07:30 AM, August 20, 2051

“Construction is a people business. In this business you are hired for your technical skills, and fired for your …”

“MOMMY I’m hungry!” flashed a text on Maya’s nD contact lenses. “Ugh! Not now,” thought Maya, “right when I’m wrapping up!”

ENR Construction Science Fiction ContestShe looked to her right, and with a touch of a button on her iDevice790 she activated the Augmented Reality Intelligent Vision, or ARIV, embedded in her nD contact lens. Looking beyond the wall, she saw that Ben was awake. ARIV parameters show that Ben had nine hours of undisturbed shuteye, constant room temperature at 75°F, 50% humidity, illuminance 30 lux, and was exhibiting normal body temperature, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation, with no signs of hunger.

“Weird,” she thought as she glanced back at the screen wall in front of her. “… fired for your lack of people skills …”

“MOMMY!!!” screamed another text on her lens. “OMG” she thought, “Where on earth is the nanny!” As she was about to thought-process her message, she saw Rosie zooming down the hallway with a glass of milk. “Saved by the iNanny. But really, I need to make more time for Ben,” she thought. Her iDevice790 created a new event on her calendar—‘Time with Ben, Wednesday 4pm–6pm.”

“… and promoted for your management skills.”

Maya was fast-reading a paper written a long time ago. Things were very different then—the construction industry was full of problems: excessive energy use, unsafe site conditions, an overbearing legal system, unforeseen conditions and low human productivity. Today, we have overcome most of these challenges to create ideal projects … well, almost. Problems are omnipresent, but then “Every difficulty bears in itself its own solution”—a philosophy that became Maya’s motivation during the course of her research in forensic construction management.

A ten-second vapor shower and a breakfast pill later, Maya was in her Hover Car. Knowing that morning trips are typically work commutes, the Hover Car automatically imports the address of the job site and Maya sits back to watch the news. “Opening of the Gasoline Museum; Water and food shortages; Stitching the ozone layer …” A couple of minutes later, she arrived at the job site.

It was a magnificent view, almost unfathomable: unmanned automatic cranes 720 feet tall moving entire pre-assembled ducts, robotic arms busy pouring a self-forming concrete mix, superintendents manning the site from their hovering pods. Busy, fast, ultramodern—an adrenaline rush!