Mar/Apr 2013

Driving the industry forward with the right technology.

A convergence of trends is driving construction companies and corporate owners to consider moving off traditional legacy-based systems and seek new solutions to keep up with the current demands of the industry. Terms like mobile, BIM (building information modeling), and collaboration aren’t just buzzwords anymore. Rather, these concepts and processes are leading contractors and owners toward a new way of thinking that encompasses a change both in business initiatives and technology adoption for 2013.

Such an undertaking isn’t easy. In order to effectively develop strategies for mobile and collaboration, contractors need to identify how business processes will function within the company before developing the plan for technology adoption. Then when selecting new technology big-ticket features such as being able to share data between the office and the field or even between various project stakeholders becomes essential.

The Constructech Top Products can serve as a guide to the hottest technology available for the construction marketplace. When judging the 2013 Top Products, the editors of Constructech took into consideration the backbone and core functionality of each technology platform, which helps determine whether or not the product is scalable and built on a platform that allows for future growth. The editors also identified if the product has new functionality and features that allows for more progressive strategies surrounding mobility and collaboration, among others.

Top Products can fall within two categories: New Products or Trusted Products. The former has a combination of a solid foundation along with the potential for future growth. Trusted Products must also meet the requirement of having a good technology backbone, but must also demonstrate timely enhancements. This year’s Top Products for 2013 are indexed on the following page by company, product name, and application. Enhanced writeups of products can be found on the subsequent pages.

As more technology providers are acquired and the emergence of mobile, BIM, and collaboration begin to truly take hold, contractors are going to have to do business in new ways—and technology is going to have to play a big part in the culture shift. These Top Products have the core functionality needed to do better business and the innovative functionality to take your company to a whole new level.

Constructech staff

Collaboration

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Aconex
www.aconex.com
San Bruno, Calif.

Aconex Field
Taking it to the field, Aconex Field is a cloud-based mobile and Web application built for the inspection and issues management process. The product captures, distributes, and tracks defects and other issues at the point of creation, and then sends this data back to a collaborative Web application that manages project information. A key aspect is everyone involved in resolving issues can access the system in realtime via a mobile device, view a live punch list for a location, update issue status, and report completion and close-out. Constructech editors like the clean and easy-to-use interface, which seems very intuitive when operating on a device like an iPad. Also impressive is that the company has tailored the solution around role-based tasks that enable users to assign issues by worker. Aconex Field integrates with the company’s project collaboration platform.

Collaboration

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Aconex
www.aconex.com
San Bruno, Calif.

Aconex Online Collaboration Platform
Collaboration remains essential in construction and Aconex continues to refine its platform built for this very task. At its core, the product facilitates a collaborative environment by providing a single platform for organizations to exchange data and manage cross-organizational processes, while creating an audit trail that cannot be deleted. The audit trail is key as owners require a record of all communications on a project to manage risk. Delivered as a cloud-based service, the product features enhancements such as an operations and maintenance handover solution, a mobile field inspection and issues management solution, and BIM management tools such as a Revit plug-in. Constructech editors like the BIM Viewer addition with redline, collaborative view, and a “walkthrough” in 3D, which shows a commitment to improving collaboration as it relates to virtual design and construction.

BIM

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Bentley Systems
www.bentley.com
Exton, Pa.

Bentley Navigator
When it comes to reviewing and analyzing project information, infrastructure project teams continue to rely on Bentley Navigator. The company blends together versatile viewing capabilities with an intuitive user experience to help project teams stay ahead of errors through the ability for sophisticated analysis of project metrics. Closed loop redlines contained in the product allow users to assign markups, display redlines in MicroStation, and contain support for hypermodel. An i-model Publishing option helps with filtering and renaming of i-model data using data transformations. Support for the point cloud and raster help users further manage the process. Constructech editors like the upgrade for the iPad, demonstrating the versatility of the software for the field. Overall, Bentley Navigator is a powerful and trusted tool for infrastructure projects.

BIM

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Bentley Systems
www.bentley.com
Exton, Pa.

ProjectWise
Built as a system of collaborative servers and services for AECO information, ProjectWise helps manage information related to design and construction while work is in progress. By establishing a secure and managed environment the product facilitates work sharing, content reuse, and dynamic feedback capabilities, such as review, mark-up, clash resolution, and visualization, among others. Upgrades to Project- Wise V8i include work-sharing capabilities such as point cloud data management, Web, and mobile access. Constructech editors like the inclusion of Bentley Transmittal Services, which includes a transmittal register to keep track of all project deliverables in a single location. It also includes a Web portal for the delivery of transmittals and submittals. In all, Bentley continues to refine its collaborative solution, demonstrating why it remains a leader for infrastructure teams around the globe.

Collaboration

Bluebeam Software
www.bluebeam.com
Pasadena, Calif.

Bluebeam Revu 10
Contractors and owners are constantly looking for a better way to collaborate on projects. Bluebeam Software takes collaboration to a whole new level with Bluebeam Revu 10. The PDF-based collaboration product—which is in use at many construction corporations across the country—allows project teams to manage, share, review, and redline project documents. Bluebeam has taken the technology a step further, offering Bluebeam Studio, which is cloud-based technology that connects project partners throughout the project lifecycle. Constructech editors like that the product can be used on a desktop or tablet, enabling users to collaborate by sharing project files online. With a product like Revu, teams have a much easier way to share and markup documents.

Bidding/Estimating

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ConEst Software Systems
www.conest.com
Manchester, N.H.

IntelliBid Estimating Software
ConEst’s estimating program, designed specifically for electrical, low-voltage, and data-cabling industries, allows users to determine labor and material requirements. Following up on the 2011 announcement that the company released a new version of the software built on the Microsoft.NET platform using SQL server, the company has since spent the past year developing additional enhancements and upgrades for the product. The Constructech editors like that ConEst continues to create integrations with takeoff, accounting, and CAD (computer-aided design) software, making processes easier for contractors. With the ability to automatically calculate material and labor requirements and check installation against code specifications by accessing built-in NEC tables, it is no wonder this product continues to be adopted by electrical contractors nationwide.

Project Management

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ConEst Software Systems
www.conest.com
Manchester, N.H.

JobTrac Project Management Software
ConEst provides powerful project management for electrical and low-voltage contractors. JobTrac helps users focus on the core objectives: knowing the correct labor unit for installation. This is done through the product’s ability to help users schedule, track, and bill each project in an efficient manner, while also creating a historical repository for actual costs for each project based on occupancy type. Constructech likes the focus the company has placed recently on integrating the product with its estimating software in order to provide full cycle job costing to help ensure what is estimated can be performed in the field. It is simply another way to keep a better eye on the process— an action ConEst seems to have covered from all angles.

Project Management

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Corecon Technologies
www.corecon.com
Huntington Beach, Calif.

Corecon V7
Combining estimating, project management, job-cost control, scheduling, and collaboration under one integrated Web-based platform, Corecon V7 is a powerful tool for commercial and residential contractors. Corecon remains steadfast in its commitment to del