Table of Contents
Firsts & Seconds
Welcome to 2017! Times are changing, and, with it, so too is the content and format of Constructech. We have been talking about how mobile and collaboration technologies have been transforming the jobsite and the office for years. In this month’s cover story, we look back to provide insight into what is to come. The article looks back at trends that were just emerging two decades ago. Think PDAs and electronic organizers. And the article identifies how technology has progressed to the point it is at today. This evolution gives us good insight into what will be coming in the year ahead.
The Construction Report
In today’s technology-driven world, VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) aren’t just for the early adopters anymore, as IDC, www.idc.com, Framingham, Mass., reports worldwide revenues will grow from .2 billion in 2016 to more than 2 billion in 2020 at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 181.3%, with much of the marketshares falling into manufacturing, engineering, and construction sectors.
From the Owner
The files are then handed off to the construction teams typically through server-based programs to the project’s VDC (virtual design and construction) team where the files are then populated and coordinated using software tools like AutoCAD, Tekla, and Navisworks.
For commercial construction companies, business is changing. Today, devices such as drones, robotics, and more are becoming more widely used at the jobsite. The IoT (Internet of Things) is transforming how projects are built and managed. At the same time, contractors need backoffice systems that will help with bidding/estimating, project management, and accounting/job costing, just to name a few.
I learned a valuable lesson early in my career as a supplier of construction materials: Be careful of the dust cloud you create. The quarries and concrete and block plant I operated were constantly under scrutiny from neighbors and environmental organizations, and it took an ongoing program of dust control to keep these important people happy. Of course, water trucks, sprays, and such created a different problem—sedimentation and runoff control became yet another issue to deal with. The past two years of fierce campaigning, now thankfully behind us, should remind us that now that the dust cloud has started to dissipate, new matters will have to be dealt with.
When the Pharaohs had their temples and pyramids built, construction technology was pretty much limited to levers and inclined planes. One hundred years ago, construction started to depend upon gasoline motors replacing steam engines. As recently as 20 years ago, when Constructech magazine was launching, computing technology in construction was often limited to the accounting function—and was only just beginning to emerge on the jobsite.
If you ask a variety of building owners and their representatives about smart strategies, you’ll hear a few words crop up in each discussion. The first word is collaboration and the second, not a word but usually pronounced as one, is BIM (building information modeling). Basically, corporate owners should start thinking holistically.
Chevy Silverado: the ultimate tool for the jobsite If a working man is only as good as his tools, perhaps the most important tool of all is the one that lugs all the other tools around—the truck. However, in today’s connected world, a pickup truck is more than just a way to transport people, tools, and materials to and from a jobsite. The modern truck can serve as a mobile office for construction workers and jobsite managers who are almost always on the go, conducting crucial business away from the office.
Leave paper and spreadsheets behind for a better method of bidding The first time Jeremy Green used bidding and takeoff technology was in 1995. At the time, he was an employee, and only had experience with paper and pen, but he quickly discovered the benefits associated with leveraging bidding and takeoff technology. Chiefly, the fact that all materials are handled in the database, and that there are ways to cause change orders, among other factors.