CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - 17

PHOTO PROVIDED BY F+F

The construction industry is admittedly
slow to adopt processes and technology that
can streamline project planning, construction and communications on the worksite,
but there are factors that contribute to the
reluctance to embrace digital technology.
The wide range of construction sites with
unique needs is one challenge for technology companies and contractors, according
to a report on the construction industry's
digital future by McKinsey and Company.
Challenges and needs for technology for
highway construction are very different
than building a 20-floor office tower in an
urban setting.
Additional factors for slow adoption
include the prevalence of small firms - often
subcontractors on larger projects - that
do not have the staff or financial resources
to deploy technology; and the lack of technology that was designed specifically for
construction rather than adapted from
other industries.
"Technology companies have done a disservice to the construction industry in the
past by not producing solutions that are
practical and that fit the unique needs of
construction and the construction worksite,"
admits Lori Peters, senior director of marketing for Triax Technologies. Fortunately, there
is a new technology ecosystem emerging
that is producing solutions designed especially for construction, she adds.
Even with construction-focused technology, not all companies in the industry are
quick to adopt it.
"There are many smaller, family-owned
companies that have been in business for

30 years or more, and it is hard to change
the way you have always done business,"
says Joe Ferrucci, vice president of F+F
Mechanical Enterprises in North Haven,
Connecticut. For technology to be cost
efficient and effective, the contractor must
be willing to commit energy and resources
to its adoption, he adds.
F+F has made the commitment and has
used Trimble total stations for several years
to improve survey capabilities. "We also use
phone apps to coordinate pre-fab deliveries from our shop," explains Ferrucci. The
delivery scheduling system notifies all parties involved in a delivery about changes via
text and also texts reminders to drivers to
ensure on-time delivery.
"We are also the first shop in the state to
have a fully automated pipe cutting machine,
which improves accuracy and speed in our
pipe pre-fabrication process," says Ferrucci.
The use of a Building Information
Modeling (BIM) system also improves communications among all staff, says Ferrucci.
"All field staff have iPads to access the
most up-to-date models and drawings,"
he explains. "We have found that general
contractors increasingly look for subcontractors with this capability, so investing in
the technology positions us favorably in a
competitive market."
As more general contractors insist on
all site contractors' use of BIM and other
technology designed to streamline the construction process and reduce the number of
change orders on a project, interoperability
becomes critical, says Peters. "Construction
managers do not want to work with eight different devices or dashboards - they want
everything to work together in one project
management program," she explains. "This
requires solutions that integrate easily with
other programs to enhance its value."
Because any type of technology requires
a financial investment, it is critical that the
technology be both durable and scalable,
suggests Peters. Triax's safety wearable
technology called Spot-r meets both requirements, she says. The device automatically
connects workers to the non-GPS mesh
network installed onsite, providing a realtime count and location of workers on the

TECHNOLOGY TRENDS
THAT ARE DISRUPTING THE
CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
In the 2016 McKinsey and Company report,
Imagining Construction's Digital Future, researchers
identified five trends that will shape the construction
industry in the near future.
1. Higher-definition survey and geolocation
Light-detection-and-ranging (lidar)
technology used in conjunction with
ground-penetrating radar, magnetometers and
other equipment can generate above-ground
and underground 3-D images of project sites
to minimize geological surprises is not new
but the addition of drones, lighter-weight lidar
systems, and handheld platforms improves the
technologies capabilities.
2. Next-generation 5-D building
information modeling
Although 3-D modeling has been in use
for some time, the use of systems that do
not sync with each other complicates the
use of the technology across different team
members - architects, designers, contractors
and subcontractors.
Next-generation 5-D BIM is a representation of the physical and functional characteristics of a project along with costs and
schedules - integrating design, cost and schedule in a 3-D output. The opportunity to visualize changes and their impact on budgets and
schedules enables owners and contractors to
identify risks earlier in the project.
3. Digital collaboration and mobility
A reliance on paper to manage processes
and items contributes to the construction industry's poor productivity record. The availability of
cloud-based, mobile-enabled field supervision
platforms can integrate all functions involved in
project management to capture and share information in real time among all team members.
4. The Internet of Things and
advanced analytics
On a construction site, the Internet of
Things allows construction machinery, wearable devices, structures and materials to "talk"
to a central data platform that records performance parameters. The data collected by
digital devices and advanced analytics can
save time and money by providing insight into
worksite activities, which helps identify opportunities to improve processes.
5. Future-proof design and construction
New building materials - such as
self-healing concrete, aerogels and nanomaterials -as well as innovative construction
methods such as 3-D printing and preassembled modules, can lower costs and speed up
construction while improving quality and safety.
These new approaches will require dramatic
changes in the internal planning, design, procurement and construction processes.
Excerpted from: Imagining Construction's
Digital Future, McKinsey and Company. June
2016. https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/
capital-projects-and-infrastructure/our-insights/
imagining-constructions-digital-future

CONNstruction / WINTER 2017 / 17


https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CONNstruction - Winter 2017

Being Productive
The AGC of Connecticut Foundation: Serving the Industry’s Needs Through Charitable Giving
Productivity, Costs and the Future of Machine Control
Diving Into Unmanned Aerial Systems
Looking to the Future: How Technology will Disrupt and Improve the Construction Industry
Improve Operational Efficiency, Mitigate Risk, and Foster Growth with a Defined IT Strategy
2017 AGC/CT Industry Recognition Awards & Dinner
2017 CRBA Annual Fall Dinner Meeting
2017 Diggers Mixers Fixers: Jim Langlois Memorial Golf Outing
YCF Fall Membership Meeting
Index to Advertisers/Advertiser.com
CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - Intro
CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - cover1
CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - cover2
CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - 3
CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - 4
CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - 5
CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - 6
CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - Being Productive
CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - 8
CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - The AGC of Connecticut Foundation: Serving the Industry’s Needs Through Charitable Giving
CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - Productivity, Costs and the Future of Machine Control
CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - 11
CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - Diving Into Unmanned Aerial Systems
CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - 13
CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - 14
CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - 15
CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - Looking to the Future: How Technology will Disrupt and Improve the Construction Industry
CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - 17
CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - 18
CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - 19
CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - 20
CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - Improve Operational Efficiency, Mitigate Risk, and Foster Growth with a Defined IT Strategy
CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - 22
CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - 23
CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - 2017 AGC/CT Industry Recognition Awards & Dinner
CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - 2017 CRBA Annual Fall Dinner Meeting
CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - 26
CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - 2017 Diggers Mixers Fixers: Jim Langlois Memorial Golf Outing
CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - 28
CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - Index to Advertisers/Advertiser.com
CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - 30
CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - cover3
CONNstruction - Winter 2017 - cover4
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