Today, construction companies can tap into an arsenal of tools and technologies to help perform work in a way that is productive and safe. Technology companies continue to come to market with new products aimed at improving business processes. Here’s a closer look at some of the new products and platforms on the market today. Modeling Moves Forward BIM (building information modeling) continues to advances, offering construction professionals the ability to use technology to improve business processes. One area in particular that is seeing an infusion of new capabilities is 4D modeling.
The cloud has become the resource many companies turn to when they need large amounts of digital storage, constantly updated SaaS (software-as-a-service), or high-performance computing capabilities. With the aggressive expansion of AI (artificial intelligence) in applications, even smaller companies can benefit from the computing power available in the cloud. And while the cloud has been highly publicized as an option for everything digital, an even more powerful environment exists that hasn’t gotten nearly as much coverage: quantum computing. A recent IDC (Intl Data Corp.) survey of IT and business personnel responsible for quantum computing adoption found that improved AI capabilities, accelerated business intelligence, and increased productivity and efficiency were the top expectations of organizations currently investing in cloud-based quantum computing.
The term “cloud” has become commonplace in today’s highly technology-oriented economy. What is it? According to Microsoft, “The cloud is not a physical entity, but instead is a vast network of remote servers around the globe which are hooked together and meant to operate as a single ecosystem. These servers are designed to either store and manage data, run applications, or deliver content or a service such as streaming videos, web mail, office productivity software, or social media.” A subset of the cloud concept is the use of those remote servers and computing power to do analytics, including forensics and fraud detection.
As many of you know I have a strong opinion that 5G is going to have a big impact on many industries as I have been talking about over on Connected World and The Peggy Smedley Show. Therefore, it should come as no surprise than that I believe 5G is going to change the way the construction industry conducts business—for the good I might add.
If you need to inspect railroad track for dimensional accuracy, an obvious safety issue, you want the best inspection tools available. If you are a lender and need data on a property to do an estimate of value, you want the best tools available. In the first case, a physical inspection is necessary while the lender might be satisfied with an accurate virtual inspection. Both are possible with today’s technology. Norfolk Southern is the first North American freight railroad to develop and deploy an autonomous track geometry measurement system that is mounted on a locomotive.
Here at Constructech we have been talking about the labor shortage for years. Gartner recently published a report that piqued my interest and could point to how we as an industry might address this challenge.
Where is it? Where is it going? Who is operating it? Data to answer these common questions can be found on the jobsite if you know where to look. And new technology knows. Heavy equipment might be easy to find—backhoes and graders are usually easy to see—but smaller gear, down to hand tools, are often lost, strayed or stolen. At the recent ConExpo trade show, ZTR Control Systems, a Minneapolis company invested in telematics and the Industrial IoT (Internet of Things), introduced its ZTR Data Brokerage service that enables benefit sharing from machine IoT data across multiple customer accounts. With ZTR as the trusted broker between parties, client relationships, contracts and technology elements are managed to create the right sharing arrangement and increase IoT data value for everyone.
It’s all in the name: Boutique. The dictionary defines “boutique” as any small, exclusive business offering customized service. In the hotel industry, the (BLLA) Boutique Lifestyle Leaders Assn., provides a new definition for boutique hotels and boutique businesses. BLLA released a first draft of its boutique hotel categories and definitions to add clarity to this segment. BLLA attempts to provide clarity to the boutique hotel industry, recognizing the ever-evolving nature of the business, by publishing its categorization of the various kinds of boutique hotels in the world. With a comprehensive list, initially 14 types of boutique hotels, BLLA establishes the boutique hotel as a field of its own, no longer simply a subtype of a broader hotel enterprise.
Every technology from AI (artificial intelligence) to IoT (Internet of things) and beyond is showing up in the commercial building sector. Data and data-derived information is critical for operations and management personnel to benefit their occupants. Energy ROI takes precedence, driving 65% of owners towards data-driven energy enhancements while 40% of technology investments are going towards IoT-driven predictive analytics. How is this being handled? Facilio, an IoT, AI, and ML (machine learning) data-driven enterprise platform for building operation, and maintenance, released a report, 2020 State of CRE Operations 3.0 to explain.
Something that has been on my mind lately—as has likely been on many construction companies’ minds—is this: Will we ever have “lights out” construction?