The State of Construction and Technology

How are industries recovering from the fallout that has surrounded the COVID-19 pandemic? This is something I am exploring over on Connected World this month and wanted to dig into the topic here on Constructech as well. Here are the two big questions at hand: what is the state of the construction industry today and how does technology fit in? This is not a new topic, but the pandemic has certainly thrown a wrench in the discussion, so to speak, and it’s worth tackling the topic before we look at the predictions for the New Year.

Critical Company Decisions for 2021

As companies realigned their workflow to compensate for the 2020 COVID-19 remote-work requirements, decisions were made at the highest levels on how to implement this “new normal.” With progress being made to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus through vaccines and protocols such as mask wearing and social distancing, executives are being urged to look forward to the next series of changes.

2020 Constructech 50: Companies that Serve Construction

Your construction company has been disrupted. Projects were halted. Workers were furloughed. New safety procedures and processes were required. Companies that recognize this are taking proactive steps to determine what’s next—and how to move forward. Central to this is technology. Digital transformation, AI (artificial intelligence), 5G, the IoT (Internet of Things), biometrics, AR (augmented reality), VR (virtual reality), blockchain, robotics, and more have never been more important than they are today.

Beyond the need for technology due to a change in business, the numbers are also pointing us toward digital transformation. CompTIA (Computing Technology Industry Assn.) Emerging Technology Community lists the top three technologies today as AI, 5G, and the IoT, while Grand View Research projects the AI market will reach almost $391 billion by 2025, and ResearchAndMarkets predicts AI and IoT devices market will surpass $105 billion in North America alone. Reports also show that the global cellular IoT market is expected to climb 18.54% from the end of 2019 to 2025. Add in the fact that the pandemic is accelerating the need for digital transformation, and the outcome is going to be ramping up for the IoT on the construction jobsite.

Virtual Big Rooms

I’ve written about Big Rooms (Obeya Spaces) and their important role in design and construction projects in past articles. Big rooms are invaluable for creating shared knowledge spaces, facilitating team decision-making, and enabling all stakeholders share in understanding the problems and continue focusing on project goals. BIM (building information modeling) enabled the idea of big rooms as a place for the design and construction team to jointly work together during the coordination and detailing activity (clash and clear of the trade models during coordination phase of the project). Lean construction is facilitated by deployment of big rooms.

Empowering Your Construction in Times of Crisis to Emerge Strong

Many projects are shutting down or working with reduced staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. Add to that the well-documented existing worker shortage and work risks falling behind schedule as uncertainty about the future looms. While seemingly dire, technology is enabling organizations to continue some operations and keep projects on track.

Construction Equipment Tech Trends from CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020

From March 10-14, manufacturers and construction professionals gathered at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 to learn about the latest in equipment. Multiple construction and construction materials industry segments were represented. Here’s what you might have missed.

Monitoring Green

Remodelers and contractors are being asked to go green more and more these days. Helping them determine how green their work is can often be a “by guess and by golly” approach. Now, technology is coming to the rescue by offering a way to understand the true scale and impact of the carbon emissions they generated for indoor thermal comfort. Motili, a real-estate technology company, is making available its Carbon Calculator, a tool created to provide the industry with the ability to calculate carbon emissions associated with HVAC operations. Commercial and multi-family building owners and operators now have access to information that will help them determine how green their systems really are. With the Carbon Calculator, clients can identify problem properties and inefficient HVAC (heating ventilating, and air conditioning) units that are making the largest environmental impact.

Can We “Unlearn and Relearn”?

“Damn!” The mobile device I use daily not only wouldn’t come up to my apps, but kept rebooting every 60 seconds or so. The goofy tablet wouldn’t even shut off. We’ve probably all been there, and I knew what was needed—off to the local computer repair depot.

Data-Driven: Infrastructure Construction Looks for an Answer

Of course, we live in a data-driven world. From your handheld computer, called a smartphone, to the supercomputer on your desktop, data is everywhere. The social media that has become the go-to source of communication and interaction depends on input—data—to provide that communication.