Tag: <span>BuiltWorlds</span>

4 Key takeaways from 2018 Projects LA Conference

Industry experts, startups, and technology innovators gathered in Los Angeles, California last month to explore how the process of planning and executing construction projects has been forever altered by emerging technologies.

With the growth and development of new technologies including drones, IoT, advanced software, A.I./machine learning the way construction projects are planned and executed is rapidly changing. Here are four key takeaways from the conference according to BuiltWorlds’ Matt Gagne.

1 – Industry and technology are in sync when it comes to innovation.

Gagne reports that industry and technology panel discussions showed that each side understands what is needed for success. APiO EVP and GM Tom Lineen said that in his company they “strive to make the user experience so easy that users can’t mess it up.” Stephen Knapp, VP of IT for Hollister Construction Services said, “these technologies need to bring some kind of value and it needs to affect the bottom line.” Companies want solutions that don’t disrupt their daily workflow but provide the ROI to justify change.

2 – A call for data standards.

A groupwide discussion took place on the value of connected job site technology. There is more data being collected from many, many sources that all have different formatting, requirements and standards. With new solutions arriving every day, the industry would benefit from one set of standards so the data can be analyzed on a broader scale.

3 – A strong assertion that interoperability and open API’s are the way of the future.

Gagne reports that “Enterprise-wide systems that don’t have API’s or interoperability with smaller point solutions are going to become challenged and fazed out in the world of the connected job site.” With the large amounts of data being gathered and communicated tech companies must focus on integrations first.

4 – We must address the needs of every stakeholder.

This was apparent in the Tech Ridge panel, which is a planned community that is attempting to be the first paperless job site. The entire project is being facilitated by busybusy, a tech platform based in St. George, Utah that collects data for the construction industry so companies can make better, more educated decisions. The company provides time and equipment tracking solutions, which are set to be used across the entire Tech Ridge construction project.

According to Gagne, it was apparent that everyone in the room was in agreement that they want to align specialty contractors, architect and engineers so that all stakeholders in the project are engaged with every system in use.

Source: BuiltWorlds.


BuiltWorlds Releases the Connected Job Site 50 List 2018

The 2018 Connected Job Site 50 List is the easiest way to understand the companies that are changing the future of job sites through IOT-enabled data collecting products and systems.

Drones / Mapping


DroneBase helps to track, map, survey, and manage job sites through providing a network of qualified drone pilots who are trained to fly for construction. Come see them at the BuiltWorlds Projects LA Connected Job Site Expo


DroneDeploy is a cloud-based automated drone mapping software turning aerial imagery and video from any drone into actionable insights while stimulating collaboration across stakeholders from anywhere in the world.


Hangar brings together data software, drone hardware, networks of certified pilots, and developers into one integrated platform. Its data acquisition platform extends insights beyond delivery and into operations and maintenance, ensuring projects stay on-time and on-budget.

  1. 3DR

3DR is a drone data platform specifically for the AEC industries. Their easy-to-use, fully automated software provides point clouds, 3D meshes, or contours to inform and connect those on site with stakeholders. Come see them at the BuiltWorlds Projects LA Connected Job Site Expo


SiteAware enhances job site monitoring with situation-aware drones bringing daily project progress updates and actionable 3D data to stakeholders.


Unearth’s collaboration software connects people, places, and plans (blueprints, specifications, spatial measures, and more) in real-time, allowing both the office and field to collaborate at the same time. Come see them at the BuiltWorlds Projects LA Connected Job Site Expo


Uplift’s drone pilot network and turnkey data service helps industry leaders capture and analyze aerial data to prevent rework, reduce waste, increase safety, and improve margins.

Tools & Equipment / Machinery


5D enables the automation of industrial equipment. Their two tools, 5D Position Engine and Behavior Engine, can integrate into your existing fleet of vehicles and equipment, turning them into ‘smart’ robotics solutions.


Apis Cor has developed the first mobile construction 3D printer, capable of printing entire buildings on site. Apis Cor claims to cut costs by 40% in comparison to traditional construction methods.


Construction Robotics is a robotic and automation equipment manufacturer. Its first machine, SAM100, is a robotic bricklayer for on-site masonry construction. Its second and most recent machine, MULE, is a lift assist device for safer handling and placing of materials weighing up to 135 lbs on construction sites.


DeWalt has created a three-part inventory management solution to connect and track your tools across multiple job sites and collect data from their mobile app automatically bringing you real-time information.


