Construction document control is the hot item right now with regards to industry technology. With several leading tech companies working tirelessly to convert all contractors from hard copy drawings to digital, the race is on to see who will emerge victorious. Not only are technology companies seeing opportunity in plan management, their also seeing opportunity with the new Windows platform. The Surface Pro tablets and Surface Book laptops have given Apple products a run for their money recently for jobsite use, after jumping 20% in use in 2016 compared to the previous year, according to a new construction technology survey.
PlanGrid, an easy to use, web-based plan management and markup software, originally released a beta version for Windows back in March of 2016, but has now officially released the full version. Some of the features you’ll get with the new Windows version are multiple windows for side-by-side comparisons, an offline mode which will update your drawings when you regain internet access, and snap-to annotations for easy notes.
Aside from the Windows update, PlanGrid has also released several enhancements that users are sure to love. As of last week, the software now allows users to set their own issue date on sheets, so that they are in control of the order of their sheets in the revision history. No matter what order sheets are uploaded in, you can change the order to display the most recent version of a particular drawing first, which will ensure all trades are working off of the most current version. If you’re interested in learning more about this new feature, PlanGrid has scheduled a webinar to help users navigate the change on Wednesday, December 14th from 1:30pm to 2:30pm EST. You can register for the webinar for free by clicking here.
Another recent update for the software include an additional 4 colors for document markup, on top of the 8 colors they originally offered. That should help contractors using a specific coloring system for each trade.
Finally, PlanGrid also released an update to make as-built hand-off even easier. With the addition of hyperlinked as-builts, facility owners and operators can navigate their building’s drawings with ease, including manuals for equipment and warranty information. Not only should that make life easier for contractors, but it’s an added benefit to the owner. The hyperlinks will work on PDFs, even when PlanGrid isn’t being used.
If you’re unfamiliar with PlanGrid, the video below is a quick overview of the program:
It’s that time again to begin Construction Junkie’s annual search for the best construction podcast! Last year, newcomer to the scene ConTechTrio took home the crown for best podcast and they’re continuing to make waves on the platform, with interviews with heavy hitter guests from the world of construction each episode. 2015’s winner was Cesar Abeid’s Construction Industry Podcast, but unfortunately there have not been any new shows released since August of 2015.
read on to nominate your favorite podcast
One of the most challenging issues with modular construction, of any kind, is the sheer size and weight of many of the components that need to be transported and lifted in place once onsite. That presents a specifically tough situation for jobsites that are not easy to get to. Arup, a design, engineering, and consulting team in the United Kingdom, has developed and successfully implemented what they say is the “world’s first modular glass-fiber, reinforced polymer bridge.” You may remember Arup from their testing of a “living wall” scaffolding cover that we wrote about last year.
Snow causes all kinds of travel nightmares and not just on the roads. Snow and ice can cause major airline delays and flight cancellations. Because of these issues (and the large amounts of money to be gained by solving them) several different groups of researchers have been hard at work figuring out ways to reduce and remove snow and ice from pavement without the need for chemicals and snow plows. The first technology to get a full scale test slab installed at an American airport, however, came from Iowa State University professor Halil Ceylan.
The world’s first 3D printed excavator was not the only piece of construction equipment to hold that title at this year’s CONEXPO-CON/AGG in Las Vegas. LiuGong, an international construction equipment manufacturer founded in China, also unveiled the world’s first vertical lift wheel loader at the event.
In 2015, Milwaukee released their robust smart tool management platform, ONE-KEY. The smartphone and web application allows users to not only keep data of their tools spread across different users and jobsites, but it also offers tool customization and tool tracking, for tools that are enabled with ONE-KEY. Earlier this year, the platform got a major upgrade with the release of added tool security, which allow users to hide tools, lock the trigger or footpad, or completely render the tool useless remotely if lost or stolen.
Read on to find out how you can win a free (4) pack of Milwaukee TICK ($99 Value)
Construction apps are popping up all over the place and it’s getting increasingly difficult to determine which ones are right for you personally or right for your business. The truth is, there probably isn’t one application that will meet all of your needs. Procore, one of the leaders in construction project management software, recognized this issue and decided to do something about it.
Solar roofs are an obviously popular choice for those interested in conserving energy, but traditional panels are extremely clunky and expensive. Tesla and CEO Elon Musk announced last year that they have solved that issue, which the impending release of Tesla Solar Roof, which look like a traditional roof shingle.
3D printing has had to overcome plenty of obstacles, including materials, mobility, weather, and height. Slowly, but surely, technology companies are beginning to overcome these challenges. A 400 square foot house was recently printed in concrete on-site, in less than 24 hours and in freezing temperatures. Other companies are working on perfecting 3D printed steel for pedestrian bridges. Height limitations seem to be the hardest problem to solve, however.
Remote sites have extreme challenges, like finding enough staff to work the jobs and being able to get materials to the site. Large mining operations have turned to self-driving dump trucks, like this 320 Ton mega machine, for a few years now. But, Lockheed Martin, a giant in the world of global security and aerospace, has a different solution for remote sites.
3D printing technology faces major issues when it is required to leave the shelter of a warehouse and step foot on a construction job site. 3D printers are extremely large, heavy, and rely on precise calibration for accuracy. Even the first 3D printed office building in Dubai, which was completed last year, had to actually have its components printed off site and assembled on site. But, Apis Cor, a 3D printing company, believes it has created the technology to print a full structure completely on site.