Will Construction’s “Robot Revolution” Include Pens & Paper?

We keep hearing about how augmented reality, as well as drones and 3D printing, will soon reshape the construction industry. We’re excited about all this new technology. Still, we can’t help but call out the elephant in the room: the pens and paper that so many companies are still relying on.

According to a recent Software Advice report, “Fifty-two percent of prospective buyers use pen and paper to conduct estimating, takeoff, big management and other processes.”

construction-technology-robot

Again, don’t get us wrong. We’re all about using technology to make construction projects more efficient, and people’s jobs easier. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t exist.

read more

The Secret To Marketing Your Construction Company

You’re already doing it.

Your company is live with a project management software program, and results are rolling in: Work is happening faster, tracking progress and construction documents is easier, and no one’s banging their head against the wall when “daily report” and “punch list” are mentioned.

For many firms, there’s your victory. But smart contractors are discovering there’s more juice where that came from.

marketing-your-construction-company

One of the biggest bonuses of your new field management program isn’t in the field; it’s in the new technology’s marketing value.

read more

Is Your Punch List Mobile Madness?

Punch list: No one is immune to the storm that kicks up just when you’re headed out the door to the next job. And no one feels the pressure to stay on top of punch lists more than a residential builder.

But there’s a way to get you out the door faster and hang onto your sanity.

I just have a few questions for you first.

581-residential-builder-punch-list

After your walkthrough, you might file your scrubbed checklist away in a box in your truck. Then you have to repeat the process with another punch list from the owner and designer (all while juggling multiple projects elsewhere).

read more

3 Construction Trends to Watch for in 2016

2016 is poised to be a beautiful year for the construction industry. So kick back, relax, and get a glimpse of the top trends that await you in the New Year:

581-2016-construction-trends

U.S. construction expected to grow 6% to $712 billion

“The expansion for the construction industry has been underway for several years now, with varying contributions from each of the major sectors. For 2016, the economic environment should support further growth for the overall level of construction starts.” – Robert Murray, chief economist, Dodge Data & Analytics

read more

Unlocking Value From Stakeholder Relationships

If you’re a general contractor, you’re almost never alone. You’re constantly crossing paths with clients, architects, engineers, suppliers, and subcontractors. Ask yourself honestly: How much time have you put into building on these relationships?

If you answered “not much,” you’re missing out on some big opportunities to help your business win.

twenty20_contractor-relationship-buildingBuilding relationships takes extra time and effort, and it makes sense that you’d pour it all into the job. But face it: You’re not Stephen King, writing books in a room in Maine. To be successful in the construction industry, you need people, plain and simple. And so many relationship-building opportunities are ignored every day. Here’s how to pay attention to them, and what you’ll get in return:

read more

How to ‘Miscommunicate’ Better on Construction Projects

The title of this post is not a typo, in case you were wondering.

No, I was having a conversation the other day with a guy after work. We were talking about communication on construction projects. Pretty broad topic. But he works in the field 50-60 hours a week in New York City. I wanted to know what his gripes were. I wanted to know what it was like being an army of one in a sense, while also very much relying on the rest of his project team—boots on the ground and every floor—to execute a really friggin’ hard construction job. He cracked a smile, and I figured a good story was coming — the kind of story everyone from the foreman plumber to the project engineer has told someone at one point or another. It turned out to be pretty simple:

read more

Which Presidential Candidates Are Most Construction-Friendly? Guess Again.

581-bigstock-White-House-1599323

With the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign already in full swing, investment in our nation’s infrastructure is gaining momentum as a top issue for the next administration. CG/LA Infrastructure, Inc., as part of its Blueprint 2025 initiative, has ranked Republican and Democratic candidates alike according to their ability to catalyze infrastructure investment.

The rankings consist of presidential candidates who placed the highest in their prior achievements in building infrastructure, their plan of action to build future infrastructure, and their ability to bring together a diverse team to get infrastructure built. The candidates leading this pack are not the ones leading the polls.

read more

5 Ways Concrete Is Getting Better

581_bigstock-Pouring-Concrete-67867729

Concrete is getting a whole lot better, with the potential to make construction faster and buildings more livable. Here are the top 5 concrete innovations to watch:

Rapid Drying Concrete

New materials are cutting down on drying times, reducing the risk of excess moisture. One of these products is called Aridus, the first ready-mix concrete solution that prevents moisture-related floor covering failures.

Another method for speeding drying is using polyaspartic coatings. Using materials from suppliers such as Covestro, these coatings can be applied in both high-humidity and temperatures below 50°F. In addition to curing faster, their coatings are durable and can prevent damage from ultraviolet light, chemical spills, and abrasions.

read more

Incentives Encourage Developers to Build More EV Charging Stations

ev_charging_station_581

Chances are that EV charging stations will be part of a new construction project in your community soon. It’s not just car markers such as Tesla that are encouraging them. Local and state governments and utility companies, which see EVs as a way to promote cleaner air and energy independence, are incentivizing developers to expand the network of public EV charging stations.

Today there are about 10,700 public EV charging stations in the U.S., compared to 153,000 gas stations. You’ll find them mostly in urban parking lots and garages.

read more

What’s New and Cool With Augmented Reality Hardware?

hololens_581

Augmented reality—technology that overlays information on a realtime picture of your surroundings—could bring big improvements to construction tech. We’ve been following its potential for a while on this blog. But AR is still waiting for its breakout moment.

The most common AR applications on smartphones and tablets seem to be consumer uses, like casual gaming or trying on virtual clothes and makeup. Reliable, accurate AR for enterprise uses requires more powerful hardware. Which seems to be the holdup.

read more