Construction in the Cloud

Collaboration means more than meeting people. Digital collaboration means more than emailing them. A major connecting element in today’s digital collaboration is the ubiquitous cloud, computing’s collection place.

Although construction firms have been accused of being the slowest segment to computerize, that is rapidly changing as factors, such as the cloud, make going digital easier. As COVID-19 unleashed a great acceleration in digital transformation across all sectors, with so much to gain and so much at stake, the speed of transformation among construction companies during the past few months has been impressive.


Sensors for Surveillance

When unrest and protests populate the evening news, thoughts quickly focus on security for the home. Builders and architects are taking notice and adding security measures to their plans and offering a variety of options that can increase the homeowner’s comfort level. Among the options being offered are cameras and sensors that allow monitoring of access points as well as the interior.

Leica Geosystems recently introduced its BLK247 security product that addresses the need for 3D sensors in today’s surveillance industry. It provides an entry to true 3D surveillance technology and makes accurate decisions on when to trigger an alarm. It also creates new opportunities for security systems integrators to offer one of the industry’s most innovative surveillance products.


Meeting COVID-19’s NEXT Challenge

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.


Insurance for Highly Protected Projects

In commercial property insurance, facilities that incorporate added safety and risk avoidance measures, such as sprinkler systems, are considered a 'Highly Protected Risk' and can earn more favorable insurance rates and terms. With a greater adoption of technology on construction jobsites, the opportunity exists to extend more competitive insurance coverage and capacity for projects that are taking action to reduce risks.


Improving Infrastructure: Land, Sea, and Cloud

When a major software company holds its annual conference for users, investors, and suppliers, announcements flow like bottled water in the desert. For the construction industry, we are seeing more solutions for leveraging digital twin—which could completely transform the shape and face of our infrastructure in the months ahead.

Bentley Systems, well-known in the infrastructure segment of construction for its digital twin and other advanced systems, is virtual conferencing with its annual YII (Year In Infrastructure) event this week and some of the announcements are well worth your time. For example, Siemens Energy and Bentley announced a joint solution that delivers intelligent analytics derived from domain experience to reduce operating expenditures associated with oil and gas assets. The new service, known as Asset Performance Management for Oil & Gas, or APM4O&G, combines Bentley’s asset performance software capabilities—AssetWise—with Siemens Energy’s technology and service expertise to empower operators to improve maintenance operations and planning. Part of Siemens Energy’s Omnivise digital solutions portfolio, the system supports maintenance activities across several assets, including onshore compressor stations and gas processing plants, as well as offshore production platforms and FPSO (floating production, storage, and offloading) vessels.


Modern People Moving

Bridges are common; they’ve been around for thousands of years. Airports have used moving walkways for decades. Now the two are being combined as thyssenkrupp Elevator provides surface-mounted, modular moving walks for longest pedestrian bridge in the U.S.

thyssenkrupp Elevator will provide six of its moving iwalks for a 1,000-foot pedestrian bridge being built on the 1.5 million-sq.ft. campus for United Shore, home to WHM (wholesale mortgage) lending company. When completed, the pedestrian bridge will be the longest in the U.S. Final installation of all six iwalks is expected in 2021.


Smart Cities Rise Up with Digital Twin

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.