Digitalization and Remote Construction for Structural Change in Our Habits as Architects

ArchDaily | June 29, 2020

Architects don’t make buildings. Architects make drawings of buildings. But of course, someone has to make the building. The construction industry is one of the largest economic sectors and we all interact with the built environment on a daily basis, but the actual work of getting a building from drawing to structure has barely evolved over the decades. While the rest of the world has moved into Industry 4.0, the construction sector has not kept pace. Architecture has begun to embrace some digitalization. After all, not many of us work with mylar on drafting tables anymore. So with the architecture industry’s everlasting link to the construction industry, will the latter pick up some new technological tricks by association? And when it does, how will that change the role of the architect?

Large construction projects can often take 20 percent more time than scheduled and when they are finished, as many as 80 percent end up over-budget. Construction is one of the lowest profit-margin industries in today’s economy. In the past 75 years, productivity has increased by up to 1,500 percent in the manufacturing, retail, and agriculture fields. Over that same time period, productivity in construction remained almost the same. The emerging field of Construction Technology, or ConTech, aims to change that and bring construction into the 21st century.

Spotlight

Robotic Process Automation, or robots, have the potential to reduce risks, enhance process quality, reduce costs and improve customer experience. This digital workforce is set to become a central presence in the workplace. Find out more about the impact of robotics on the financial services industry and the treasury of tomorrow.

Spotlight

Robotic Process Automation, or robots, have the potential to reduce risks, enhance process quality, reduce costs and improve customer experience. This digital workforce is set to become a central presence in the workplace. Find out more about the impact of robotics on the financial services industry and the treasury of tomorrow.

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ROBOTICS AND AUTOMATION

Groupon is Streamlining Its Technology Platform and Embracing Automation

Groupon | June 20, 2022

Groupon, the trusted marketplace where consumers go to buy services and experiences that make life more interesting and deliver boundless value, is taking steps to simplify the company’s technology platform and lean more into automation. Ultimately, Groupon believes these changes will allow it to accelerate its pace of product development and support better customer and merchant experiences. We have amazing talent within our Product and Engineering organization, and I believe that we can do a better job leveraging our significant tech assets to create value for all of our stakeholders. Currently, our platform is too big and too complex, and this is prohibiting us from moving as quickly as I think we can to launch new products and features. So, I’ve empowered the entire tech organization to challenge our long-held thought process of creating a new service for every nuance and fundamentally rethink how we structure our platform––only building and supporting what’s mission critical to drive Groupon’s business forward.” Sachin Devand, CTO, Groupon Devand, who was appointed to the CTO role in May after serving as a consultant since February, is working with the Product and Engineering organization to improve its operating processes and streamline Groupon's tech platform. Some of the team’s big 2022 initiatives include: Embracing Agility –– Reorienting the product engineering organization to be more customer centric. Product roadmaps will better align with providing specific customer solutions, more quickly. To that end, the entire team is embracing Agile software development methods, doing rapid delivery of features versus traditional methods that can take years. In addition, the team uses OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) to prioritize these features every 90 days. Migrating to the Cloud –– To date, Groupon has moved nearly 75% of its data center capabilities to the cloud. Groupon is already gaining operational benefits from the move to the cloud, including better monitoring, observability, elasticity and ease of deploying infrastructure. Once the migration is complete, the cloud will enable Groupon to scale infrastructure up and down as the needs of the business change, which should provide even more flexibility and cost savings. The cloud also enables Groupon to use cloud-native services that can unlock additional automation opportunities throughout the company’s marketplace. Re-architecting Services –– The company is re-architecting its services, taking stock of which services are required and which ones can be combined or eliminated. At the start of the year, there were about 700 services operating behind the company’s global marketplace platform, which is too complicated and big for Groupon’s needs. As the move to the cloud continues, Groupon intends to move to a domain-driven design model which will allow for a more nimble architecture with significantly fewer services. Leaning into Automation –– Groupon is automating processes throughout the entire business to create efficiencies and improve productivity. For example, the company is scaling its self-service automation features to enable more merchants to join the Groupon marketplace without human touch. At the end of the first quarter, 65% of new campaigns in North America were created using Groupon’s merchant self-service tool that enables businesses to create and edit campaigns. From a customer perspective, Groupon is doing more to automate insights from search data to create a feedback loop with the company’s sales teams to ensure that its marketplace has the right inventory in the right places. When this work is completed, these actions should significantly reduce the size of Groupon’s tech platform and allow it to accelerate its pace of product development focused on building a larger and more differentiated inventory base and launching products to support better customer and merchant experiences. About Groupon Groupon is a trusted local marketplace where consumers go to buy services and experiences that make life more interesting and deliver boundless value.