Fastbricks has created a dynamic stabilization machine that reacts to wind, vibration, and other factors instantly, enabling precise positioning of heavy objects on your job site.


One-Key is the first digital platform for tools and equipment tracking, combining an inventory program with Milwaukee Tools’s innovative set of existing industry tools. Come see them at the BuiltWorlds Projects LA Connected Job Site Expo

  1. MX3D

MX3D’s robotic 3D printing technology prints steel, metal or resin structures in virtually any size or shape for manufacturing purposes.


ShareMyToolbox is a mobile application that connects employees to a company’s tool catalog to give users access to tools and assets available in the warehouse or field.


Truck IT is a cloud-based application for the scheduling and payment of dump truck services. It allows users to access real-time information on dump truck availability in their market.


Bosch Bluehound is a cloud-based tracking solution improving transparency between the warehouse and the job site. Their mobile-first platform allows you to track, manage and localize working assets at all times.


People / Collaboration


Arvizio has created the industry’s first mixed reality server platform using its advanced spatial data engine to bring large scale 3D data to your 3D viewing devices in the field.


Astralink is a Quality Assurance platform for the construction industry, using Augmented Reality (AR) technology to bridge the gap between BIM models and real-life construction field work.

  1. DAQRI

DAQRI produces AR technology to be used on the job site, including their Smart Glasses and Worksense software.


Grit Virtual’s VR-based construction management software is re-imagining the way that project teams interact with their schedule. They are taking the 3D nature of virtual reality and advancing it into the fourth dimension with planning software. Come see them at the BuiltWorlds Projects LA Connected Job Site Expo


Imajion has created a mixed reality construction management platform revolutionizing communication on the job site by blending digital objects and information.


IrisVR’s easy-to-use VR platform focuses on the architecture, construction, and engineering industries to stimulate collaboration in virtual space, no matter the physical location of each individual involved.


RealWear produces a voice-driven, hands-free, head-mounted solution to connect workers with PDF documents and maintenance and assembly manuals on the job and in the field.


XOi has developed head-mounted, wearable computing technology that provides real-time visual and audible intelligence for the field service industries, as well as the back-end software that organizes and manages the data and content created. Come see them at the BuiltWorlds Projects LA Connected Job Site Expo



BellHawk software uses mobile data collection, barcode scanning, and printing technologies to provide real-time inventory, materials, and operations tracking for existing ERP, CRM, and other backend software.


Concrete Sensors’ sensors are embedded in concrete prior to pouring and connect with mobile devices to report the concrete’s strength and drying time, preventing the need for removing material to test the concrete.


Intelliwave Technologies (SiteSense) produces mobile-based software solutions for RFID and GPS identification and tracking of construction materials speeding up the locating of materials in the field by 10X. Come see them at the BuiltWorlds Projects LA Connected Job Site Expo


Jovix seeks to reduce fabrication delays and other material readiness issues by collecting, processing, and presenting actionable data in a graphical format; allowing laborers to focus on using their tools.

  1. TRACK ‘EM

Using barcode, RFID, and GPS technologies, Track’em offers material, quality, progress, and time control systems to track and optimize company resources.

  1. X-B-E

X-B-E coordinates the movement of materials by dump truck for the construction industry through their software platform bringing control of your materials to the palm of your hand.

Site Monitoring / Safety


busybusy allows users to track their team and equipment from a mobile device and eliminates paper time cards, improving job costing, and simplifying the payroll process. Come see them at the BuiltWorlds Projects LA Connected Job Site Expo

  1. EYRUS

Eyrus invisibly registers, records, and reports tradespeople entering and exiting the jobsite, providing worker identity verification via high-security entry structures on job sites. The technology also sends stakeholders real-time trade deployment data. Come see them at the BuiltWorlds Projects LA Connected Job Site Expo

  1. MSITE

MSite is a biometric access security system and construction gate monitor that ensures site adherence to safety and security policies and tracks labor time and attendance.


Pillar’s sensors attach to studs, columns, or other structures on the job site to detect smoke, dust, and other air issues so that workers can pinpoint problem areas.


Rhumbix uses crew telematics to capture real-time field data from workers’ smartphones in order to increase construction productivity and safety through a simple-to-use mobile interface. Come see them at the BuiltWorlds Projects LA Connected Job Site Expo


Sensera has created a variety of solar powered, wireless construction time-lapse cameras for the monitoring and security of construction sites. An additional benefit is real-time live site monitoring for all stakeholders.


