Resource Management for Sustainability

Construction isn’t all building, it also includes demolition when a new structure replaces an old one. Between constructing and deconstructing, a lot of waste product is generated. In fact, the EPA estimated that 600 million tons of C&D (construction and demolition) debris were generated in the United States in 2018, the last year complete figures are available, which is more than twice the amount of generated municipal solid waste.

Adding Functions for Property Management

The paper and pencil approach to everyday business function is going the way of…well, of paper and pencils. Software, on computers or in the cloud, is taking over those chores and with the near ubiquitous connectivity present today, keeping multiple levels of the organization aware of each and every transaction is common.

Expansion in the Clouds

As more software companies move to SaaS (software-as-a-service) utilizing a cloud platform, construction companies are seeking ways to use those services to their best advantage. That’s not only true in the U.S., but across the globe and aggressive companies see opportunities in foreign markets. One such company is Texas-based ECI Software Solutions.

In October this past year, it purchased Merchant Systems Group Limited, the U.K.-based developer of the eCommonSense platform, an eCommerce and product data management solution specifically designed for lumber and building materials, hardware/home center, and related home supply dealers. Designed by a tradesman specifically for the building materials supply sector, eCommonSense integrates with the most common business management systems so that building suppliers can improve efficiency, grow profitably, and increase customer satisfaction. eCommonSense will join ECI’s LBM and Hardlines group, which will leverage eCommonSense as both an integration to its cloud-based ERP solutions as well as a standalone global eCommerce solution.

Corporate Sustainability in North America

Making progress, North America is rapidly gaining ground on Europe to become a region to watch in terms of corporate sustainability leadership. This insight and more are found in the fifth annual edition of the Business Sustainability Risk & Performance Index, by business sustainability ratings provider EcoVadis.

Cementing Relationships

We hear a lot about removing CO2 from cement and concrete to mitigate the impact that those products have on the environment and climate change. But there is more sustainability potential in cement than has been recognized. In fact, smart building contractors who profess sustainable, “net-zero” energy consumption, have a new approach to champion.

Smart Thermostats and CO2

While the U.S. Congress debates the need for new approaches to solving the problems that confront us in mitigating the climate crisis, Europe has defined the issue in more detail. Its approach, the Green Deal, establishes goals and, to realize these goals and reduce CO2 emissions, approximately €600 billion has been reserved in the EU’s Green Deal funds.  

City in the Sea

In many countries, land use is becoming more restrictive as agricultural lands are being set aside to maintain food supplies and buildable land is being exhausted. Cities are growing up instead of out, but high-rise living isn’t for everybody. The height of buildings is tightly regulated in most areas due to the conditions of the ground or fear of natural elements such as earthquake and hurricane.

Construction Robots: Data Collectors

Science and science fiction often compete for the minds of the general population. The term “robot,” for example, can conjure up many different images, depending on the experience and movie going history of the listener. Engineers might imagine a machine doing repetitive work that bores humans while labor union leaders would see the same image as taking away jobs. Robotic designers have been seeking ways to make robots less threatening and more productive for generations, going so far as adding human features and voice to what amounts to a guided vehicle delivering food to patients in a hospital.

AI and the Sun

Artificial intelligence, otherwise known as AI can benefit many areas where data is dominant. A novel application is in solar arrays at the utility level. Heliogen’s technology, for example, is a modular, turnkey, AI-enabled concentrated solar energy system that has the potential to deliver clean energy with nearly 24/7 availability. Heliogen has been granted by Woodside Energy (USA) Inc. a Limited Notice to Proceed to begin procurement of key equipment for a 5 megawatt commercial-scale demonstration facility in California.

BIM and Geography

BIM (building information modeling) provides a lot of information for construction and maintenance of structures. Computer aided design or CAD has been a major tool in “loading” a BIM project’s database. Now, other tools are being integrated with BIM for increased digital transformation of the industry.