While the thought of new technology is exciting for some, it takes some time and proven results for others to get behind adopting a change in one’s workflow. This can be explained in detail in the Diffusion of Innovation...
The construction industry typically runs on razor-thin profit margins from project to project, and accurate bidding keeps profits from vanishing. A time tracking system that doesn’t integrate with accounting diminishes the accuracy of labor recorded on a project.
Procore Technologies, Inc. CEO, Tooey Courtemanche, stated that construction technology is the key to unlocking a more climate-conscious construction industry.
Slate Technologies, a California-based artificial intelligence (AI) software platform for the construction industry, announced last week that it is acquiring Splash Modular, a North Carolina-based software designer of industrialized construction (IC) and design for manufacturing and assembly (DFMA).
Construction is the third most common industry hit by ransomware attacks. In all, it made up 13.2% of all ransomware attacks in North America.
The construction industry is a technology laggard, but some experts see new interest in innovations. Owners are realizing that integrating technology increases construction efficiency.
The construction industry is a notorious laggard when it comes to adopting new technologies. HCSS recommends a five-part method for achieving employee buy-in.
The Department of Defense, working with the private sector, is building three barracks using 3D printing technology. The project, which is going to be the largest of its kind in the Americas, is scheduled to be finished in 10 months.
Construction in the metaverse and virtual reality excites gamers; some companies say today's VR users represent tomorrow's engineers.
Concrete takes first place as the world’s most commonly used construction material. Some criticize concrete’s structural soundness. A group of civil engineers offers Graphene as a superior solution to concrete.
Despite the recent growth of construction jobs, a labor shortage remains, especially with small contractors and businesses. In September, the National Federation of Independent Business reported that 51% of small business owners couldn't fill job openings, more than double the 22% historical average.
Businesses continue to use spreadsheets as practical tools. Most agree that Excel offers a robust solution. But an article this week in Construction Dive poses that too many spreadsheets and not enough automation cause difficulty for construction project managers. In addition, project managers do more business these days on smartphones and tablets. Excel doesn't offer the simplicity needed in this business environment.
Anyone who has spent time on a construction job knows that building generates waste. According to the Environmental Protection Agency's 2018 figures, more than 600 million tons of construction waste builds up per year; that's twice as much as all the municipal waste collected from homes and businesses countrywide.
Despite being one of the largest sectors of the global economy, the construction industry is notoriously slow to adopt new technologies; this leads to shortfalls in productivity. According to a report by McKinsey Global Institute, "Reinventing Construction: A route to higher productivity," labor productivity across all sectors has grown by 2.8% in the last 20 years, but construction productivity has only increased by 1%.
Although many believe plastic's recyclable properties reduce pollution and alleviate the trash crisis, only 9% of the 42 million tons of plastic used in America each year recycles. Some blame a deficiency in recycling infrastructure. The truth is, recycling facilities can't reclaim most plastics—even if fabricators print that triangular symbol on the bottom.
Hausbots offers a new tool that must be seen to be believed:a robot that looks similar to a small four-wheeled car with two large vents onthe top. The device can drive straight up walls.
Artificial intelligence impacts peoples’ lives across all sectors; they can ask Siri or Alexa a question, use a smart thermostat, or receive recommendations from Netflix. The construction industry also benefits from AI. And AI in construction goes much further than autonomous vehicles.
The construction industry has a reputation for late adoption of new technology. Still, a new survey from Dodge Construction Network, a Dodge Data and Analytics subsidiary, says that 95% of office and field workers want new digital tools. In another question, 95% of respondents said that such tools would streamline their work.
For years, construction technology companies have experimented with building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). Mitrex Integrated Solar Technology says this new tech can go mainstream.
Black and Veatch uses Honda’s autonomous work vehicles (AWVs) at a job site in New Mexico to test their effectiveness. The company pushes the vehicles by towing and moving construction materials and other supplies. Other sites have tried the AWV; but Black and Veatch plans to work Honda’s vehicles harder and longer than at any other site.
Flexbase, a construction technology company, plans to offer something new: a particular credit card for the construction industry. The card provides up to 60 days of interest-free financing.
