In June, we noted the NEXT Coalition’s Construction Safety Challenge and explained how an industry group focused on infrastructure and construction was challenging the industry to come up with new and innovative ideas for meeting the COVID-19’s impact on jobsites across the country. The original companies forming the NEXT Coalition were Black & Veatch, DPR Construction, Haskell, and McCarthy Building Companies. They were soon joined by Swinerton and Truebeck Construction.

The NEXT Coalition has now chosen five pilot projects meant to protect crews against challenges posed by COVID-19. The pilot projects—chosen from 84 applications and products from 78 companies and startups who responded to a call for coronavirus solutions—include wearable technology for contact tracing and social distancing, digital pre-screening of workers, and smart video monitoring for health and safety.

Smart-city developments around the globe are anticipated to increase in the next several years—with a number of organizations predicting substantial growth. The pandemic in many cases is accelerating this need, as regulatory bodies are hyper focused on monitoring the health and safety of citizens. With the rise of the digital twin, cities have a tool to help make this a reality.

There is great potential for steady growth in the global smart-city market, with MarketsandMarkets predicting it will grow from $410.8 billion in 2020 to $820.7 billion by 2025, which is a growth rate of 14.8%. This includes adoption in transportation, utilities, buildings, and citizen services, thanks to the uptick in the IoT (Internet of Things), big data, analytics, cloud, security, and network connectivity.

The commercial building market is expected to grow in 2020, driven by medical office and industrial buildings while the general office market will see flatter conditions, according to a survey of commercial real estate brokers Transwestern and its Canadian partner Devencore. The commercial building market is expected to grow in 2020, driven by medical office and industrial buildings while the general office market will see flatter conditions, according to a survey of commercial real estate brokers Transwestern and its Canadian partner Devencore.

While it predicts the U.S. office sector should remain relatively steady, medical offices will boost the overall market.