Smartvid automatically aggregates all of the digital data already being produced on a construction site into one platform to easily identify safety concerns with little added work.


Soloinsight provides IoT solutions via an identification platform of integrated software and sensors that helps customers manage security, personnel, assets, and visitors.

  1. TENNA

Tenna’s asset tracking software and physical tags integrate with GPS tracking solutions to provide physical asset planning, including location tracking, usage and service history, maintenance schedules, and documentation, all in the palm of your hand.


Triax Technologies has created the Spot-r Clip and the Spot-r Equiptag, wearable devices that provides real-time visibility into the job site, resulting in faster response to injuries, improved safety performance, and increased productivity and efficiency of equipment and people.


WeatherBuild leverages weather data, machine learning, and predictive analytics to enhance safety, and manage risk while optimizing uptime of crews and equipment, reducing the number of delays caused by weather problems. Come see them at the BuiltWorlds Projects LA Connected Job Site Expo


  1. FARO

Faro brings 3D laser scanning to the AEC industry with detailed point clouds and highly accurate measurements of complex objects and buildings. Come see them at the BuiltWorlds Projects LA Connected Job Site Expo


HoloBuilder’s scanners offer construction professionals and real estate agents the opportunity to create and share 360° views of their buildings through 360° imagery and artificial intelligence.


Imerso builds 3D scanning solutions for mobile devices, digitizing real-world spaces into 1:1 3D models in seconds via photo stitching technology.


Kaarta has produced a hand-held scanner capable of real-time 3D modeling. Its portable systems sense and instantly transform the environment around them with no reliance on GPS. Come see them at the BuiltWorlds Projects LA Connected Job Site Expo


Matterport provides cloud-based 3D and virtual reality solutions to the real estate and AEC industries that allow users to create, modify, navigate, and build on digital representations of real places.


Paracosm is a 3D mapping software company that develops mobile reality capture, progress monitoring, and visualization solutions. They also developed the first hand-held lidar scanning product, the PX-80.

  1. SKUR

SKUR provides cloud analytics and point-cloud software to verify as-built construction variations and catch issues with fabricated elements before they become a problem.


StructionSite’s construction documentation software integrates with 360° cameras providing searchable visual documentation to provide accountability and create communication efficiencies for work in-progress on the job site.

Source: BuiltWorlds.

BuiltWorlds Releases 2018 Building Tech 50 List

By Builtworlds.

These are the companies that are paving the way for connected buildings of the future. Four companies made the list in the roof systems category.


  1. View

Removing the need for blinds altogether, View’s Dynamic Glass system intuitively adjusts tint to reduce solar radiation and glare, improving productivity and reducing energy costs. After securing another $200 million in funding in 2017, the internet-connected glass company has positioned itself as one of the world’s leading innovators in smart building technology.

  1. VG SmartGlass

VG SmartGlass’ patented solution delivers glare, privacy, and energy control using layers of polarized film. Their user-controlled system is making smart glass a more affordable option for residential and commercial buildings alike.

  1. iGlass Technology

iGlass has developed Wisp, a sunlight control system that adjusts in real-time to lower energy bills and protect from harmful UV radiation. Wisp is easy to install on existing windows and carries benefits for both building operators and tenants.

  1. Onyx Solar

Onyx creates photovoltaic glass that is transforming buildings into efficient, energy-generating assets. Used in more than 150 projects worldwide, Onyx has established itself as a leader in the smart building landscape.

  1. Polysolar

Polysolar’s Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) platform brings both environmental and economic benefits to any building project. Their technology has applications throughout the building envelope, from facade to roof to windows.


  1. Lunera

Lunera has developed a smart lighting platform that uses lights, sensors, and an IoT network to provide building operators with real-time information and control. This dynamic, cloud-based platform allows existing buildings to tap into newfound energy savings and improve the user experience.

  1. Signify

(formerly Philips Lighting) Signify’s IoT-based lighting platform, Interact, delivers connected LED lighting systems to office buildings, stadiums, industrial facilities, and infrastructure assets. Turning raw data from embedded light sensors into actionable business insights, they are empowering companies to get the most out of their buildings.

  1. Igor

Using Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology, Igor is decreasing the installation and retrofitting costs of upgrading to smart lighting. Their scalable, AI-enabled system is driving the shift toward energy-efficiency in buildings.

  1. OSRAM

OSRAM has created a range of Light Management Systems (LMS) that offer improvements in operational efficiency to a variety of business types and sizes. Their platform integrates wireless hardware with powerful software, creating a connected building network.

