With jobs surging, the digital age taking over, and people now having the funds to build things again… this is a pivotal time for the Orange County construction industry. There is a call to action for every local construction professional: how are we going to capture the growing market? The answer is innovation.
First, the rise of jobs in California is not just speculation, “California continues to outpace the nation in job growth while capturing an unusually high share – more than one third – of national job growth in April 2016,” noted Stephen Levy, director of the Palo-Alto based Center for Continuing Study of the California economy. Local employers added 9,600 positions, for a year-over-year jump of 3.1 percent, California officials reported in May 2016. Of those jobs, 2,900 were in construction, mostly in specialty trades. “This has been a fantastic year,” said Mira Farka, co-director of Cal State Fullerton’s Center for Economic Analysis and Forecasting. “Finally the recovery in Orange County is becoming truly mature.”
Before the outdated practices of the construction industry become akin to the proverbial frog in the pot of boiling water, the construction industry should be shopping for new tools that we can use to build our industry. It is imperative that we take advantage of this rise in jobs, funds and burgeoning technology.
Here are three ways to take your company digital, get some new tools (and a new platform)
1. Keep Your Data in the Clouds… and your Communication Clear!
We use apps on our phones to order food, do some online shopping, and stay in touch with relatives who live far away… why shouldn’t we use it to increase our office/field communication? There are numerous apps that serve a variety of purposes depending on what your company focuses on. Ultimately, construction companies should look to migrate their communications to real time cloud software that will reduce change orders, strategically reduce unnecessary labor and overall make projects go smoothly.
2. 3D Modeling
Building information modeling (BIM) is one of the most promising recent developments in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry! It helps architects, engineers, and constructors visualize what is to be built in a simulated environment to identify any potential design, construction, or operational issues. Modelling an asset in digital form enables those who interact with the building to optimize their actions, resulting in a greater whole life value for the asset.
- Faster and more effective processes – information is more easily shared, can be value-added and reused.
- Better design – building proposals can be rigorously analyzed, simulations can be performed quickly and performance benchmarked, enabling improved and innovative solutions.
- Controlled whole-life costs and environmental data – environmental performance is more predictable, lifecycle costs are better understood. Better production quality – documentation output is flexible and exploits automation.
- Automated assembly – digital product data can be exploited in downstream processes and be used for manufacturing/assembling of structural systems. Better customer service – proposals are better understood through accurate visualization.
- Lifecycle data – requirements, design, construction and operational information can be used in facilities management.
Look to the sky! Drones are not just for fancy photographers, the construction industry has a great need that can be met by drone footage. Aerial imagery can be taken and measured against tools such as Google Maps to calculate site dimensions, height restrictions, and access points. Using drones will save construction firms and project managers time, money and resources. The use for drones is endless… from work site surveillance, security, safety inspections, to non-invasive management, drones are a new tool that the construction industry can harness to create real results.