Category: <span>BIM</span>

RT3 members represent the industry at SkillsUSA 2023

This was the first year that roofing was included in the SkillsUSA national championship and members from RT3 were there to showcase technology in the roofing industry including drones, 3D modeling and virtual reality.

At the Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3) table, members were showcasing drone technology and 3D building modeling. Attendees could don an Oculus headset and experience what it’s like to be on the roof of the building in the 3D model. The team from Imagine Technologies and Division 7 Roofing was there to answer questions and fly the drone during a demo period.

The National Roofing Contractors Association was instrumental in working with SkillsUSA to include roofing as part of the competition this year. Heidi Ellsworth from RoofersCoffeeShop and RIck Damato of Roofing Contractor magazine worked together to secure donated materials and support for the roofing competition.

Four teams from across the country competed in the commercial roofing competition on Wednesday, June 21 under the guidance of skilled technicians from IB Roof Systems. The teams took a written test on the first day and then headed to the competition area to practice what they had learned in preparation for the competition the following day. First place was taken home by Kansas!

The first day of the Techspo saw crowds of students, teachers and family members learning from vendors about products and services they offer to the industry. In the roofing pavilion, attendees were able to experience both low-slope and steep-slope roofing installation methods.

In the low-slope demo area, they learned how to weld a seam on TPO with a handheld welder under the tutelage of experts from Johns Manville. After welding, the JM team tested the strength of the weld. On day two, students can compete in the seam welding for a chance to win a backpack and other swag from JM. On the steep-slope side, individuals were shown how to run a course of shingles, including installing starter strip thanks to the help of TAMKO. A special thank you to SRS Distribution for getting all the donated materials into the convention center.

National Women in Roofing had a table to share information on the organization and encourage the young women in attendance to consider the roofing industry as a viable career option.

We were really excited to be able to share the technology of the industry with the next generation of workers and are looking forward to next year!

Wrapping down Projects Chicago Conference

By Jim Lichtenwalte, BuiltWorlds

Much to the fanfare of coffee-lovers everywhere, Starbucks will open a massive, 45,000 square-foot roastery in downtown Chicago next year. Formerly Crate & Barrel, it will be the largest Starbucks location in the world, and feature a staggering assortment of coffee, teas, and food.

And right around the corner from where that store is currently under construction, BuiltWorlds hosted its Chicago Projects Conference last month. In Loyola University’s Corboy Law Center, looking out at some of downtown Chicago’s most impressive structures, attendees learned how new construction technologies are changing job sites around the world, and revolutionizing the industry into something smarter, safer, and more interconnected.

Three of Chicago’s most exciting projects–the massive new Starbucks on Michigan Avenue, the renovation of the old Chicago Post Office, and the construction the 774,000 square-foot office space at 110 North Carpenter in the West Loop–were used as case studies illustrating just how far technology is pushing the built industry. The seven panels spanning the day-long conference covered, in great detail, the technology solutions currently in play in the AEC industry that are changing the way we build.

The conference opened with a keynote address by Sean Conlon, the president and co-founder of Conlon & Co. and the host of CNBC’s “The Deed Chicago.” A successful real estate developer and entrepreneur, Conlon walked the audience through his beginnings in Ireland, his journey to Chicago, and the successes and failures he’s had along the way. Conlon encouraged attendees to be bold and push forward.

“Pioneers often get shot in the back with arrows, not pilgrims,” he said.

Many innovative and technologically-driven practices are being used on large scale projects right here in Chicago. When designing the 110 North Carpenter office building (which now houses McDonald’s new corporate headquarters), Gensler utilized analytics and imaging software to create nearly 70 iterations of how to use the building site optimally and create a public space, before deciding on the design that was eventually chosen. The building is also now home to cutting-edge smart building technology in its lobby. Using a combination of key cards, turnstiles, and a 12-car elevator group, KONE created a more intelligent way to funnel people from the building’s entrance and to their offices.

“We wanted to see what we could do to help people get to their destination,” said Dan Brooks, KONE’s director of corporate sales.