  1. LumiFi

With a wireless lighting control platform, Lumifi connects third-party IoT-enabled devices to help building owners and operators monitor their light systems. Their intuitive mobile interface and web management platform offers users a wide range of lighting features and functionalities.


  1. Abundant Power

Abundant Power’s performance analytics software allows for reliable and accessible reporting about building energy consumption. The result is a building that enables flexible service, affordable operating expense, and maximum occupant comfort.

  1. Ravti

With unique solutions for both property owners and property managers, Ravti is creating a more efficient and streamlined HVAC management system. By creating and updating a detailed HVAC inventory, tracking performance, and generating intuitive reports, they are helping to significantly reduce a critical yet costly building service expense.

  1. Optimum Energy

Optimum Energy’s True Optimization solution is a control software that integrates directly with any building automation system to continuously reduce energy consumption. By optimizing energy consumption in HVAC systems, Optimum Energy can deliver electricity savings of up to 50%.

  1. Totem

Totem Power has established itself as a leader of innovation in the world of smart energy products. They are developing solutions in 5G connectivity, thermal management, cyber security, and remote device monitoring.

  1. Enerbrain

Enerbrain has developed a simple solution for HVAC monitoring and performance management, with a fully-integrated network of sensors, IoT actuators, and a mobile app for continual monitoring.

  1. SolarEdge

SolarEdge aims to address a broad range of energy markets by offering large scale photovoltaic systems, battery storage and backup, electric vehicle charging, home energy management, electrical grid services, and uninterrupted power supply solutions.


  1. Ebeco

Ebeco uses self-regulating and connected heating technology to improve the performance of building roof systems. Their solution prevents costly erosion of roofs, gutters, and downpipes from snow and ice accumulation.

  1. Voltaic Systems

Voltaic Systems has created a line of durable, IoT-enabled photovoltaic panels. Their highly customizable system enables increased efficiency in rooftop energy generation for smart buildings.

  1. Opti

Opti has built an IoT-based solution that is transforming how buildings use roof systems to manage stormwater. Their Continuous Monitoring and Adaptive Control (CMAC) technology automatically controls the timing and rate of stormwater flow through existing and new facilities, enabling them to plan, observe, and predictively respond to storm events.

  1. SolarCity

A subsidiary of Tesla, SolarCity’s Solar Roof platform uses durable glass tiles to turn buildings into energy-generating utilities. SolarCity sets itself apart by offering a range of beautiful tile designs to integrate solar technology into different architectural styles.


  1. Aquicore

Aquicore has created a versatile building management software solution to help building owners track performance and operations. Acting as the command center of a smart building, the Aquicore platform enables real-time energy consumption monitoring, task management, budgeting services, and more.

  1. Gridium

Gridium’s software offers data-driven operations services to streamline building maintenance and lower energy costs. The platform also produces regular performance reports, making analytics and raw data easy to understand for building owners and managers.

  1. Enertiv

Used in residential, office, hospitality, and warehouse buildings, Enertiv’s Operations Performance System (OPS) tracks every aspect of building operations, from equipment performance to indoor environmental conditions. Their platform aims to improve equipment reliability, optimize system configuration, and enable predictive maintenance.

  1. Senseware

Senseware is a full-stack IoT solution that enables integration, monitoring, and control of building systems in real-time. By transforming existing building infrastructure into productive and communicative assets, Senseware is putting your data to work.

  1. Bractlet

Bractlet’s Infrastructure Investment Platform empowers property owners to make informed, confident decisions based on insights gleaned from performance data and modeling. By monitoring at the equipment-level and diagnosing issues as they arise, they protect building investments and ensure savings on operating expenses.

  1. OpenEE

OpenEE’s mission is to promote energy efficiency and transform buildings into distributed energy resources. Their open source platform offers loading, calculating, and visualization of building-level energy performance.


  1. Concrete Sensors

Concrete Sensors has combined wireless sensing technology with powerful software to deliver the most accurate, real-time information about concrete. Their solution takes the guesswork out of using concrete on any given project and ensures that buildings meet structural requirements and financial goals.

  1. Canzac

A mainstay of the concrete industry, Canzac’s catalog of products includes an innovative concrete sensor used to monitor concrete strength and temperature. The rugged, waterproof, and wireless sensor uses bluetooth technology to relay performance information through a mobile app.

  1. Giatec

Giatec offers a complete suite of smart concrete testing solutions for various applications in wireless concrete monitoring, infrastructure condition assessment, and durability-based quality control of concrete. Their mobile-based technology makes it easy for construction companies, consulting firms, and ready-mix producers to improve efficiency in concrete projects.


