Tech

An Inside Job: Use Indoor Construction Cameras to Monitor Workflow and Safety

Indoor construction cameras can give project managers the ability to remotely monitor interior construction on multiple jobsites. They can provide the immediate benefit of helping managers discover chokepoints in the workflow and where improvements can be made in safety and security. 
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How Technology-enabled Collaboration Will Streamline Engineering Economics

Fueled by the adoption of the cloud and new advancements in information management, machine learning and big data, fabricators and manufacturers will become more agile, gaining more control and predictability of their supply chain.
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Construction’s Cybersecurity Challenge

In today’s evolving information technology world, addressing security risks can be critical to sustaining a strong brand in the industry. Businesses must take the steps necessary to protect their information and avoid damaging interruption of operations or, worse, becoming the next headline. 
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Balfour Beatty: Construction Sites Will Be Human-free by 2050

Robots are already in use on the jobsite, filling roles from overhead photography and surveying to worker and equipment tracking, and even site access and security. Technology on the horizon includes teams of remotely controlled machines that can work together efficiently. 
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Leverage Valuable Data to Build Better, Faster and Leaner

The real value of data is making it work. Contractors can amass a mountain of usable information, but valuable insight is lost without a system in place to turn that data into action. The great news is the construction industry now has the tools to mine the data that help contractors build smarter. 
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Four Tips to Make Sure Drones Don’t Leave You High and Dry

A decent amount of red tape comes with the adoption of drones in the workplace, so here is what construction owners and contractors can do to avoid putting their companies and crews at risk.
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The Power of Prefabrication to Generate Efficiencies and Cost Savings

Prefabrication no longer means “looks like all the others.” Today, the power of prefabrication exhibits how design technology and manufacturing can work together to improve the industry while still producing unique and visually appealing structures.
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Social Media Land Mines: Employer Responsibilities and Employee Rights

Social media law is a relatively new area for companies active in the construction industry, and the laws around this topic, much like the networks themselves, are evolving at a rapid pace. Legal counsel should be poised to help businesses efficiently develop a social media policy and be available to provide advice on content before it’s posted, should there be any concerns on the subject. 
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Study: BIM Use Picking Up Steam for Infrastructure Projects

The use of BIM for infrastructure projects is on the rise, with 52 percent of horizontal construction companies surveyed reporting that they used the technology on more than half of their projects, according to a SmartMarket report from Dodge Data & Analytics.
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IoT Is the Next Frontier for Drone Data

AEC firms are building on what wearable device-loving fitness enthusiasts have known for years: that measurement increases effectiveness, whether it’s steps walked and hours slept or cubic yards of earth moved. The construction industry is perfectly positioned to take IoT one step further and combine it with drone data to track and optimize operations for complete visibility into everything happening on the jobsite. 

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How do you see technology disrupting the construction industry, for better or worse?

The Boston Consulting Group reported that full-scale digitalization in nonresidential construction will lead to annual global cost savings of up to $1.2 trillion in the engineering and construction phases. Think about the impact that kind of savings could have on our industry—one that has been plagued by low margins and high risk for far too long.
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Executive Insights

Get expert answers to questions on business intelligence, processing payroll data, security breaches, 4-D and 5-D BIM, IoT, big data, artificial intelligence, drones and more.
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IPD: A Commitment to Teamwork

When used properly, BIM facilitates the type of collaboration in programming, analysis, budgeting, design development, permitting, bidding, fabrication and construction that is at the core of IPD. The goal of IPD is to have all of the key participants working together from day one to create a single, shared point of responsibility for the project and to minimize or eliminate the unanticipated circumstances and disputes that can throw a job into disarray.
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Data and Technology Will Fuel the Megacities of the Future

In connected 2050 cities, all kinds of infrastructure—energy, water, transportation, buildings and governance—will “talk” to each other to prioritize needs, optimize performance, minimize energy use, and make life more enjoyable and productive for the people who live in and travel between cities.
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Construction Companies Are Uniquely Poised to Maximize Drones’ Potential

