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Stewart Brand said, “Once a new technology rolls over you, if you're not part of the steamroller, you're part of the road.” So get on board with new technologies, such as bricks made by bacteria, mobile platforms for real-time data, 5-D project view software and free project documentation software for subcontractors.

Apps

iAuditor Mobile Platform Increases Safety and Quality on JobSites
iAuditorSafetyCulture’s iAuditor mobile platform mobilizes construction teams to participate in real-time data collection and reporting, allowing them to recognize and correct hazards in real time to improve jobsite safety. Capabilities include real-time hazard recognition so all workers can conduct advanced inspection and safety initiatives and share information across teams; image annotation to capture photos and highlight specific areas; the ability to export PDF, XLS or other files to supervisors and teams from their mobile device; GPS Integration; and crowd-sourced construction expertise to tap into a user-generated library of more than 57,000 checklists. The iAuditor mobile platform is available in the App Store and in Google Play.

Products

Bacteria Used to 'Grow' Bricks
Startup BioMason is making bricks without heating clay in kilns. Company owners Ginger and Michael Dosier make the bricks by packing sand into molds, then injecting bacteria that make the bricks in a process similar to how coral is created. The process takes three to five days. The bricks are durable and can be shaped into multiple shapes and sizes.

Trimble Green Beam Horizontal/Vertical Laser for Interior Construction Applications
Trimble’s Spectra Precision® HV302G Horizontal/Vertical Laser automatic self-leveling laser can be used in interior construction applications such as installing suspended ceilings, drywall and raised floors. The laser features a highly visible green beam and a rotating beam and plumb beam to make 90-degree layout a simple task. The HV302G features a simple keypad with arrow buttons and can be configured with an HR150U Receiver or the new HL760U Universal Digital Readout Receiver. By using radio communication between the HV302G and optional HL760U, a reference for a sloped ceiling or line points for drywall layout can be quickly and easily established.

Software

Upgraded Asta Powerproject BIM Syncs Cost Estimating Data for 5-D
Asta PowerProjectElecosoft’s latest Asta Powerproject BIM brings improvements in 4-D planning with enriched cost estimation capabilities so contractors can build a 5-D integrated project view, deliver videos to clients showing the build process through stages of the plan, drag and drop objects into the 3-D view and split 3-D elements related to new sub-tasks, and make quick comparisons with planned and actual schedule plans.

NoteVault Offers Construction Companies Free PROGRAM 
NoteVaultWith NoteVault’s new program, One Team. One Report, contractors can invite subcontractors to contribute project documentation to projects at no cost. Subcontractors can post notes, photos and labor to any project through an individual NoteVault account. A NoteVault account includes a daily reporting platform; Notes! app for Android or iOS; activities labor, materials and equipment app for Android or iOS; immediate notification of incidents/accidents through keyword notification; collaboration with colleagues using the comment feature; and professional­­ human transcription (available for an additional charge).

BIM 360 Docs Available as Commercial Product
BIM 360 Docs commercial version is now available globally. The new paid version of BIM 360 includes the ability to add additional projects (priced per project on a monthly basis); cloud-based document management for all project files and file formats; and folder-level access control by role, company or user.

Acquisitions & Partnerships

iSqFt and Assemble Systems Partner to Accelerate BIM Use in Preconstruction
iSqFt LogoiSqFt and Assemble Systems are integrating their respective commercial construction solutions to allow sharing of building information models, providing unique project visibility for its network of more than 750,000 construction professionals. The integrated data management platform allows general contractors to share a project’s BIM model with their subcontractors, along with 2-D plans and specifications, directly in the iSqFt interface. General contractors can choose which components of the model they wish to share with subcontractors based on building location and/or component.

Concrete Industry Matching Donations for BIM Funding
The American Concrete Institute (ACI) Foundation’s Strategic Development Council (SDC) announced a donation matching campaign to support funding for the next phase of developing industry standards for BIM systems. SDC will match up to $100,000 to support Phase 3 of ongoing research to develop industry standards for exchanging digital information for cast-in-place concrete. These standards, known as Industry Foundation Classes, are open, international standard data models for exchange of data in BIM and will permit interoperability among current and future software platforms and programs.

Video & Cool Stuff

Cortera Reports Construction is Slowest Paid of seven industries
Cortera LogoCortera, Inc.  Industry Monitors for December 2015 reported that the construction industry is at the bottom of industry payment rankings. On average, suppliers in the construction industry get paid 12.2 days beyond terms (DBT), more than twice as slow as providers in the fastest paid industry: food and beverage.

 ARC Document Solutions Survey Identifies Current Construction Technology Trends
ARC SurveyAccording to an ARC Document Solutions, Inc. survey on emerging technologies, 65.3 percent of respondents said virtual reality applications will be used more in the future to experience a building’s design before it is built. They cited benefits such as easier project visualization (51.9 percent); faster completion (48.3 percent); fewer workers required (42.2 percent); and fewer materials required (40.8 percent). Other top technologies were:

  • Drones, identified by 61.9 percent, will be used for surveying and for photo and video documentation, with 64 percent stating they are likely to be in common use within the next five to 10 years.
  • Virtual technology will result in a paperless industry (38.1 percent) and address not only 2-D and 3-D modeling, but also 7-D for project sequencing, cost estimating, sustainability and facilities management. Only 4.8 percent of participants predicted that robots will replace workers in the future.
  • Increased use of IoT for improving onsite/offsite equipment management (68.8 percent); pinpointing reasons and indicators behind a delay.
  • Big data will improve planning and decision-making by providing granular, real-time data about utilization and usage patterns; facilitate well-informed decision-making on a consistent basis (62.5 percent); improve urban planning decisions (50 percent); and create reports on construction operations frequently and in real time (43.85 percent).
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