  1. Intellihot

Intellihot’s tankless water heating system allow you to conserve valuable space and improve energy efficiency. By delivering endless hot water on demand while consuming less space and fewer resources, they are making the traditional tank and boiler model obsolete.

  1. Sensus

Sensus has developed a range of IoT-enabled smart solutions, including a data-driven smart water platform for buildings. Their system combines advanced sensors with software to improve measurement, facilitate communication, improve revenue, and increase overall efficiency.

  1. Itron

Itron’s Riva platform brings IoT sensor technology and edge computing analytics to water systems. With conservation in mind, their solutions help to eliminate non-revenue water from all types of buildings.

  1. Aquagen ISI

Aquagen Infrastructure Systems’ technology incorporates the natural benefits of algae-based photosynthesis to enhance the operational process of wastewater treatment. Not only does this save operators on costs, but it turns wastewater into a sustainable community resource.

  1. Flo Technologies

Flo’s water damage prevention system monitors water equipment to detect and proactively stop leaks. With the ability to monitor water consumption using mobile technology, Flo maximizes water security and savings.


  1. Soloinsight

Cloudgate, a powerful facial recognition platform created by Soloinsight, is leveraging IoT and AI to improve building security. A highly customizable system, Cloudgate uses biometric credentials and advanced check-in technology to manage access.

  1. Doorport

Bringing security and convenience to apartment buildings, Doorport enables smartphone an key card access, video intercom, and web encryption services. With low installation costs, they remove the need for expensive security contractors and make buildings safer for residents.

  1. Nubo

Nubo has created the world’s first 4G/LTE-enabled security camera. This small, weatherproof device is making it easier than ever to remotely monitor buildings, putting tenants’ and owners’ minds at ease and avoiding security threats.

  1. Canary

Canary has created a line of products that integrate remotely monitored cameras with sirens to provide an all-in-one security solution. Their system balances personal privacy with the principles of mutual trust and transparency.

  1. Cyberbit

Cyberbit offers a building security solution that consolidates visibility, detection, and incident response. The Cyberbit platform combines multiple security products and technologies to offer a complete security operations solution, formerly only available from multiple vendors.

  1. Plumis

Plumis offers an IoT-enabled fire protection system for buildings. Their cost-effective alternative has been proven to achieve the same fire performance as traditional sprinkler systems, while using 90% less water.


  1. EverCharge

EverCharge built an electric charging solution specifically designed for apartments and condominiums. As electric vehicle ownership continues to rise, EverCharge’s built-in IoT and remote monitoring capabilities set it apart from other EV charging options.

  1. Smart Parking

Smart Parking’s platform uses sensors identify available parking spaces, GPS technology to direct drivers to those spaces, and an intuitive payment interface to facilitate paid parking facilities. Each of these solutions can be combined and integrated to create custom parking solutions for different buildings.

  1. Parkifi

With spot-level parking data from lots, garages, and on-street parking spaces, Parkifi allows building operators to access inventory and gain actionable insights effortlessly. Their cloud-based analytics dashboard makes managing parking facilities easy.

  1. ChargePoint

ChargePoint delivers EV charging stations to office buildings, apartments and condos, and industrial facilities use cutting-edge hardware technology. ChargePoint stations are part of a complete solution that includes 24/7 driver support, cloud-based software, and world-class service and maintenance.

  1. Boni

Boni’s digital mapping platform brings location service software indoors. They facilitate  indoor wayfinding for owners, residents, and visitors of a variety of buildings to improve their ability to move efficiently and find exactly what they are looking for.

  1. Thyssenkrupp MAX

MAX is taking elevator availability, reliability, and efficiency to new heights with the industry’s first real-time, cloud-based predictive maintenance solution. Their smart, IoT-enabled solution dramatically increases elevator availability and predicts maintenance issues before they occur.


  1. HqO

HqO’s software platform gives tenants more control than ever over their buildings. With visitor registration, room booking, parking monitoring, food ordering, and community engagement functionality, they are turning the workplace into a truly interactive experience.

  1. Mobile Doorman

Mobile Doorman helps properties go beyond the web portal to create customizable, branded apps to interact with residents on their mobile devices. Their services improve how residents interact with buildings using a fully-customized, user-friendly tool that empowers them to live smarter and helps owners manage efficiently, improve retention, and boost their bottom line.

