As an industry, this is our opportunity to share the information, models and operating systems that we’ve created.

Data is only as valuable as the context within which it is shared and if it is to retain value, we all need to own that context. To be continually updating and refining our data is a task that we’ll all need to own, and it will be especially critical that it be web-enabled and organized in a standard format.

If we’re able to achieve this, what we will have is a virtual model comprised of individual buildings and the city or community within which those buildings reside. The models will be collaborations between contractors, builders, engineers and city officials and they will provide real-time insights for how a city can plan and build for its future.

We’re starting to do this in Boston, bringing together industry leaders and government officials from Boston proper, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the world. Our goal is to create a living 3D model of the city that will drive future development initiatives and be fully integrated into the geospatial environment.

This is powerful stuff, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Models of this kind can be created in cities around the world. We’re hoping that what is developed here in Boston will start an avalanche of change around the world.

Once that avalanche starts, the benefits will be immeasurable, from greater efficiencies to smarter, more sustainable cities.  But it’s up to us as an industry to create this change.

I look to my industry peers and colleagues to turn data, connectivity and VDC into our next great innovation. This legacy quite simply, is ours to create.

Peter Campot is Chief Innovation Officer for Suffolk Construction