Commercial drones are just beginning to take off in the United States. Construction firms of all sizes have been quick to identify dozens of use cases that have made old processes faster, cheaper, safer and simpler—as well as create entirely new revenue streams.
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Three Reasons Contractors Should Finance Software Investments

Software investments can (and should) be financed, just like heavy equipment such as bulldozers, cranes, trenchers and dump trucks. Even if a firm can afford to purchase its software systems upfront, financing is the smart choice for three main reasons. 
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The Future Is Now for Digital Project Management and Compliance Processes

Daily reporting and monitoring software can help firms cut costs, reduce the possibility of litigation and eliminate time-consuming travel from site to site.
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It’s the End of BIM as You Know It—Are You Ready for Connected BIM?

When you combine sensor and GPS technologies with 3-D modeling in the cloud, you no longer have mere raw data. There’s now a real-time connection between a physical construction site and its digital twin in the cloud—unlocking an infinite number of opportunities for efficiency and project management.
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Is Your Jobsite Smart Enough?

There’s a lot for contractors to be excited about on the technology front: drones, BIM, mobile apps, sensors, wearables, telematics, smart tools, video documentation, robotics, 3-D printing, laser scanning, generative design and much, much more. But the prospect of all the analytics, alerts and automation can quickly turn overwhelming without a firm strategy and capable IT staff in place. The trick is finding the sweet spot between doing what’s right for the company and not falling too far behind competitors—all while heeding employees’ appetite for change and making sure the technology is actually suited for construction environments.
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Why Construction Companies are Using GPS Tracking - and What Workers Think About It

More than a third of 1,000 U.S. employees in an independent survey say they have been tracked by GPS on the job. For workers in the construction industry, that number shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Large-scale (and even some not-so-large-scale) construction projects require a lot of workers and vehicles to transport tools and materials. Add multiple jobsites to that equation, and those workers and vehicles multiply too. With so many moving parts (literally), many construction companies are turning to GPS tracking software for help.
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Service Relationship Management Keeps the Connected Jobsite Running

The construction industry has become increasingly reliant upon connected data through the industrial internet of things (IIoT). The Association of Equipment Management Professionals has even produced an ISO-certified data schema for exchanging worksite data from connected assets independent of manufacturer.
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Top Five Predictions for the Future of Construction Telematics

For more than 10 years, the construction industry has been consumed by the potential of the data-driven jobsite. For the equipment industry in particular, one of the hottest topics has been telematics.

With telematics, project managers can keep track of not only what equipment is on a jobsite, but also how each piece is functioning. Such information can improve efficiency, reduce costs and boost profits.
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Commercial Drone Usage Could Soar to 1.6 Million by 2021

In its 2017-2027 Aerospace Forecast, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) predicted that commercial drone use will reach 442,000 units by 2021 as a base estimate, but could rise as high as 1.6 million in its high estimate. Prior to the FAA licensing drone operators, certified pilots were the only individuals authorized to operate commercial drones and companies needed to secure an exemption for any use, often making operations expensive and cumbersome. 
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Taking the Risks out of Project Profitability With BIM

High risk, low margin. This all too familiar description of the construction industry is at the heart of contractors’ laser focus on bottom line profitability and overcoming the variables that can (and often do) go awry.

The proof of that challenge is in the numbers. According to KPMG’s “Climbing the Curve, 2015 Global Construction Project Owner’s Survey,” just a quarter of construction projects in the last three years came within 10 percent of their original deadlines. And Turner and Townsend’s 2016 International Construction Market Survey found that the average global construction project margin fell from an already low 6.3 percent in 2015 to 6.1 percent.

