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2017 Tech Predictions

When Star Trek™ debuted 50 years ago, who would have thought the technology employed on the Starship Enterprise would one day be used on construction jobsites. Read The Full Story »

HRMore Like This

Businesses in the construction industry have been faced with some of the worst and most challenging issues in terms of staffing. While some years ago it seemed effortless to find a welder, machinist or electrician, now business owners will be hard pressed to not only find one that’s a good fit for the company, but to find one at all.

According to ManpowerGroup, skilled trades have been the most difficult segment of the workforce in terms of staffing. Most of these skilled trade workers are beginning to retire or have established careers or contracts with other construction companies. For example, according to EMSI, 18.6 percent of all skilled trade workers today are on the brink of retirement and 53 percent of skilled trade workers are 45 or older. That leaves a very small margin of younger workers in the skilled trades industries. Continue »

SoftwareMore Like This

Software and technology for the construction industry undoubtedly is a rapidly growing business.  Today, most leading construction accounting software providers offer client-server based and Software as a Service (SaaS) products.  SaaS solutions are  web-based and delivered through the cloud.  Contractors looking for a SaaS solution will find one quickly and easily.  What takes more time and planning however, is finding the right solution that will handle the growing needs of construction business owners. Continue »

For many project teams, virtual design and construction (VDC) and BIM are opening up a whole new world of design evolution. Products and materials are being specified in models, and clashes are being detected before the ground is even broken on a building. The ability to design and share instructions in 3D is making teams more efficient than ever before. But what happens when project partners don’t have access to or technical knowledge of BIM solutions? How can they benefit from the wealth of knowledge contained in a 3D model? Continue »

Project ManagementMore Like This

Millions of square feet of tenant finish office space are designed and occupied each year.  Often, the space being taken by a new tenant is either considerably outdated or has been “white boxed” (outfitted with only the bare minimum basics.”  In either case, many tenants are faced with the task of hiring a design team and contractor for the construction of their new home-away-from-home.  Lighting is an important, necessary and frequently overlooked component of any new build-out.  A number of factors should be taken into consideration when selecting and designing lighting systems for tenant finish spaces. Continue »

BiddingMore Like This

The outlook for 2013 among heavy civil/infrastructure firms is surprisingly optimistic, even though 40 percent of respondents saw more bidders on jobs in 2012 than in 2011, according to a survey conducted by construction estimating software developer HCSS. The survey also found more than half of respondents ventured outside their normal specialty or geographic area in 2012 to remain competitive, and more than half of respondents do not intend to expand their workforce this year.
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EstimatingMore Like This

The Woodlands, Texas (May 2013)

On Center Software, the first name in construction automation, won the Association of Wall and Ceiling Industry’s 2013 Excellence in Construction Innovation Award for its Digital Production Control offering.

“AWCI’s Excellence in Construction Innovation Award recognizes products, services, materials, technology, or systems that improve the means and methods used in the wall and ceiling industry,” said Cecilia Padilla, President of On Center Software. “We are quite proud of winning this first ever honor from AWCI. Digital Production Control is our patented technology that improves productivity, increases scope of work, and reduces the amount of materials used and construction costs,” said Mrs. Padilla.

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Tech TrendsMore Like This

Police departments around the United States are reporting a spike in thefts of cell phones, especially smart phones such as iPhones and Androids. Crimes involving cell phones now comprise 40 percent of thefts in major American cities, according to the Federal Communications Commission’s analysis of statistics provided by police departments.  Many of those thefts involve violence and even deaths.

Construction firms must be extra vigilant about theft. Construction had many of the earliest adapters of cell phones, fueled by the temporary nature of projects, lack of easy availability of landlines on jobsites and the nomadic nature of workers in construction.

The question becomes, is there any relief in sight?  Continue »

Centered on Stadiums & Arenas

Sports stadiums and entertainment facilities are among the physically largest projects on which construction companies work. In terms of scale, these projects are massive—contractors may have to clear huge tracts of land, source massive amounts of materials and equipment to raise the structure, and deal with community approval issues. These contracts also frequently come with tight deadlines and little cushion. However, they also come with multi-million dollar price tags, making them especially lucrative and highly sought after projects. Continue »

Best PracticesMore Like This

The company headed by this author recently went through an analysis of software tools that would enhance business productivity and provide the ability for scalability, security, stability and cost.  Although the digit group inc. is primarily a technology company that supports the AEC market, its processes, workflows and schedules closely resemble traditional firms in the AEC industry. Continue »