The construction industry is a trillion dollar business, and yet the most recent numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that only 8.9% of this industry is women. Something needs to change.
The construction industry is at a tipping point, of sorts. Many of the traditional technology providers still have viable products and hold a significant amount of the marketshare, but Silicon Valley is producing a lot of unique, innovative tools for the industry. The challenge is getting the two to talk.
A few years back, I wrote a cover story in Constructech magazine [May/June 2012, Sustain the Project, p10] that identified how to go green at each phase of a job. The article addressed a number of areas such as design and the lifecycle, but a big part of the article narrowed in on using technology to manage green certifications.
Many of you following my blogs in the past few weeks know I am doing a series on what technology is hot, and what technology is not. The first focused on 3D printing, while the second addresses mobility including apps, VR (virtual reality), and AR (augmented reality). The objective is to help you with technology buying decisions in the year ahead. Today’s focus is automation in buildings.
The world is ever-changing. It is becoming even more digital and the IoT (Internet of Things) is proving to be the next journey that the construction industry is exploring and undertaking at a very rapid clip. As a result, Oracle CEO Mark Hurd has a very interesting perspective about the cloud. As he sees it, IoT applications will enable businesses to leverage connected devices, mobility, and to advance to the supply chain, helping companies to get even more information to their customers.
Last week, I kicked of a series of blogs where I looked into some of the latest technology to help determine ‘what’s hot’ and ‘what’s not.’ Too often, it is challenging to watch the technology curve and identify what is coming next, but this is critical to determine where to spend IT dollars.
After attending CONEXPO/CON-AGG last week I couldn’t help but be more focused than ever on rebuilding our infrastructure. It was apparent that with like-mined people anything is really possible. The many manufacturers, and of course, the thousands of contractors I have spoken with over time, have emphasized the need, and their desire, to improve our roads and bridges. Even Patrick Jones, the executive director and CEO of the IBTTA (Intl. Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Assn.) saluted the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) when he acknowledged their continued efforts to sound the alarm about the fragile state of America’s infrastructure.
Last week, Peggy Smedley and I spent the week at CONEXPO-CON/AGG, and there were a lot of new emerging technologies for the jobsite in the Tech Experience—and it has me thinking: What new technologies are really disrupting the industry today, and what technologies are, well, not.
We have been talking about the future of robotics for years. For construction, robots represent the future of the workforce. They can perform repetitive tasks, taking much of the strain off the workforce. And we see the market growing, especially considering a number of moves being made in the tech community that will specifically impact the construction market.
The early days of construction was paved by opportunities. Building of roads, bridges, highways, and skyscrapers were all constructed by equipment that was dependent on gasoline motors, which replaced steam engines. Looking back today, it all seemed so archaic compared to the advanced computing technology that we began writing about just 20 years ago when we launched Constructech magazine.