  1. Amazon Hub

Hub by Amazon is a comprehensive solution that frees building staff from daily package management, from high-rise buildings to garden-style apartments. Hub’s intuitive and simple design improves residents’ living experience, declutters building lobbies and storage rooms, and provides a secure location for package deliveries.

  1. Comfy

Comfy aims to improve the workplace experience by connecting people, places, and systems though a single intuitive mobile platform. With Comfy, employees can control aspects of their workplace environment including temperature, lighting, meeting rooms, and more.

Visit BuiltWorlds to download a PDF of the complete list.

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.

3 Ways to Improve Communication on Your Jobsite with Drones

By Devon Tackles.

Keeping tabs on a construction project is no small task. Every job has many moving parts. From tracking progress to managing subcontractors, communicating across teams can be challenging — no matter the size of your organization. The good news is, by spending less than an hour each week mapping your jobsite with drones, you’ll gain an entire toolkit to help you and your team work more efficiently, make more informed decisions, and communicate with ease.

Drone maps and models not only provide an aerial view of your project, but each map includes a rich set of data that can be used to further measure and analyze just about anything on a site. Here are three ways you can improve communication on your jobsite with the use of drones and aerial maps.

  1. Project Monitoring and Site Inspection

DroneDeploy, an industry leader in drone mapping software, discovered that 60% of their customers make maps weekly. This regular, overhead view is invaluable when it comes to tracking progress and inspecting for safety issues on construction projects. “Drone maps give my team a bird’s eye view of the site, which looks a lot different than being on the ground,” explained Matthew Forster, Project Engineer for Choate Construction. “It gives them a full picture.”

Although nothing replaces boots on the ground, weekly drone maps can significantly reduce the amount of time you spend walking an entire site for the purposes of inspection and monitoring. For more advanced oversight, you can import and overlay site plans right in the DroneDeploy interface, or export your maps into industry software like BIM, GIS, and CAD. You can easily export your data in the format you need or use open APIs to sync your data with everyday tools.

Contract Project Manager Nick Johnson of Tilt Rock of Texas does this to help him manage large, custom home projects. Homeowners make frequent changes to house footprints, models, and orientation, so Johnson overlays drone maps with utility, wastewater, and communications plans to help him can catch conflicts with services before they actually happen and redirect them at minimal cost.

“Aerial imagery identifies conflicts I wouldn’t normally see from the ground level. Now, I find out about conflicts in a matter of days, instead of months.”- Nick Johnson, Project Manager, Tilt Rock of Texas

  1. Take Volume and Area Measurements, Estimate Stockpiles, and Monitor Earthwork

Every location on a drone map is geotagged, so you can take basic measurements almost instantly, from any device. For situations that require centimeter-level accuracy, ground control points (GCPs) can be added to a map. These marked targets help mapping software accurately position your map in relation to the real world and afford the accuracy needed to make precise volumetric and linear measurements.

“I can tell how many square feet of roof we’ve put down, how much square footage of concrete is left to pour,” Ryan Moret, Field Solutions Manager at McCarthy Building Companies, said. “If we’re trying to figure out truck access, we can measure the width of a road or gate or how much room we need to clear out for material to make the site clean and organized.”

  1. Share Insights, Align Teams, and Inform Stakeholders

Drones make collaboration and information sharing, both internally and externally, easier than ever before. Cloud-based platforms make it easy to share annotated maps between team members, or keep external stakeholders up-to-speed on the progress of a project.

In contractor meetings, having a clear display of any current site issues is a powerful communication tool. Likewise, having an up-to-date drone map helps distribute information efficiently, even among large teams. Streamline the decision-making process by referencing a drone map any time changes need to be made to a project.

McCarthy Building Companies uses drones in many high-tech ways, but at the end of the day, “paper is still the common denominator for jobsites,” says Moret. On every McCarthy site, the wall of the job trailer is covered with weekly drone maps posted in sequence, giving anyone who walks into the room a clear picture of the project’s progress over time, as well as a snapshot of any current issues on the site.

“The trades love it, being able to walk up to the wall and see nine weeks of construction photos,” Moret said. “They pull these up in every sub meeting, every owner meeting. We have data from that week to show contractors, ‘hey, the site’s a mess; you guys need to go clean it up.’ You can see rebar spread out all over the place, so there’s no arguing. They see it for what it’s worth.”

BuiltWorlds partnered with DroneDeploy to bring you this article. You can read the full version of this piece here.

