5G is a technology ready to revolutionize construction industry

Constructconnect | September 14, 2020

As a crane operator, Frank needs to keep an eye on a long list of things on the ground and in the air around the business end of his rig as it trembles in the winds and groans under the load of a new bucket of concrete coming up. His ground spotter’s voice crackles in his ear reassuringly and his high-resolution video screens give him a clear view of everything around that bucket as he swings around to deliver the pour. A light touch on the joystick and he’s in perfect position, the laser guides confirming he’s good to go as the load dumps into the forms and the project under construction inches up another notch. Except, Frank isn’t on the site. He’s in an office miles away, in a temperature controlled cockpit with an array of video screens. There was no climb up in freezing rain into a cramped cabin. Welcome to construction in 2030 where 5G technology has revolutionized how things are done. It’s not science fiction and it’s only a slight step up from remote miners who similarly sit in cockpits and remotely operate machines in mines miles away. The difference is that 5G wireless technology is changing the way we harness digital controls and devices in all sectors with construction about to see some major changes.

Spotlight

Architects, engineers and other design professionals juggle several coexisting responsibilities and desires. They want to design and build great, innovative facilities. They want to create reputations for doing thorough, efficient work. Most importantly, they want to maximize their available budget.


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CONSTRUCTION

Buildots Announces Scheduling Integrations With Planning Platforms for Advanced Progress Tracking

Buildots | April 28, 2022

Buildots, which uses AI and computer vision to modernize construction management, announced scheduling integrations that will feed data directly from construction sites to planning platforms, automating the process by which teams update and understand progress. Construction teams depend on project planning platforms like Oracle Primavera P6, Asta Powerproject and Microsoft Project, which require manual input to update progress and schedules. This means that site teams regularly and manually compile progress reports - a laborious and time-consuming process. Beyond gathering information from unaligned sources, it often requires referring back to building sites to double and triple check gathered information. Buildots provides a single source of truth for construction site activities. By collecting data with hardhat-mounted 360° cameras and processing this data with AI, its solution enables teams to keep construction on schedule and flag mistakes in real time. Buildots' new integrations create a direct sync between on-site activities and project planning platforms. This provides teams with coherent information in real time, enabling them to understand progress and better predict when projects will end. By feeding data directly to planning platforms, these integrations automate real-time progress into scheduling, enabling schedule owners to allocate more time to decision-making instead of organizing and sifting through data collected from sites. "After seeing our clients manually updating their schedules based on the data provided by our platform, we immediately saw the potential for freeing up managers' precious time on site, The highly accurate data that is now automatically fed into schedules will help planners provide better estimates and respond more quickly to developments affecting their projects." Roy Danon, co-founder and CEO of Buildots About Buildots Buildots is a Tel Aviv and London-based startup leveraging the power of AI and computer vision to modernize the construction management industry. Buildots uses hardhat-mounted cameras to capture imaging of every detail of an ongoing project during regular site walks. The data is then analyzed using AI models to transform random visual data into highly accurate, actionable insights that are correlated with the project's designs and schedule.

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ENGINEERING TECH

Bowman Consulting Group Expands Building Services and MEP Practices Through Acquisition of Kibart, Inc.