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CONSTRUCTION

Day & Zimmermann Maintenance and Construction Extends 42 Year Old Partnership with Dominion Energy

DAY & ZIMMERMANN | July 12, 2022

Day & Zimmermann (D&Z), the century-old, family-owned provider of construction, engineering, maintenance, staffing, and defense solutions for leading corporations and governments around the world, announced today that Dominion Energy (Dominion) has selected its Maintenance and Construction business unit as its open shop maintenance and modifications provider at North Anna, Surry, and V.C. Summer power stations. The agreement extends a 42-year-old alliance with Dominion through 2025 with the option to renew for another two years. As part of this agreement, D&Z will continue providing its industry-leading maintenance services, including outage and on-line electrical, welding and piping, scaffolding, insulation, and painting scopes. "It's both exciting and humbling to extend our long-term alliance with Dominion Energy, For the past 42 years, we've been able to apply our maintenance and construction expertise in ways that have helped multiple Dominion power stations achieve and sustain excellence in safety, quality, and plant performance. This extended partnership validates our company's commitment to finding innovative solutions for our clients' evolving needs, and we're excited to continue working together now and in the future." -Ross McConnell, President of D&Z's Maintenance and Construction open shop operations. Day & Zimmermann Maintenance and Construction helps plant owners in the nuclear power, chemical, and industrial markets lower their total cost of ownership by delivering innovative maintenance and construction services and solutions. The business unit did not experience a single OSHA recordable injury in 2020 or 2021. "For decades, Day & Zimmermann has helped our plants perform to exemplary standards of safety and reliability. As a result, we've been able to consistently provide reliable, affordable, clean energy to our customers, who count on us every day for their energy needs, We'd like to thank Day & Zimmermann for their continued support and are excited to extend this partnership." -Dan Stoddard, Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer Dominion Energy. ABOUT DAY & ZIMMERMANN- When you've been around for more than a century, you know a thing or two. At Day & Zimmermann, we take our lifetime of experience and make things better. Our 51,000+ employees help bring big ideas to life every day. We're pushing the boundaries of innovation in construction & engineering, operations & maintenance, staffing, and security & defense. And that's not all. Did we mention that we have 150+ worldwide locations with $2.7 billion USD in annual revenue? We put people to work, we protect American freedoms, and we help our customers power and improve the world. We do what we say®.

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ENGINEERING TECH,CONSTRUCTION

Infotech and HDR Work Together to Expand BIM Solutions for Civil Infrastructure Projects

Infotech | June 24, 2022

Infotech, a leader in infrastructure construction software solutions, announced today a consulting collaboration with HDR to conduct an industry assessment of its current products and services in order to expand the company’s Building Information Modeling (BIM) offerings and its impact on digital delivery and advancing open data standards. As experts in the use of BIM and digital project delivery for transportation infrastructure, HDR will consult Infotech on the company’s strategic BIM for Infrastructure (BIMFi) plan. Infotech has developed and improved e-Construction solutions that address each phase of the contract lifecycle for 40 years. These solutions automate construction contract processes from estimation to bidding to construction inspection and management in order to provide an open, collaborative environment for effective oversight of an organization’s construction portfolio. Infotech’s solutions, such as Appia® and Bid Express®, and its longstanding position as the official contractor for AASHTOWare Project™, position the company to help accelerate the adoption of BIM within the infrastructure industry. “Infrastructure construction leaders are trying to connect their existing e-Construction solutions with their BIM strategy, and Infotech offers key points of connection between owners and their contractors to capture data that feeds into the BIM design. Understanding BIM and future industry expectations is critical for the success of civil infrastructure projects, and we are excited to collaborate with HDR to enhance our BIMFi strategy.” -Chad Schafer, Infotech Vice President of Revenue. HDR is a full-service engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services firm specializing in both horizontal and vertical infrastructure. In 2022, its transportation program was ranked in the Top 5 design firms in the United States by Engineering News-Record. As a leader in the application and integration of digital delivery methods, they specialize in engineering design, construction management, and data acquisition services. In addition, the firm offers advisory services for enterprise digital workflows to support lifecycle data strategies for managing transportation infrastructure. HDR is currently working with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), buildingSMART International (bSI), American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), and American Roadway Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) to research, promote and advance digital delivery initiatives in the U.S. transportation industry. The firm is renowned for navigating the changing environment of BIM and digital delivery as well as leveraging enterprise data to advance infrastructure projects. “There are tremendous opportunities in this industry to leverage digital data to inform decisions during the design, construction, operations and maintenance phases. We are strong advocates for open data standards to more efficiently connect the different business areas, which will make it easier to collaborate and provide digital information that can be used to improve the project delivery process from start to finish. Our collaboration with Infotech will help advance these processes.” -Alexa Mitchell, HDR Transportation BIM Program Manager. Infotech and HDR will work together to expand the use of BIM throughout project delivery of civil infrastructure projects by focusing on open data standards to support the asset lifecycle. It is extremely common for data to be siloed across business areas both for the owner and the contractor. Now, when you talk about BIM and digital project delivery, it is all about collaboration and managing the full asset lifecycle. The United States is behind when it comes to open data standards, and together, we are two leaders in the industry focused on advancing the adoption of these best practices to help our industry move forward, faster.” About Infotech Info Tech, Inc., DBA Infotech (Infotech) is a leading SaaS solutions provider for the infrastructure construction industry. Informed by DOT relationships and decades of experience, Infotech develops software solutions that bridge the gaps between owners, consultants, contractors and other project stakeholders. Whether it be tools for construction administration and inspection or secure online bidding, Infotech’s solutions are built to increase transparency, productivity and insights through data management. Infotech is the developer of Appia®, Bid Express®, and Doc Express®, as well as the official contractor for AASHTOWare Project™. For more information, visit infotechinc.com. About HDR For over a century, HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Our expertise spans more than 11,000 employees in more than 200 locations around the world — and counting. Our engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services bring an impressive breadth of knowledge to every project. Our optimistic approach to finding innovative solutions defined our past and drives our future. For more information,

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