May 20, 2021


Building for the Future: Robots to Transform Construction

New ABB Robotics survey reveals that 9 out of 10 construction businesses predict a skills crisis by 2030

Thursday 20th May 2021: ABB is targeting the construction industry with new robotic automation solutions to address key c­hallenges, including the need for more affordable and environmentally friendly housing and to reduce the environmental impact of construction, amidst a labor and skills shortage.

In a global survey (1) commissioned by ABB of 1900 construction businesses in Europe, North America and China, 91 per cent said they face a skills crisis over the next ten years, with 44 per cent saying they struggle to recruit for construction jobs. Improving health and safety on building sites was a priority for 42 per cent and the same percentage said the environment is a key driver for industry change.

Sami Atiya, President of ABB’s Robotics & Discrete Automation Business Area said:

 “A new focus on health and safety and sustainability are catalysts for investment in robotics, while the shrinking pool of skilled labour means the construction industry needs robots to help keep pace with the challenges of urbanization and climate change."

81 per cent of construction businesses said they will introduce or increase the use of robotics and automation in the next decade, while today only a handful of businesses benefit from robotics. In the survey, only 55 per cent of construction companies say they use robots, compared with 84 per cent in Automotive and 79 per cent in Manufacturing.

Robots can make construction safer by handling large and heavy loads, working in unsafe spaces and enabling new, safer methods of construction. Using robots for the repetitive and dangerous tasks that people increasingly don’t want to do means automation can help support the industry’s labor and skills crisis and make construction careers more appealing to young people.

The latest large-scale ABB robotics 3D printing technology for the construction industry is being showcased by the Austrian architectural bureau MAEID at the Biennale Architettura 2021 curated by Hashim Sarkis in Venice, to inspire architects about the possibilities of automation and 3D printing, driving innovation and enabling new ways of building.

Robotic automation offers huge potential to enhance productivity, efficiency and manufacturing flexibility throughout the construction industry including automating the fabrication of modular homes and building components off-site, robotic welding and material handling on building sites and robot 3D printing of houses and customized structures. As well as making the industry safer and more cost-effective, robots are improving sustainability and reducing environmental impact by enhancing quality and cutting waste.

For more information, visit the ABB website. An ‘Automation and the Construction Industry’ panel discussion will be available to view on the website from 26 May 2021.


(1) ABB Construction Industry Survey May 2021. Conducted by 3Gem Global Market Research & Insights, the ABB construction industry survey of 2000 CEO or Managing Director decision-makers in large and small businesses including residential and commercial construction, component suppliers, contractors and subcontractors, architects and designs and consultants in the USA, Canada, China, UK, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, France & Italy.  Conducted April 22, 2021 - May 12, 2021, 3Gem Research & Insights utilize industry-standard panel management systems and adhere to stringent quality control procedures; delivering double opt-in, GDPR-compliant consumer and B2B panels.


B-Roll content can be downloaded below: 


GVs ABB Magic Queen at Biennale Architettura 2021:

GVs ABB IRB4600:

GVs Prefabrication at IndexLab, Italy:

GVs 3D Printing at XtreeE, France:

GVs Prefabrication at Skanska, Sweden:

GVs Magic Queen Preparation at the 17th Biennale Architettura 2021 curated by Hashim Sarkis’:

GVs Prefabrication at Intelligent City, USA:

GVs Prefabrication at Z Modular, USA:


IV Sami Atiya, President, Robotics & Discrete Automation, ABB Robotics:

IV Andrea Cassoni, Managing Director, General Industry, ABB Robotics & Discrete Automation - English & Italian: 

IV Pierpaolo Ruttico, Founder & Managing Director, INDEXLAB - English & Italian:

IV David Warne, VP Architecture & Design, Z Modular, Canada: 

IV Oliver David Krieg, CTO, Intelligent City, USA:

IV Oliver Lang, CEO & Co-Founder, Intelligent City, USA:

IV Rick Murdock, CEO & Co-Founder, Autovol, USA:

IV Ryan Okelberry, Co-Founder, House of Design, USA:

IV Ulf Håkansson, Technical Manager, Skanska Sweden - Swedish:

IV Ulf Håkansson, Technical Manager, Skanska, Sweden - English:

IV Tiziano Derme, Co-Founder & Director, MAEID, Austria - Italian:

IV Tiziano Derme, Co-Founder & Director, MAEID, Austria - English:

IV Daniella Mitterberger, Co-Founder & Director, MAEID, Austria:


For any further information, please contact Karun or Andriana at Sassy:       | +44 (0) 7725 940 179 |  | +44 (0) 7761 255 487 | 



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