Bowman Consulting Group Ltd. | December 16, 2021

-Bowman Consulting Group Ltd. (the “Company” or “Bowman”) (NASDAQ: BWMN), announced the acquisition of the assets of Kibart, Inc. (“Kibart”). Established in 1986 and based in Towson, Maryland, Kibart delivers a variety of services including mechanical, electrical and energy engineering, master planning, utility and infrastructure design, commissioning, LEED-certification design, and construction administration. Under the leadership of Ed Abbott, Kibart services its clients with a team of 35+ employees including professional engineers, LEED accredited and certified commissioning professionals, and CSI certified document technicians. “Kibart is a great addition to our growing portfolio of building services, Ed and his team have designed many award-winning projects that demonstrate market leadership and innovation. The addition of Kibart builds on our acquisitions of KTA Group and PCD earlier this year and accelerates our strategy of developing a building services practice that has a national reach. In keeping with our revenue-focused approach to acquisitions, Kibart as a part of Bowman provides immediate opportunity for the cross-selling of our services and revenue growth. We are extremely pleased with the breadth of leadership we are adding and welcome everyone from Kibart to Bowman.” -Gary Bowman, CEO of Bowman. “We are all pleased to become part of Bowman,” said Ed Abbott, president of Kibart. “We are aligned with Gary and his team on our collective vision for Kibart’s future as a part of Bowman. The national reach of Bowman’s building services practice along with its expansive civil engineering and land surveying expertise all present immediate opportunities for growth for our clients, our business, and our people. We have similar cultures and overlapping values, and we are excited about this next chapter for all of us at Kibart.” The acquisition, which the Company expects to be immediately accretive, was financed with a combination of cash, seller financing, and stock. The Company expects the Kibart acquisition to initially contribute approximately $6.3 million of annualized net service billing. “This is one of the acquisitions we expected to close prior to year end,This transaction is within our previously communicated target multiple range for acquisitions and meets all of our objectives for performance metrics. We are pleased to have closed on our fourth transaction as a public company and fifth this year. As is our practice, we will provide more detailed information on M&A activities and pipeline in connection with scheduled quarterly communications.” -Bruce Labovitz, Bowman’s CFO. About Kibart, Inc. Founded in 1986, Kibart is an award-winning MEP engineering and commissioning firm that works collaboratively with all project stakeholders to provide solutions that are creative, contemporary, reliable, and sustainable. Having developed exceptionally relevant expertise in the equipment and total systems design process, Kibart’s staff of over 35 building performance experts focus on delivering the highest quality results to clients and the environment. Additional information on Kibart, its team, and its projects can be found at https://kibart.com. About Bowman Consulting Group Ltd. Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, Bowman is an engineering services firm delivering innovative infrastructure solutions to customers who own, develop, and maintain the built environment. With 950 employees and more than 35 offices throughout the United Sates, Bowman provides a variety of planning, engineering, construction management, commissioning, environmental consulting, geomatics, survey, land procurement and other technical services to customers operating in a diverse set of regulated end markets. On May 11, 2021, Bowman completed its $51.7 million initial public offering and began trading on the Nasdaq under the symbol BWMN. For more information, visit www.bowman.com.

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ENGINEERING TECH

SpotOnSite: The Future of Facilities Management, Designed to Help Contractors and Facility Managers Save Time and Money

SpotOnSite | January 12, 2022

The construction industry currently has two imperative needs: Transparency & Technology. Two years spent in a pandemic brought important face-to-face meetings to virtual, saving everyone time while maintaining connections. The creators of SpotOnSite desired to bring the same brilliant efficiencies to property management and contractor maintenance by reducing the number of face-to-face meetings required to complete property repairs. SpotOnSite is a mobile application that connects work orders with contractor availability in order to reduce onsite visits, increase transparency between all parties involved, and improve efficiency when completing site inspections. What can SpotOnSite help manage? SpotOnSite identifies parking lot repairs, including: potholes, ADA hazards, exterior issues, tree removal or trimming, landscaping maintenance, roofing repairs, exterior lighting, and snow removal. It can also be used for the management of all types of facilities, such as commercial parking lots, golf courses, stadium venues, retail shopping centers, logistic centers, and more. What is the process when using the SpotOnSite app? With the help of satellite imagery, SpotOnSite is able to measure all aspects of a property directly from a mobile device. This allows for obtaining exact measurements of an area that needs a contractor's attention. Using this information, the highlighted area can be labeled and areas of concern become easier for contractors to properly analyze what’s needed and where. The app will also allow the addition of photos and/or videos to corresponding issues, thus providing clear explanations to take place without requiring additional face-to-face meetings. Can SpotOnSite help eliminate miscommunications? Designed to be a collaborative tool that helps ensure successful projects, SpotOnSite ensures less miscommunication and more efficiency. Sharing property inspections or issuing external links to individuals, outside of the network, further allows for a transparent process from when a project starts until its completion. The mobile application also allows managing your projects within your team by using the time-stamped and date comment log feature. With SpotOnSite, you can expect fewer change orders, more transparent communication, and a more efficient process from start until finish. For contractors, facilities managers, or anyone in the construction industry, this new technology will be an essential piece to generating more success for your business in 2022!

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MARKET

Industry-Leading Collision Engineering Program Receives $700,000 Grant from ECMC Foundation

