Construction Technology and Software Rundown: December 3, 2021
Billd’s Pay App Advance for commercial subcontractors facilitates timely payments for labor. The app provides same-day financing to cover the cost of labor so subcontractors don’t have to use their own capital to fund projects and pay their workforce.
Trimble® Connect® AR app gives construction workers accessibility to 3D models in the field. With Connect AR, users can leverage augmented reality, field-oriented construction workflows and constructible 3D models to transform assembly and inspections. Connect AR is an extension of the Trimble Connect for mobile and integrates with Trimble Connect and the Trimble mixed-reality portfolio.
Software & In the Cloud
Threekit has developed a scalable platform that allows field services teams to upload product and parts information and other critical files for interactive, AR and photorealistic 3D visuals. Threekit provides field services with part selection via an interactive 3D digital twin of the product that needs servicing; guided assembly via 3D and AR that shows animated assembly; visualization for project management with high-fidelity visuals so users can view and align on the proper diagnosis and part replacement in real time; and centralized asset management that keeps parts visuals organized and accessible.
Advanced Intelligent Construction Technology combines robotics, high-performance materials and parametric design in its 3D printing technology. Users input a digitally designed model into the software, which processes it into control signals for the robotic arm. The concrete mixture then reaches the nozzle at the front end of the mechanical arm through the extrusion device and is printed rapidly. This technology was used by the Shenzhen World Exhibition and Convention Center in southern China to produce sculptures, benches, flower beds, retaining walls and curbs in a state-of-the-art park.
TRUCE Software’s Contextual Mobility Management software enhances the way mobile devices are managed by recognizing situational triggers, such as movement, proximity to heavy equipment or location on a jobsite and automatically adapting what a user can do on their device in the moment. TRUCE adjusts access and permissions on a device in real-time based on context and policy. Once context is recognized, TRUCE removes from view distracting or non-relevant apps. An alert notifies the user they are in a protected zone.
Partnerships, Acquisitions and Integrations
Volta Power Systems partnered with specialty vehicle manufacturer Draxxon on the DX-816 fully-electric towable command center. The DX-816 center allows organizations to integrate drones into other command and control systems when additional surveillance is necessary. With the automotive-grade Volta system, the entire mobile center can run up to 24 hours on a single system charge without a generator or idling the towing vehicle.
Trimble and Microsoft formed a strategic partnership to advance technology adoption and accelerate the digital transformation of the construction, agriculture and transportation industries. By leveraging the Microsoft cloud, Trimble and Microsoft will develop, build and deliver industry cloud platforms and solutions that connect people, technology, tasks, data, processes and industry lifecycles. Initially, Trimble and Microsoft will focus on building the Trimble Construction Cloud powered by Microsoft Azure.
STACK Construction Technologies’ preconstruction collaboration software now integrates with Followup CRM, an all-in-one construction CRM for storing data on the cloud. STACK clients can communicate with team members and leads with access to important data on a singular platform. For STACK users, Followup CRM streamlines the sales process while providing lists of all activities and due dates.
Video and Cool Stuff
An IDC InfoBrief (registration required), “The State of Data Strategies in Construction,” finds that most AEC firms are looking to predictive analytics for improved project outcomes and to mitigate risks. The global survey sponsored by Oracle Construction and Engineering shows that 29% of respondents are currently utilizing a predictive analytics tool while another 60% plan to invest in a solution within the next 24 months. 77% have had a formal data strategy in place for three or more years, with 63% noting that their data strategy is primarily driven by the C-suite. 85% say they are using at least one-quarter of their project data to inform current-decision making or future initiatives. The top three areas of focus for AEC organizations when it comes to their data strategy are quality (45%), productivity (41%) and budget/financial improvements (38%).
Autodesk Construction Cloud team released aggregated, anonymized product data around new projects that were published on BuildingConnected – Autodesk’s bidding platform and network of more than 1 million construction professionals. In addition to listing the top 15 cities with the highest volume of new projects published on the platform, it found that new projects published on BuildingConnected increased 19% yar-over-year; March of 2021 hit a new all-time record for most projects published in a single month, followed closely by June 2021; and Texas, where construction labor was hit particularly hard during the pandemic, accounted for nearly 16% of the new projects published in the top 15 list.
Integrated Roadways works with public agencies; engineering, procurement and construction industry; and P3 investment institutions to deliver next-generation smart roadways. The Smart Pavement™ slab incorporates accessible and upgradable digital technology that connects vehicles to the internet and provides real-time information to drivers about traffic, road conditions and accidents. It’s been installed in Denver with plans to install panels in Lenexa, Kansas.
Competition in a NASA-funded program for housing in spaceis heating up. Nanoracks is partnering with Voyager Space and Lockheed Martin to build its StarLab space station. Blue Origin is working with Sierra Space, Boeing, Redwire Space, Genesis Engineering and Arizona State University on its Orbital Reef space station. Axiom Space is developing a private space station. Orbital Reef and Starlab have segments that inflate in space for easier transportation and assembly.
Marla McIntyre is a digital editor of CE This Week and ConstructionExec.com. She edited Construction Executive’s Tech Trends and Risk Management eNewsletters and is the author of more than 200 articles and publications, including Construction Executive’s annual technology predictions, Technology & Software Rundown column and an award-winning series for the Risk Management Association. Her extensive construction and risk management background includes stints as executive director the Surety Information Office and American Subcontractors Association of Metro Washington.