Construction Technology Manager at Eagle Point Software, says, “Blockchain has been somewhat of an esoteric topic, but it’s starting to pick up steam in construction spheres of influence. One of its main pillars is rooted in its role as a financial honesty marker. It takes a very fragmented industry and converts many of the essential buckets of construction work into a streamlined, smart, trusted source of accountability and transparent information. It leads to a reduction in error, late payments and disputes among other things.” 

She continues, “For those interested in Digital Twins, linking Blockchain to BIM can be the key driver for improvement in procurement, smart contracts, construction project accounting, and asset handover.”


Historically, construction has been an industry with many dangers. Robotics can help to decrease many of these risks and increase project efficiency. 

“With the emergence of robotics on the jobsite, construction is witnessing an uptick in safety, sustainability, and enhanced project controls,” Holtier Coury says. 

“Whether robots serve as a way to automate mundane tasks or get into crawl spaces for reality capture purposes (queue Boston Dynamics Spot recent partnership with Trimble’s X7 3D laser scanner and Trimble’s FieldLink software), construction robotics is supporting the way we have traditionally worked and provides the construction industry time to reset and focus on areas where creativity and problem solving is best kept to humans.”

Investing in human capital

Humans are the greatest asset for any company in any industry. “Human capital” is a term that refers to the factors that aren’t measurable on a balance sheet but actually matter more than anything else — your employees’ unique personalities, skills, education, health, and more. 

Holtier Coury says, “As the labor market shifts in construction, companies need to be agile and responsive in how they connect with people. Learning, development, operational excellence, continuous improvement, reskilling, training – all of these combined are highly important.”

Pinnacle Series makes a great addition to your company’s learning and development initiatives. Here are five benefits of using our e-learning system to upskill employees.

If your organization already uses Pinnacle Series, you can log in now to assign training that will help your team master these trends for 2022 and beyond.

Not a Pinnacle Series user yet, but want to explore how the platform can help you stay on top of emerging trends and technologies? Reach out to Schedule a demo or pilot with our team!


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