ECMC Foundation | December 21, 2021

The Collision Engineering Program has received a $700,000 grant from ECMC Foundation to support the growth and expansion of the industry-leading program's efforts. With foundational support provided by the Enterprise Holdings Foundation, the program is designed to attract and develop entry-level talent to fill essential roles within the collision repair industry and enhance retention and advancement among collision repair technicians.With nearly 100,000 new entrant collision technicians needed between 2021 and 2025, according to the TechForce Foundation, the Collision Engineering Program addresses the ongoing industry technician shortage and skills gap. Collision repair businesses are facing unprecedented challenges in growing and sustaining their workforce as baby boomers retire and demand outpaces a declining supply of postsecondary collision technician entrants. At the same time, automotive technology is rapidly changing, requiring skill sets to evolve for those who repair vehicles. The program replicates Ranken Technical College's unique two-year apprenticeship model at schools across the United States, preparing students for success by treating them as professionals from day one. Students gain real-world education working alongside industry experts while also earning their associate degree. Currently, the program is in its second year of a two-year pilot at four schools across the country—Ranken Technical College in St. Louis, Missouri; College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois; Contra Costa College in San Pablo, California; and Texas State Technical College in Waco, Texas. "We're excited about the innovative, five-semester associate degree Collision Engineering Program at Ranken Technical College which employs an eight-week rotation between on-campus coursework and paid work-based learning, We're proud to support a program that seeks to address the need for a skilled and diverse collision technician workforce and believe this unique institution-led, earn-and-learn model will serve as a valuable blueprint for institutions looking to implement work-based learning programs." -Jennifer Zeisler, Career Readiness Senior Program Director, ECMC Foundation The grant from ECMC Foundation will support phase two of the Collision Engineering Program. Phase one focused on piloting the program at four schools across the country. Phase two will build upon the efforts of the pilot program, establishing at least four additional partner colleges over the next three years. ECMC Foundation's contribution will provide startup costs to launch the program at partner colleges, enable the program to hire additional staff and provide continued support for existing partner colleges. We're tremendously proud that our model has been recognized as the gold standard for connecting hands-on industry experience with education," said Don Pohl, President of Ranken Technical College. "The Collision Engineering Program helps partnering institutions adjust to the rapid pace of vehicle innovation and connectivity and brings meaningful training to students. This support from ECMC Foundation will allow the program to expand its reach and impact nationwide. Industry Support Since the pilot launched earlier this year, the Collision Engineering Program has also received contributions from Chief Collision Technology and Mitchell International. Chief Collision Technology, one of the world's largest manufacturers of high-quality collision repair products and services, is providing a MULTIMIG Aluminum Welder—valued at $12,000—to the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois. The machine, used widely across the repair industry, will provide students with in-depth knowledge and experience working with real-world equipment. Mitchell International, an Enlyte company and leading technology and information provider for the P&C claims and collision repair industries, is offering its full suite of repair solutions to each of the four participating schools. The in-kind donation—valued at $150,000—includes Mitchell Cloud Estimating with Integrated Repair Procedures, Mitchell TechAdvisor and its OEM-licensed repair data, and the Mitchell Diagnostics platform for scanning and calibration. These solutions are designed to help technicians efficiently diagnose, estimate and repair collision-damaged vehicles, improving customer and carrier satisfaction. With Mitchell's innovative technology and the Collision Engineering Program's advanced education, graduates entering the workforce are well-equipped to properly and safely repair today's complex automobiles. "As the world's largest car rental provider, we have a responsibility to invest in the future of the automotive repair industry—a future that's at stake due to the ongoing skills and labor shortage,With our partners' support, we're working to increase awareness of this career path and build successful and skilled collision repair technicians through the Collision Engineering Program. It's so encouraging to see how the industry is collaborating to make a meaningful impact on the future of the automotive repair workforce and industry. We hope others will continue to step forward and join us in this endeavor." -Mary Mahoney, Vice President, Replacement and Leisure Division at Enterprise Holdings About Enterprise Holdings Enterprise Holdings, Inc. is a leading provider of mobility solutions, owning and operating the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands through its integrated global network of independent regional subsidiaries. Enterprise Holdings and its affiliates offer extensive car rental, carsharing, truck rental, fleet management, retail car sales, as well as travel management and other transportation services, to make travel easier and more convenient for customers. Privately held by the Taylor family of St. Louis, Mo., Enterprise Holdings manages a diverse fleet of more than 1.85 million vehicles through a network of nearly 10,000 fully staffed neighborhood and airport rental locations in more than 90 countries and territories. About ECMC Foundation ECMC Foundation is a Los Angeles-based, nationally focused foundation with a mission to inspire and to facilitate improvements that affect educational outcomes—especially among underserved populations—through evidence-based innovation. It is one of several affiliates under ECMC Group (www.ecmcgroup.org) enterprise based in Minneapolis. ECMC Foundation makes investments in two focus areas: College Success and Career Readiness; and uses a spectrum of funding structures, including strategic grantmaking and program-related investments, to invest in both nonprofit and for-profit ventures. Working with grantees, partners and peers, ECMC Foundation's vision is for all learners to unlock their fullest potential.

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Architects, engineers and other design professionals juggle several coexisting responsibilities and desires. They want to design and build great, innovative facilities. They want to create reputations for doing thorough, efficient work. Most importantly, they want to maximize their available budget.

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