December 2014

I must say I have a soft spot for the residential building market, and I am excited to watch as the market begins to rebound.

While associations are reporting highs for housing numbers, the rebound is really just beginning. But this is the point where—if you haven’t done so already—your company should be looking at how technology can help you prepare for the uptick. With this in mind, we have packed this issue full of content about how residential firms can build back up with technology.

What technologies took top billing for residential homebuilders in 2014? How did business build back up? I encourage you to turn to the cover story, which looks at big trends in mobile, BIM (building information modeling), ERP (enterprise-resource planning), estimating, and scheduling, just to name a few, in the past year, in order to identify where the space is headed in the year to come. This article will help you not only identify what has happened in the past, but also what is to come in the future.

In this issue, we also have our annual Constructech Buyer’s Guide and Constructech Vision Awards—both of which are great resources for builders looking for new technology. The Buyer’s Guide highlights the top technologies by category, while the Vision Awards features case studies about how other builders and contractors have used technology to gain a competitive advantage.

In addition to being an exciting year in the residential housing market, it has been a very exciting year here at Constructech magazine. Looking back on 2014, we launched a new app for Android and Apple devices at the beginning of the year, addressing the mobile needs of the construction industry. In the summer, we unveiled a updated design of the magazine, with new departments in an easier-to-read format. This ultimately culminated in the launch of a new Website. If you haven’t had a chance to peruse the new Website, I encourage you to do so. It combines many old favorites such as the Tech Index, with new content in Contractor’s Corner.

Yes, it has been a busy year for the residential construction community, as well as a busy year here at Constructech. From discussions I have had with those involved in construction, there is one piece of advice I can offer: Put the right technology—and associated processes—in place now. It will come in handy as the market continues to pick up.

Laura Black

Residential Rebound Sparked by Tech
Since I started covering construction some 15 years ago, I have been amazed by its resiliency and its commitment to keep moving forward. While many industries have a tendency to implode on themselves, the construction industry is constantly working to improve upon itself as well as find new and innovative methods for builders and subcontractors who are adopting and embracing technology.

At our Technology Day event this past October we witnessed so many residential builders/contractors looking upbeat about the economic outlook. It was truly exciting to see so many talking about how technology will improve their bottomlines. We even heard some chatting up the many benefits of the data captured via UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), otherwise known as drones, which are changing and even improving jobsite communication. One very large subcontractor indicated his firm is exploring how UAVs can improve its building process through the use of cameras, sensing, and other navigation technologies. If you think drones are too futuristic, think again.

As this issue reveals, technology is advancing quickly and many companies are jumping in with both feet well beyond just using tablets in the field. The real question now is what technologies are you reviewing and if you aren’t perhaps you should be looking at our Buyer’s Guide, Tech Index, and our Vision Award winners to help in your search. It’s truly your chance to learn from others who have taken the technology leap forward. Happy Reading!

Peggy Smedley
Editorial Director

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