In just about every office in America, a building’s occupants swipe their key cards to be admitted to the elevator bank, and then wait for their elevator along with a mishmash of other people destined for a variety of floors. The system KONE installed has the occupants of 110 North Carpenter equipped with smart key cards with data about their floor number. When swiping at the building’s turnstiles, users are assigned to an elevator with a group of people going to nearby floors. Brooks compared this change like moving from a bus to a taxi.

Similarly, ManufactOn and Skender are also two companies utilizing technology to change the industry. In their presentation, Tim Swanson, Skender’s chief design officer, Kevin Bredeson, Skender’s chief technology officer, and Raghi Iyengar, ManufactOn’s founder and chief executive officer, announced a formal, continuing partnership. ManufactOn is a platform that helps companies plan, track, and manage prefabricated projects. Moving forward, Skender will be using ManufactOn software to create modular construction projects. The three men see modular projects as a smarter way to build cities that is safer and uses less resources.

“About half the world’s resources we pull out of the ground we for buildings, and half the energy we use goes into buildings,” Swanson said. “Maybe there is a different way to do it. Maybe there is an alternative future, one does that doesn’t necessarily have to look like ‘Ready Player One.’”

Other panels examined the way technology is making construction sites safer places to work. Aiden Dalley, the product marketing manager of ViewpointDavid de Yarza, the CEO of Builderbox, Inc., and Daniel J. Klancnik, the director of project solutions Leopardo, detailed how interconnected technologies are making job sites safer and safer with each passing day. Using 360 cameras, job sites can be scanned and examined by superintendents for any safety issues.

“You now have the ability to make everybody on the jobsite with a cellphone a safety inspector,” De Yarza noted.

John Cahalan, the director of strategy at XOi, and Mark Schlander, vice president at GuardHat, Inc., discuss how their companies’ wearable products track workers’ locations, enable easier communications, and alert workers of dangerous conditions.

“Everyday 14 workers don’t come home from work,” Schlander said. “We make the invisible visible.”

The conference was capped off by the announcement of BuiltWorlds’ Project Technology Challenge winner, which was chosen by an experienced group of judges. Bobby Goodman, the co-founder of Truss announced Colas’ solar panel roadway as the winner of the competition. The project will line the existing surface area of roads with thin solar panels to produce more sustainable energy.

Moving forward, there is a lot to be excited about in the construction industry. If leaders keep pushing forward and striving for innovation as Conlon encouraged in the keynote, the built industry will certainly continue to become a safer, smarter place and yield amazing results.

Note: This first appeared on BuiltWorld’s website and can be viewed here.

Collaboration Between Industry Leaders Can Help Bridge the BIM Gap

By Dennis Stejskal & Walter Davis.

Over the last 20 years, technology has played a key role in how information transfers through every phase of a building’s construction. As mobile technology continues to increase access to real-time feedback from the jobsite, it has become vitally important to have a comprehensive process for seamlessly connecting building information silos.

In the most recent version of the AGC Outlook and Hiring Report, contractors revealed their plans to increase productivity by adopting mobile technology to generate daily field reports (67%), enable field access to data in their ERP system (63%), as well as track employee time (59%).

Additionally, 49% of contractors expect the amount of work they perform involving Building Information Modeling (BIM) will either expand or remain consistent in 2018 compared to the prior year. These are all examples of much-needed integration between different systems in the construction process.

Despite this fact, much of the data-sharing process between construction disciplines remains disconnected or dependent on outdated import/export functionality. Seamless integration can eliminate this problem and create some key benefits.

For example, it becomes easy to click on a design object in a building information model, pull relevant information into an estimate, and then click on that same object within the estimate to return to the 2D and 3D source estimators. This provides insight into the impact of design changes through effortless access to the source data. Similarly, mobile technology can deliver jobsite data directly to financial and operations systems.

To achieve true integration, industry leaders must collaborate and work together to tear down software technology silos, so that direct links between specialized software tools can be built. This will allow for a bidirectional flow of project information that will be vital to the success of construction projects. The breaking of these siloed systems is imperative to improving efficiency, reducing costs, and modernizing the industry in a new era of technology.

Note: This article first published on BuiltWorld’s blog and can be viewed here.