Automation in the Construction Industry (internal expert hearing)

27 Feb 2018

Location: Rüschlikon/Zurich, Switzerland


"Shift happens: digital disruption is impacting the evolution of the built environment."
-Philipp Dohmen, Amberg Group 

This was the key message that emerged from the Expert Hearing on Automation in the Construction Industry attended by 40 Swiss Re experts and industry speakers at the Swiss Re Institute's Centre for Global Dialogue on 27 February, 2018.

Greg Schiffer, the head of Swiss Re Global Engineering, in his welcome to participants emphasized that an expert hearing is designed to promote dialogue between leading industry practitioners and risk experts to explore emerging trends and opportunities. External industry speakers were invited to offer their views on the following questions:

  • What are today's drivers of change in the construction industry?
  • How fast is the future coming and are businesses and insurers ready for it?
  • What can insurers do to cover emerging risks associated with these changes?

Read the full event summary.


Photos by: Rafael Haegi


Tuesday, 27 February 2018


Arrival, registration, coffee


Welcome and introduction
Greg Schiffer, Head Global Engineering, Swiss Re

Part I: Technology as a means of improving construction


A framework for technology adoption
Paul Curschellas, Bauen digital Schweiz, buildingsmart Switzerland


Leveraging automation for better productivity and quality
Henry Unterreiner, Structural Engineer, Arup

Alvise Simondetti, Global Leader Virtual Design, Arup


Coffee break


The impact of changing construction methods on the risk landscape
Patrice Nigon, Head Engineering Product Center, Global Engineering, Swiss Re


Discussion Fora



Part 2: Revolutionising production methods, surveying and manufacturing


Drones: A new flightpath for construction
Benjamin Pinguet, Product Manager Inspection, senseFly


Digital fabrication: Enhancing production methods
Prof Robert J. Flatt, ETHZ NCCR DFab


BIM: Converting concept into practice
Antoine Rérolle, Head of Engineering, Losinger Marazzi


Coffee break


Disruption: Innovation in perspective
Philipp Dohmen, Bauen digital Schweiz, buildingsmart Switzerland


Discussion Fora


Closing remarks

This event may be photographed, filmed and/ or recorded. A summary of the event, pictures and/or a video of the event in which you may appear may be posted and made available on Swiss Re’s and the Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue’s internal and external websites and in printed materials.

About the event

The construction industry is facing an increase in demand for housing and infrastructure that will escalate over the coming years. To manage this growth the industry is developing new construction methods to improve productivity and the reliability of built objects. Technological developments in robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT) and construction management and collaboration software are opening perspectives for an industry that is often described as risk averse and traditional.

Modification of construction methods and technologies also implies changes for the insurance industry: influencing the quality of the risks insured as well as key aspects of the insurance professionals' business. To understand the nature and extent of these changes, this expert hearing facilitates a dialogue between concerned construction and insurance practitioners.

The expert hearing will include presenters from across the construction industry and academia including: large contractors, promising startups and multidisciplinary researchers. Various technological developments will be introduced followed by discussions on the future of the industry.