Tech

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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It’s Time to Build in the Bots

Savvy commercial construction executives already have adapted to an increasingly tech-forward and sustainability-focused world by creating buildings that seamlessly deliver WiFi connectivity and efficient heating, cooling and plumbing services. Read More >

Intelligent Machines

Construction equipment manufacturers are at the ready with a fleet of technology-rich machines that will revolutionize how contractors work.  Read More >

Wearables Wanted Onsite

Wearable devices—from exoskeletons that give workers nearly superhuman strength, to smartglasses and hardhats that provide technicians with spy-like visualization powers—are driving safety, productivity and decision-making on today’s construction jobsites.  Read More >

If Money Was No Object, What Technology Would You Like to Use at Work in the Next Couple of Years?

Sensors would be the perfect tool to track health and safety issues that might otherwise go unmentioned and unnoticed.  Read More >

Limit Litigation Expenses By Streamlining Storage of Electronic Information

There is no way to make litigation and electronic discovery inexpensive, but there are ways to reduce the expense if both sides communicate and commit to the process, and if a company manages its data so that it is easily accessible in the event litigation arises.  Read More >

How to Achieve a Safety Data Analytics Advantage

Data use plans are an effective way of driving leadership engagement. They are easy to build, easy to engage with, and provide a roadmap to action using analytics as the driver. Start small and get some early wins; then expand, start scaling the analytics pyramid and go for a true analytics competitive advantage. 
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Achieving a 4-D Breakthrough in Construction Safety Planning

Construction company leaders who already have implemented the recommended safety standards and accident prevention strategies will need a breakthrough in safety planning that surpasses existing best practices. The desired breakthrough can be achieved by adding a whole new dimension to the current planning methods, one that enables everyone on the project to easily understand exactly what will be happening ahead of time. 4-D safety planning does exactly that.
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Generate Laser-Focused Estimates Using BIM

With progressive BIM technology, construction professionals reduce project errors and generate upwards of 50 percent time savings during estimation periods. 
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AEC Pros Weigh in on Emerging Technologies

AEC professionals expect the IoT to improve equipment management, give clear indicators of a project delay and pinpoint the reason behind a delay. And they believe big data has the potential to facilitate well-informed decision-making on a consistent basis and improve urban planning decisions. 
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Construction Executive Launches Professional Education Webinar Series

Upcoming free webinars include: The Survival Guide for Project Managers (March 9); Navigating Your Journey to Lean (March 16); Top 10 Critical Processes to Automate (March 22 ); and ELD Is Here: Is Your Fleet Prepared? (April 27). Read More >

Top Five Trends Impacting Real Estate and Facility Management

These five real estate and facility management trends are expected to grow this year and become mainstream in the near future.
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Technology Helps Address Working Capital Challenges

The combination of payment delays and uncertain timing creates cash flow and working capital challenges that can limit subcontractors’ growth and create financial strain. Technology has a role to play in solving this problem by helping fundamentally alter the flow of funds in construction payments to address subcontractors’ working capital woes.
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Tips for Choosing a Project Management App

As more mobile devices enter the jobsite, forward-thinking project managers are finding that they no longer have to waste valuable time running back and forth from the site to the office to the trailer to repeatedly update, print, and distribute plans and documents that are vital to a project’s success. Managing the project, and all of the paperwork that comes along with it, can be done on a mobile device with the right application.
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The Future Looks Bright for Connected Buildings

Businesses have only scratched the surface in seeing how they can harness the power of connected building technologies. And while it remains to be seen just how quickly these solutions will be adopted, one thing is for sure: The future looks bright.  
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Mobility: The Right Tool for the Job

In the construction industry, mobility can be leveraged in four ways: at the desk, on the go, walking the site and with the team. Ultimately, mobility is a convenience factor that must be weighed against power (i.e., choosing the right tool to maximize productivity). 
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3-D Printing in the United States and Abroad

Whether or to what extent 3-D printing will displace conventional methods of construction delivery is anyone’s guess. What is not known presently are the challenges presented by 3-D printing. People have recognized the promise, but until more of these projects are developed and occupied, the shortfalls cannot be fully understood.  
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How the Owner’s Perspective on Technology Is Changing Project Life Cycles

Owners are beginning to understand the value of taking the lead in determining the platform and technology they require to be used by all project participants. The reason is the very significant return on their investment. 
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Drone Use Creates Project Opportunities and Risks

While the only current way to use drones legally on a construction site is to receive a Section 333 exemption—or to hire a company that has one—the process should become more straightforward later this year or whenever the final FAA rules are adopted. At that time, drones likely will become more common on construction sites as more companies embrace the technology. 
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Top Tech Leaders Share Predictions for 2016 and Beyond

Construction companies large and small that are not already on the technology bandwagon need to climb aboard as 2016 brings more work, longer backlogs and a continued shortage of skilled labor. Construction Executive assembled a panel of experts to identify technologies to keep contractors working smarter and efficiently in 2016 and beyond. 
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What Level of Success Have You Experienced With New Technologies Emerging in the Industry?

Our industry still struggles to resolve the liability concerns that surround collaborative design, particularly in the form of contracts and insurance, but I am confident that if all owners and architects get on board and embrace these technologies, collectively we can find solutions to all concerns.  Read More >

Make Sure a Building Sounds as Good as It Looks

A number of factors affect how well a building functions as a place of business. Audio performance and the value audio technologies bring to a building are often overlooked, which can lead to costly mistakes in this digital age.  Read More >

Rugged Devices Boast Lower Failure Rates

Non-rugged mobile devices fail more than three times as often as rugged devices in business environments, and rugged devices average 46 percent lower total cost of ownership, according to a new study from Kyocera Communications Inc. 
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