The complete findings from our inaugural Giants 300 Technology and Innovation Study will be available soon at BDCnetwork.com/2019TechSurvey. This 12-question survey was emailed to all 486 firms that participated in BD+C’s 2019 Giants 300 Report; 130 firms completed the tech survey, for a participation rate of 26.7%.
The objective of the study was to gain a deeper understanding of the state of AEC technology adoption and innovation initiatives at the nation’s largest architecture, engineering, and construction firms. There are dozens of takeaways from this study, including which tech tools are being used most frequently, and which tools offer the best ROI (see our recap on page 40).
One takeaway that stood out for me was the astonishingly high adoption rate of offsite construction among the general contractors and construction management firms. Of the 35 GCs and CMs that participated in the survey, 25 firms (71.4%) indicated that they use offsite/prefab construction on projects, and, incredibly, nearly half (45.7%, or 16 firms) use offsite construction on “all” or “many” projects.
Of the 10 firms that currently are not implementing offsite construction on projects, three firms are pilot-testing offsite processes and four are considering the approach for future application. That leaves just three firms (8.5%) that indicated they have zero interest in offsite construction—which means we’re looking at an adoption rate of more than 90% among the nation’s largest GCs and CMs.
When asked to pinpoint the single most significant AEC technology innovation their firm has initiated in the past year with positive results, DPR Construction’s National Director of Innovation, Kaushal Diwan, cited the use of multitrade/multiscope prefabrication through its strategic partnership with Phoenix-based prefab provider Digital Building Components: “The ability to take more complex work offsite while other work proceeds, then bring ready-to-install elements to the site is a significant advance in the use of prefabrication. With the existing labor shortage and desire to still have speed-to-market, we think we’re only beginning to see the possibilities.”
Speed, quality, advanced coordination, and schedule gains are commonly cited as benefits of offsite construction. But what about hard-dollar ROI?
“Our current metrics savings show that prefabricating with Digital Building Components offsite saves 10–20% on overall cost,” said Diwan. “It can save time by improving installation efficiency by 20–30%, and it increases quality by reducing rework to less than 1%.”
The caveat, added Diwan, is that these results “are only possible through deep adoption and integration with virtual design and construction and robotics technology, which Digital Building Components uses.”
Transportation & Parking Facilities | Mar 23, 2023
Amsterdam debuts underwater bicycle parking facility that can accommodate over 4,000 bikes
In February, Amsterdam saw the opening of a new underwater bicycle parking facility. Located in the heart of the city—next to Amsterdam Central Station and under the river IJ (Amsterdam’s waterfront)—the facility, dubbed IJboulevard, has parking spots for over 4,000 bicycles, freeing up space on the street.
Geothermal Technology | Mar 22, 2023
Lendlease secures grants for New York’s largest geothermal residential building
Lendlease and joint venture partner Aware Super, one of Australia’s largest superannuation funds, have acquired $4 million in support from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to build a geoexchange system at 1 Java Street in Brooklyn. Once completed, the all-electric property will be the largest residential project in New York State to use a geothermal heat exchange system.
Women in Design+Construction | Mar 21, 2023
Two leading women in construction events unite in 2023
The new Women in Residential + Commercial Construction Conference (WIR+CC) will take place in Nashville, Tenn., October 25-27, 2023. Combining these two long-standing events aligns with our mission to create an event most impactful for women in the $1.4 trillion U.S. commercial and residential design and construction industry.
Building Team | Mar 8, 2023
Call for Speakers: BD+C’s 2023 Women in Residential + Commercial Construction Conference
The 2023 Women in Residential + Commercial Construction conference event will take place October 25-27 in Nashville, Tenn., and will bring together more than 300 women leaders from all facets of the $1.4 trillion U.S. residential and commercial constructing sector.
Industry Research | Mar 2, 2023
Watch: Findings from Gensler's latest workplace survey of 2,000 office workers
Gensler's Janet Pogue McLaurin discusses the findings in the firm's 2022 Workplace Survey, based on responses from more than 2,000 workers in 10 industry sectors.
Museums | Jan 18, 2023
Building memory: Why interpretive centers matter in an era of social change
The last few years have borne witness to some of the most rapid cultural shifts in our nation’s long history. If the experience has taught us anything, it is that we must find a way to keep our history in view, while also putting it in perspective.
Hotel Facilities | Nov 8, 2022
6 hotel design trends for 2022-2023
Personalization of the hotel guest experience shapes new construction and renovation, say architects and construction experts in this sector.
Resiliency | Nov 8, 2022
Oregon wildfire risk law prompts extensive backlash from property owners
A bipartisan bill aimed at protecting property owners from wildfires that was passed by the Oregon legislature has prompted a strong backlash.
Building Team | Nov 7, 2022
U.S. commercial buildings decreased energy use intensity from 2012 to 2018
The recently released 2018 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) by the U.S. Energy Information Administration found that the total floorspace in commercial buildings has increased but energy consumption has not, compared with the last survey analyzing the landscape in 2012.
| Nov 7, 2022
Mixed-use tower in China features world’s highest outdoor pool
Guangxi China Resources Tower, a new 403-meter-tall (1,322 feet) skyscraper in Nanning, China features the world’s highest outdoor pool—at 323 meters (1,060 feet) above grade.