Mosaic Building Group, a Phoenix-based construction tech startup, has raised an additional $44 million in Series B funding, bringing their total funding to $68.75 million. Mosaic designed its software to manage construction infrastructure in a way that will allow real estate developers to focus on things like land acquisition, sales, and architecture. Ultimately, Mosaic says, their goal is to make residential construction more scalable.
Within the United States, investment in construction technology sits at $2.1 billion as of October 2021; this more than doubles funding at the same time last year.
The Denver International Airport, which has a sincere commitment to sustainability, will begin constructing two large solar panel farms on airport property. Designers estimate that the solar farm will generate enough energy to power 6,000 Denver homes year-round.
Some scientists speculate that concrete production contributes to 6% of the world’s greenhouse gasses. Switzerland intends to improve those numbers with revolutionary concrete creation techniques.
On the lighter side of construction, Budimex and refiner Lodos, a construction firm out of Poland, hit the headlines by introducing a new street construction product with one big design difference: the asphalt smells like flowers.
The green startup Nexii, based out of Pittsburgh, PA, also known as the "Steel City," offers an environmentally friendly concrete product that they say will be better than steel in some applications.
The commercial real estate industry focuses on energy efficiency and sustainability. For example, a recent report shows that the smart building automation software and systems industry reached $20.5 billion in North America. Still, the focus is on the operational phase of the building’s life cycle, not the construction phase.
The U.S. Department of Energy launched a new initiative on July 7th that invests $6 million into adopting three proven nuclear power plant technologies. By forming a partnership with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, they hope to decrease costs by 10%.
Construction companies understand their industry’s tendency to adopt new tech at a snail’s pace; this makes construction a major target for new tech startups, but there’s a catch.
Every week, it seems like a new construction technology claims to revolutionize the industry. But are these technologies right for you, and will they succeed as the claimed magic bullets that completely revamp your workflow? Here are five questions to ask:
The University of Manchester and the British firm Nationwide Engineering plans to launch a new product: Concretene. Some consider it a gamechanger in concrete. Product creators tested Concretene on the construction of a gym floor in Amesbury, Wiltshire. Builders used 30% less material than standard concrete, without the need for steel reinforcement. Concretene creators claim that their product could save as much as 10-20% in costs.
As the founders of Build Change claim, it’s not the earthquake that kills people; it’s the collapse of poorly built structures. With the release of their new Intelligence Supervision Assistant for Construction app, they hope to save lives with open-source artificial intelligence.
ABB, the Switzerland-based engineering group behind much of the world's automotive factories' robotic assembly lines, holds that the post-pandemic state of mass construction and labor shortage indicates a prime time to integrate robotics into the process.
The Swiss discovered a new way to get energy out of their dams, not through hydroelectric power. Axpo, a Switzerland-based company, partnered with power provider IWB, to use the broad, curved wall of the dam as a vertical surface for solar panels. The project's complexity lies in installing the panels 2,500 meters (8,202 feet) above sea level in the Alps.
Danny Forster Architecture, a New York firm, has partnered with MiTek Inc, a company owned by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, to create the Modular Activation Platform (MAP); they intend to solve some of the main problems with modular construction.
Carnegie Mellon University's professors Pingbo Tang and Burcu Akinci lead a team to design the National Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Construction. The pair currently work with other researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and over 40 industry partners.
Curri, a new company referred to as the “Uber of Construction,” gains investors as it seeks to disrupt a stagnant distribution model.
As part of a nuclear project out of Scotland, engineers adopt an innovative new concrete building tool they plan to use in floors, walls, and ceilings, all without rebar. Builders expect Steel Bricks, part of GE Hitachi’s (GEH’s) BWRX-300 small modular reactor (SMR) plant, to reduce the required labor significantly.
Many Hong Kong residents cite construction site pollution—dust, smell, noise, and heat—as "unbearable," especially in the hot and humid summer months.
Last year’s Lockdown and quarantine translated into a spike in home renovations, both in DIY projects and professionally done remodels. Many homeowners integrated green-home concepts into their plans: between March 2020 and March 2021, Google searches for “green home renovations” increased 112%. ConstructionGlobal analyzed Google search volumes to scrutinize the most significant trends.