The Best Employers in the Built World Embrace Technology

By Isabel Singer, BuiltWorlds.

The AEC industries have a workforce issue. According to the Associated General Contractors of America, 70 percent of contractors have difficulty finding qualified craftspeople and, in 2017, the National Association of Home Builders found that the median age of construction workers was 41.

Given the challenges facing the industry, how can you ensure that great people want to work for your company? According to Travis Voss, the answer lies in embracing technology.

Travis Voss is the Technology Manager of Mechanical Inc., one of the nation’s top 50 mechanical contractors. Voss’ efforts to get employees excited about and invested in innovative technology has transformed Mechanical Inc.’s workforce. Since Voss joined the company in 2016, he believes that Mechanical Inc. has become even younger, even sharper, and employees stay at the company for even longer.

Voss agreed to sit down with BuiltWorlds and share Mechanical Inc.’s secrets for creating a robust workforce.

Tech-forward organizations recruit first-rate talent

When trying to recruit young people, Voss makes sure Mechanical Inc. showcases its technology. Voss ensures that all the interns that spend time at Mechanical Inc. visit the technology department and, whenever Voss visits a job fair, he brings along a HoloLens or an HTC Vive.

“Keeping those shiny toys out in front entices young people to talk to us,” Voss laughed. “But in all seriousness, a few decades ago, you didn’t look at innovation as important when you were trying to recruit people. You just wanted to offer a stable position, good salary, and benefits. But, now the employment market is a seller’s market. You have to have a leg up to entice the talent in. They’re not going to want to work in a company that’s still doing things in an old school method when they know there is technology out there. Young prospective employees have grown up around technology and they know there must be a better way of doing things.”

Cutting-edge companies retain talent

Tech-forward companies retain talent because employees take pride in working for an innovative company. Furthermore, when a company has an innovative culture, employees have confidence that their company can weather adverse market conditions.

Voss related that employees “take pride in the fact like they’re working with a forward-thinking company, a company that is striving to innovate and bring new things to the industry. If another company offers everything similar across the board, but the competitor is still using pad and paper, employees prefer to stick around with the forward-thinking company because chances are the innovative company is better positioned to survive.”

Only GREAT Technology will help your company retain GREAT talent

Technology only helps retain talent if it improves employees’ work experience. Voss urges company leaders to experiment with new technology and not to fear failure. “You can rely on organizations such as BuiltWorlds and programs like the BuiltWorlds Pilots to help you curate different apps and gadgets and narrow down your focus,” he explained. “But, at a certain point, you have to invest in something that you feel is beneficial for your company. But, you should still treat the new tech like a research project. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a product that isn’t working for you. It’s a sunk cost.”

Voss also emphasizes that the opinions of field workers are vital when evaluating new tech. “I’m not a field foreman. I’m not a pipe fitter,” Voss said. “So, I have to admit that I don’t know what they know. No matter how awesome I think something is, I’m not the one that has to deal with the endpoint solution day-to-day. I always ask stakeholders, ‘do you think this will improve your job?’ and I accept that input.”

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

South Florida Contractor Integrates Technology into Every Job Site

Members of the BuiltWorlds team traveled through South Florida to learn all about the area’s key innovations that are pushing the built industry forward in new and unique ways. One of the companies spearheading that drive toward the future is Stiles Construction, a 67-year-old commercial real estate firm that’s shaped the Fort Lauderdale skyline.

As the BuiltWorlds team toured jobsites nearby Stiles’ Fort Lauderdale headquarters, they learned more about the company’s push for new technology on the jobsite. “That’s a 42-story tower that we plan on blanketing entirely with DeWalt wifi,” said Kris Lengieza, Vice President of Operational Excellence at Stiles, when referring to a jobsite beginning to lay the foundation. “We can more effectively use tools like Procore out in the field, then, so the guys don’t have to go back to the office.”

Streamlining the building process in that way helps Stiles run a particularly tight jobsite. Everything is scheduled, notated, and it’s getting easier to see who is on the jobsite, what they’re working on, and what tools they have. “We didn’t really track how good of a job we were doing,” Lengieza said of Stiles in the past. “I don’t think that’s atypical of organizations. I think we were pretty common in that.”

Where Stiles is atypical, however, is in their approach to remedying that gap in information. On top of deploying advanced technology on their jobsites, Stiles has noticed the reluctance the industry often has to adopt new technology and quelled its fears with friendly, enjoyable coaching sessions.

