Three-dimensional printing of models and components will become commonly used tools. Imagineers will design, model, and print in 3-D to test and communicate ideas, and then build for real.

Business intelligence will no longer be an oxymoron for many firms, as well-designed and well-purposed enterprise resource systems become more accessible to companies in the industry.

The "Internet of Things" will grow exponentially and have a direct impact on design, engineering, construction and facilities management, as embedded sensors, cloud-based analysis and rapid data exchange turns our deaf, dumb and blind structures into introspective communicators. They will become like our elderly relatives, absorbed with conveying their aches and pains to us incessantly, with one crucial difference: we can heal them.

But hand-in-hand with that, expect the challenge of capturing, storing, sharing, managing, analyzing, interpreting and presenting the "big data"—that vast collection of information piling up as a product of all of that sensor data collection and analysis, to grow as well.

In response, look for a drive to simplify data delivery through browser-based interfaces, neutral file formats and innovative visualization.

In short, look for an exciting year ahead.