When working with reinforced concrete, there will always be the “rodbusters”, a highly skilled, yet underappreciated group of men and women who perform the tedious and backbreaking task of tying the rebar together every time they cross, either with wire or plastic. For a large project, like a bridge, this can mean many thousands of ties—all done manually. It is difficult, repetitive work that must be done, but often leads to injuries, particularly repetitive-motion injuries or back problems.
This week, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) released its 2021 Infrastructure Report Card, designating thirteen upcoming projects as "Infrastructure Gamechangers." These game-changers earned their status due to their transformative innovations in the way engineers plan, build, and adapt to infrastructure needs.
Three recent projects show innovation in 3D printed building. The first comes from Austin, TX, where the public can purchase the first American 3D printed homes. A development project in the California desert comes in second, where builders have announced the first 3D printed housing community. A Tennessee credit union that features a 3D printed façade takes the third spot.
Around the world we have seen rising temperatures, growing to record numbers nearly every year of the last decade, and it’s got some entrepreneurs in India thinking: could we use ancient cooling techniques in modern structures?
Purdue University presented a new robot at the 2021 Technology Showcase: The State of Innovation. The new design integrates BIM (building information modeling) and construction robotics in a new way to reduce the time it takes to complete basic tasks and to make up for labor shortages.
Following the Carbon Free Boston report in 2019, city officials are making carbon-neutral plans by 2050. Emissions from buildings account for more than 70% of the city’s emissions, Boston feels it’s time to clear the air.
The publication Arch Daily recently published an op-ed questioning the long-held belief that using wood in construction is a more sustainable, more environmentally-friendly method. Wood is a renewable resource, which other materials, like steel and concrete, are not.
New artificial intelligence technologies at use in Europe can seamlessly track a project’s progress and see if it is falling behind schedule.
On October 1, 2020 construction work began on a project that will be ten years in the making: a giant windfarm located offshore of Norway, at Kværner Stord. The project will build eleven floating concrete hulls that will house the turbines for a wind farm known as Hywind Tampen.
In an effort to produce a more carbon-friendly concrete material, Texas A&M University has developed a 3D printing technology that not only has implications for construction here and now, but is thought to be one of the most viable ways to implement construction on Mars.
The new Canadian company Nexii has created a material that is 33% more energy efficient than concrete and that allows for rapid construction of buildings—including small, medium, and large structures. Based in British Columbia, the company says its new building material, combined with an improved design and assembly process, allows for buildings that are cost-efficient, durable and even disaster-resistant.
What was once a material originally engineered for the construction of airplanes, thermoset technology is increasingly being contemplated in the production of not only specific building features, but the entire way buildings are designed.
It's widely known that concrete and concrete production leaves a massive carbon footprint—approximately 6% of all carbon released into the atmosphere comes just from the laying of concrete. These new technologies are seeking to mitigate that in new and exciting ways.
Expected to reach $54 billion by 2023, the wearable tech market offers to transform the construction industry through the ability to improve safety and efficiency.
Armatron Systems, an Arizona-based 3D Construction company has secured a patent for an on-site printer that officials say can create a 60-foot-long slab of concrete in less than a minute. Not only does it lay and set the concrete, it can also bear weight!
Drones fulfill many roles in the construction sphere, everything from giving a basic overhead view of the jobsite to maintaining track of materials, machinery and people. Contractors use them for comparing as-planned construction projects to as-built projects, as well as optimizing the grade of the terrain and recording images and videos.
In an industry that is traditionally resistant to technological changes, it may be surprising to learn that the construction industry is forecasted to spend $4 billion in artificial intelligence by 2026. While Power Tools has covered many stories of robots on the job site, this artificial intelligence is expected to come in the form of planning and forecasting software.
Engineering News-Record reported on a trend that is saving time, money, and lives. For inexperienced workers, virtual reality interfaces are helping to spot errors before they become significant. In fact,the report says that construction workers with less than three years of experience are able to double their ability to spot design errors using a 3D model.
Coding time is easier than ever with hh2 Cloud Services’ Remote Payroll solution. Employees are able to not only code their labor time, but their equipment time as well.