No matter the size of the project or the timeline, there has always been a harsh reality: Expect the unexpected. But what if you could remove more of the surprises and reduce risk—all with increased profits? 
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Capitalize on the Most Valuable Data from Fleet Telematics

Whether operating dump trucks or pickup trucks, most companies with a fleet of more than 25 vehicles have at least entertained the idea of installing telematics devices to help reduce operational costs and improve safety. However, many companies are not realizing the potential risk-reduction benefit because they are not focused on the appropriate measures to improve driver behaviors, especially hard braking.
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Open Source Tool Seeks to Drive Emissions Reduction

A new open source tool that will help construction companies identify and reduce carbon emissions is currently being pilot tested by U.K.-based developer Costain and the University of Edinburgh Business School, with funding from Volvo’s Construction Climate Challenge. The Carbon Infrastructure Transformation Tool (CITT) project sprung from the need to solve two key problems facing the construction industry: high greenhouse gas emissions and the fragmented nature of supply chains.
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The Impact of New Tools on Construction Productivity

Construction has never moved at the same technological pace as other industries. However, the old way of doing things is broken. Workers are using outdated tools, both powered and hand-operated, and companies are losing millions of dollars in productivity and shelling out big bucks in recordkeeping, claims processing and workers' compensation premiums. Using some of the most common types of construction tools can result in painful and potentially debilitating injuries referred to as work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). 

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Construction Executive Launches Free Mobile App

Construction Executive is introducing a free mobile app for Apple, Android and Kindle devices. Read current and past issues of the magazine in a high-quality digital format. Simply search for "Construction Executive Mag" in your app store. Read More >

New Guide Touts Quiet Hotel Construction

A new Quiet Room® Guide is available to help architects, developers and construction professionals understand the Quiet Room® label, as well as related certification requirements, the latest methods for acoustic insulation of hotel rooms and the savings that can be realized by investing in soundproofing during the construction phase. 
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The Unexpected Benefits of Project Management Software

The proliferation of project management software and services is nothing less than overwhelming. Even the companies that have established a base level of use of project management software continue to be challenged by whether advancements have overtaken the usefulness of existing systems to suggest an overhaul or implementation of a new system.
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Curb Discovery Costs With a Tailored Arbitration Clause

Arbitration is premised on using arbitrators with knowledge of the subject matter to conduct more efficient proceedings. A lot of the uncertainty and expense can be eliminated with a well-crafted arbitration clause.  

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Working Backward From a Budget With Target Value Design

When construction firms help owners get the absolute most out of every dollar of their investment, they can not only win the work, but also earn a client for life. Rather than letting design drive the budget, which often results in the need to “value engineer” later in the process, target value design is an approach in which the budget drives design decisions, occurring very early in preconstruction. 
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Industry Game-Changers

Typically, disruption in the workplace is counterintuitive to productivity. But in terms of creating innovative ways to manage people, processes and technology, the concept of “disruption” isn’t such a bad thing for the construction industry. Change is stirring whether contractors are ready for it or not, and firms that have adopted new ways of managing scheduling and workflows are seeing stellar results—earning the accolades of repeat projects for key clients, as well as happy project partners.
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Five Tips for Getting the Business Intelligence Dashboard You Want

Select a business intelligence solution that acts like Switzerland: willing to work with any data source out of the box. 
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Emerging Drone Applications in Heavy/Highway Construction

From bid preparation through project development, completion and maintenance, drones offer ways to speed results and reduce costs on heavy/highway construction projects.
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Embrace New Technology Platforms to Improve Business Operations

Contractors that keep pace with changing technology will be better positioned to analyze and improve job performance, speed up routine processes on the jobsite, attract and retain the next generation of talent, enhance owner and client relationships, and better manage the inevitable changes that occur throughout the life cycle of a job. While there are many benefits, the construction industry in particular needs to be mindful that changing ingrained processes also will require investment, time and momentum to implement.  
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Construction Cameras Offer New Dimensions in Project Oversight

Recent improvements in hardware, software and technical services have helped construction cameras gain currency as a must-have tool for documenting project progress, boosting worker performance, minimizing errors, improving communication and enhancing stakeholder relationships.
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2017 Tech Predictions

