STEEL HORIZONS | BOSTON Speaker Series 2 - Changing our view of data, BIM and design-make solutions with Amy Marks

Step into the future of industrialized construction with our exclusive STEEL HORIZONS | BOSTON speaker series. In each post, we spotlight one speaker from our recent STEEL HORIZONS | BOSTON event and share their insights about the future of construction. 

Next up is Amy Marks. At the time of the presentation in June, Amy was VP of Enterprise Transformation Practice at Autodesk. The self-styled ‘Queen of Prefab’, she recently took on a new role as Executive VP of Global Strategy for Symetri USA. Her insightful talk covers how expected experience is changing our view of data, BIM and design-make solutions.


Amy Marks has built a reputation as one of the world’s leading prefabrication consultants. While at Autodesk, she incorporated transformational methodologies and championed new, innovative ways of working to help clients’ transition to more efficient, sustainable and profitable prefabrication.

In her STEEL HORIZONS talk, Amy explores how new design and make technologies and approaches can cut waste, increase efficiency to make construction smarter, more efficient and more sustainable. 

Construction businesses to be unrecognizable in the next 5 years

A convergence of previously separate technologies, processes and data is creating new products and services that will reshape the industry’s structures, and most interestingly, its business models, according to Amy. The change is ongoing and in five years, most construction industry businesses will transform:

“We just did a study at Advancing Prefab and asked a group of people in the next five years what’s going to happen to your business. More than a third of the room said their businesses would be unrecognizable,” says Amy.  

“How many $14 trillion ecosystems on the planet do you know that have yet to be commercialized with e-commerce? … We’re pretty much it.”

Expected experience – how is the industry going to change?

The construction industry is expecting a change, but what will cause it? Amy explains that when our expected experiences are not met, change happens. For example, on most construction sites when we need to get something done we may call someone, who calls someone else to see if your expensive equipment is going to arrive, to find out if you’re going to work today.

“Why is that our expected experience? … You know you can order pizza with far more technology than what we’re doing here today?”

For that change to happen there first needs to be dissatisfaction with the way things are, a vision of what is possible and concrete steps of action - plus overcoming any resistance - most of which is internal. 

What does your business want to be when it grows up? 

The Queen of Prefab goes on to discuss the importance of connected teams, connected processes and usable, connected data - to enable the gathering of project data which you can configure and reuse.

Amy explains that this could help productize construction processes into customizable building products and create a platform experience similar to what she has when she shops on Amazon:

“I can go on my Amazon account right now and find out how many times I’ve bought brand X shoes, how they were ranked, how I liked them and how long I’ve had them but I can’t do that for any component in construction at all, anywhere.” 

Gathering data and producing the construction ecosystem will not only help increase efficiency, it will help eliminate waste and bring about a more sustainable future:

“That is why I first joined Autodesk for those of you who don’t know. I believe Autodesk has the stack and the open platform to make it possible.”


October 2023   #Features   #Events