One of the biggest challenges contractors face is getting the most out of every dollar invested in heavy equipment. Measuring fleet utilization has always been a tricky science, but the more precisely a business can track each machine’s contributions to their bottomline, the better their return on equipment investments will be.
By 2050, the UN (United Nations) estimates 68% of the world’s population will live in urban areas, meaning an additional 2.5 billion people will rely on the infrastructure of the world’s largest cities. But roads, bridges, and electrical grids aren’t the only types of infrastructure we need in order to accommodate the influx of people living in our cities.
New hardware that integrates with smartphones or tablets is becoming invaluable for measurement and quality control on jobsites. With a focus on MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) system energy performance, I have found several new tools that are indispensable additions to anyone’s field kit. Beyond MEP, these gadgets can assist with a range of construction tasks.
Conventional concrete has been used as a building material since Joseph Aspdin invented Portland cement in 1824. It works just fine for many building projects since it’s easy to produce and to deliver to the jobsite. However, it’s not exactly an easy material to work with. Concrete requires a tremendous amount of labor (and heavy equipment) just to move, place, and finish.
Cement is the world’s most prevalent manmade material, with approximately 0.56 tonnes produced annually for every person on Earth. It binds concrete, which is used to construct much of the built environment—including homes, schools, offices, roads, runways, tunnels, and bridges.
As engineering firms move toward developing a digital strategy, a new phrase that will resonate with engineering, architectural, and construction professionals, as well as infrastructure asset owners, is now part of the infrastructure lexicon.
One of the most important skills needed to run a successful contracting business is the ability to prepare accurate project estimates. If a contractor’s estimates aren’t accurate, there is a risk of losing money on the project. Developing a precise project estimate requires attention to detail and should adhere to the best practices of the industry. Estimators have told us that following six steps will help ensure that estimates are accurate and on point for every project.
Varsha Bhave is the driving force for innovation and technological prowess in the construction industry, taking much of her inspiration from past experience and exceptional technical expertise. Varsha has previously worked with several cities as a city planner before eventually joining the City of Arlington, Texas, as a statistical analyst and long range senior planner.
One of the main issues construction companies struggle with is poor productivity. In fact, statistics show that 49.6% of time in construction is devoted to wasteful activity. There are many different reasons that productivity, and thus profitability, can be poor. Delays in receiving materials, an unrealistic master schedule, lack of communication between staff, delays in approvals, and scarcity of equipment are just a few of the factors contractors are battling with.
Automated photo documentation is one of the simplest steps a GC can take to improve cost, efficiency, and safety through applied technology. It is widely accepted as a best practice to provide as-built documentation, simplify project management, and improve stakeholder transparency. The key is to deploy a system that is fully automated and cost effective so that it provides the full ROI potential.