When Star Trek™ debuted 50 years ago, who would have thought the technology employed on the Starship Enterprise would one day be used on construction jobsites. Crew members carried a communicator, which looked much like yesterday’s flip phones. The Combadge was a wearable communication device, and Lt. Uhura wore a wireless Bluetooth-like earpiece. When Captain Kirk asked a question or gave a command, the computer responded remarkably like Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa. The Replicator produced food, tools and other objects, much like today’s 3-D printers. The ship was a model of operational efficiency many construction firms strive to achieve.
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Mitigate Risk by Managing Information

Modern building and infrastructure projects generate a lot of data, and it’s only going to keep growing. In 2004, a large project generated roughly 100 gigabytes of data; today, that stat has risen to 6.5 terabytes of data. Because building and infrastructure projects live and die by project information, many risks are associated with properly managing it. 
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Model-Based Estimating Taps Benefits of BIM

When used to drive estimating best practices, 5-D BIM provides unprecedented efficiency, along with the flexibility and accuracy to turn around big estimates quickly, inform better decision-making and drive cost predictability. More importantly, 5-D BIM saves estimators time by avoiding tedious takeoff exercises and allows them to focus on more critical factors, such as risk mitigation and owner and subcontractor relationship management. 
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Unlock Hidden Savings With Building Analytics

Today’s savvy facility executives should take the appropriate measures to connect disparate energy systems, leverage intelligent building analytics capabilities and bring in trusted partners to help guarantee that all opportunities to cut energy consumption are being addressed.
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The Five Biggest Mistakes Companies Make When Adopting Technology

As construction companies look to adopt new technology, they ought to keep the human factor in mind. Involving the team, setting and enforcing expectations, and doing so swiftly and fully are what will allow a company to succeed. 
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Smart Sensors’ Role in the Digital Ceiling

In view of the ongoing transformation of the building automation industry, spearheaded by the IoT revolution, the lighting system is considered to be the most suitable infrastructure to carry on the smart building mission. A digital ceiling that uses smart sensors incorporated into lighting fixtures creates an affordable and scalable option for system providers, building owners and facility managers. 
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Scaling Safety Resources With Cloud-Based JHA Tools

Cloud-based JHA tools are gaining ground in helping construction companies scale limited safety resources. Through the use of wireless smart devices, subscribers to cloud-based JHA tools can develop and manage a company’s entire library of JHAs from the hood of a truck at the construction site or from their desk anywhere in the world. 
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PMIS: Revolutionizing Owner-Contractor Relationships

Facility owners have historically been left out of the construction project management technology game, as most platforms and tools focused on innovations for contractors, architects and engineers. That trend is changing with the rise and expansion of project management information systems (PMIS) designed specifically for owners. Even so, PMIS usage among owners and contractors has room to improve to facilitate better project execution.
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Imagine, Design, Print: The Jobsite of the Future

Having a deep understanding of the supply chain is critical to the success of modular construction projects. A surge in work that incorporates advanced fabrication technologies will radically change the entire industry in the near future.
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Forecasting IT Trends in Construction

With the promise of IoT, mobile, cloud and other emerging technologies, contracting companies cannot slow their pursuit of technology. In fact, construction companies are going to be faced with more options, greater demand, increased complexity and higher costs. 
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Cyber-Phishing With New Lures

If the wire transfer has been initiated by an approved company employee, there is not much chance of recovering the funds. The bank is not held liable as long as it follows the proper protocols. Once the fraud is discovered, contact the bank’s fraud department immediately and direct it to stop the payment and freeze the recipient account. Typically, the funds are cleared out within hours of the transfer, so acting fast is imperative.

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Beyond Gaming: Virtual Reality Benefits Construction

VR in computer modeling has transformed early design meetings to allow users to “experience” the built environment before actually building the space. Clients can easily visualize their room or building and gain confidence in the project’s design. This accelerates both the speed and quality of decisions, reduces design times and eliminates changes during construction. When this kind of progress is made early on in the design phase, owners realize significant cost savings.
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Taking Construction to New Heights

The industry has just scratched the surface on drones’ capabilities, and contractors currently able to use them are pioneering the way. 
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Stay Ahead of the Contractual Curve
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Construction’s Cybersecurity Challenge
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