“We have provided all of our superintendents, all of our field guys, iPads, so now they all have the devices and we have now enabled them. We’ve given them no excuses not to do it. But that’s not enough. You need to get people understanding where the benefit for them is, so what we’ve done is gone with a grassroots effort where we will bring in superintendents and anyone that wants to join us for a training.”

The grassroots effort that Stiles is using to shepherd new technology onto their sites is only as effective as it is flexible, too, and as the company has quickly learned, taking input from everyday users is immeasurably valuable. Superintendents can suggest new avenues to use Procore on the jobsite, for example, and the company has taken these ideas on several occasions to better shape their software solutions.

As Stiles expands operations throughout the southeast, they’re continuing to call upon their workforce to propel change forward. To embrace innovation, they’ve learned, they must do it as a collective force. Changes can’t only come from the top down. “Now people are seeing the benefits of what we’ve put in place,” Lengieza explained. “We’ve also been changing the culture a little bit. If you have something that you don’t like the way it works, tell us about it. We might be able to fix it.”

Note: This article first published on BuiltWorld’s blog 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.

Five Strategies for Making Construction Companies Better for Women

BuiltWorlds recently facilitated a Future Workforce Forum meeting exploring the challenges faced by women in construction. The forum participants heard presentations about the personal experiences of women in the industry, while also engaging in a lively discussion about ways companies should respond to the hurdles that women face. The group came up with five concrete solutions for companies to make themselves welcoming to women:

  1. Qualify female colleagues

Numerous studies, such as this one from the American Association of University Women, have shown that women are often viewed as less competent than their male counterparts. One small way to address this issue is to highlight your female colleagues qualifications when you introduce them.

For example, Jamie Redmond, the Director of Operations at Redmond Construction, related that when she’s in a business meeting, one of her peers informs everyone, “this is Jamie, she leads our operations; she’s a great resource for you.”

  1. Amplify women’s ideas

Men often take women’s ideas and claim them as their own (see Dr. Arin Reeves’ study, “Mansplaining, Manterrupting & Bropropriating.”) In order to combat this issue, Redmond emphasized the importance of repeating a woman’s idea and crediting her for the idea ideas. It’s as simple as saying, “as Jamie pointed out, we should really pay more attention to this marketing campaign.”

  1. Ladies — make yourself a seat at the table.

According to the Harvard Business Review, the way women’s colleagues treat them is almost entirely due to bias and has no correlation with women’s actions. However, in hostile environments, women often have no recourse but to develop a thick skin and hold their ground.

Cathy Osborne, the VP of HR at Leopardo admitted that when she started at the company, the male leaders had a difficult time listening to her. “We had cultural issues because they were not used to having women in a leadership role,” Osborne said. “They’d say, ‘Cathy you don’t know construction.’ I’d say, ‘It’s not about construction. It’s about human capital…’ I have a seat at the table and I’m a business partner.”

  1. Put women in positions of power

Women in power empower other women. For example, as a smart, driven woman, Osborne recognizes the importance of recruiting and retaining female employees. Since she started at Leopardo, the company has “been seeing more strong project engineers, project managers, on the female side.” Osborne also makes sure that male superintendents support her project engineers. In large part due to Osborne’s work, Leopardo is now 27 percent female, not including the trades.

Lauren Enders, a Project Manager at Vortex Flooring, observed that having women run the show benefits everyone. “We have our first female partner,” she said. “She’s really good at maintaining a positive environment for our team… the women in our office make shit happen.” This, of course, means that women in power also empower the men around them.

  1. Make work-life balance a company priority

Women with children often hesitate to take on leadership roles in the field because of the large time commitment demands associated with supervisory positions. Roseanna Bloxham, a senior geo-environmental engineer at environmental consultancy RSK, observed in this article, “it’s really difficult for working mothers to be on site by 8 am, because most childcare facilities are not open at 6am, when they would need to drop off their children. Therefore, after having children female engineers are still tending to go back into desk roles.”

The industry cannot afford to deprive talented women from field leadership opportunities. If you want to attract young parents of all genders into field leadership, you need to implement family friendly policies. Try developing generous paid maternity and paternity leave policies. Look into flexible working options — in the digital age, a lot of office work can be completed at home. Hire assistants for your supervisors who can take on their administrative tasks. You will attract and retain more skilled employees with these policies.

With a precipitous decline in skilled labor, the construction industry cannot afford to alienate 50 percent of the workforce. By implementing these five strategies, you will make your company more competitive and profitable.

Note: This article first appeared on BuiltWorlds’ website and can be viewed here.