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.
The release of Procore’s new and cohesive platform, Construction OS, was recently announced at the company’s yearly Groundbreak conference. Not only will Construction OS give Procore users the powerful tools they're used to with Procore, it will also give them access to around 100 other of the industry’s favorite apps, like Box, NoteVault, EarthCam, Fieldlens, Plans4Less, SmartBid, and BusyBusy. It’s an extremely critical step in integrating many successful and powerful tools onto a single platform. There’s more apps to come, as well, as the Procore has released their public application program interface (API) for other companies to be able to integrate their products.
Procore also launched two new platform options, in addition to their flagship Procore Project Management, which they call Procore Construction Financials and Procore Quality & Safety. Each of the 3 different platforms grant unique accesses to the users, but all users are still interconnected by the ability to view documents and insights.
Procore Construction FInancials is a high level management system that allows contract, change and cost management. Quality & Safety focuses on inspections, logs, and observation tools to allow companies the gather data and identify trends.
"We are a software company that believes openness means freedom, partnering, choice, and truth," said Tooey Courtemanche, CEO, Procore Technologies said in a press release. "Construction OS is the culmination of all the technology that we've built, the API and the App Marketplace, that will help Procore scale so we can help you realize the promise of the single source of the truth. It will help further align all parties around that common goal of a frictionless jobsite with free-flowing communication that gets everybody closer to the main hub of information."
When construction companies initially started to adopt mobile technologies like tablets and smartphones, there was a race between many construction technology companies to be the future leader in the area. As the years rolled on, it became less and less likely that one app was going to be the end-all-be-all, like AutoCAD became in the architectural design world. There’s not one app out there right now that provides every single function that a construction company needs, because each company is very unique. The solution? Integration.
Communication is key to a safe and productive construction environment. One of the biggest challenges of effective communication on job sites is the complexity and size of the project, which inhibits being able to contact the correct people in a timely manner. Tracking devices have been a hot button issue in construction news for the last few years. Some examples include RFID tag sensors in hard hats, such as the one being used on certain job sites in Washington DC and time sheet applications, which allow employers to track their employee’s locations using the GPS on their phone’s or tablets.
In March of this year, Elon Musk announced that Tesla would begin taking orders on their Solar Roof Shingle concept. Tesla Solar Roof is a solar power roof system that eliminates the need for bulky solar panels installed over top of traditional roof materials. Instead, the shingles themselves, which come in a variety of different styles, are the solar panels.
At the company’s second quarter earnings report, Tesla announced that the first solar roof installations have been completed.
[guest post] The progress of construction sites is usually captured by taking still photos of different areas that have been subject to change. Documenting a full construction site requires a lot of pictures (usually more than ten per room), and even then not every corner of a room can be captured.
Standard vertical elevators have had it too good, for too long. After the first cable dependent elevator was unveiled in 1857, not much has changed in the elevator industry. They’re still using cable systems and still only going up and down. But not anymore. ThyssenKrupp has officially made a multi-directional elevator a reality.
Caterpillar is not resting on what made it successful in the past anymore and probably for good reason. The equipment manufacturing giant recently bought Yard Club, a heavy construction equipment sharing company, looking to take advantage of the recently popularized sharing economy. Earlier this month, Caterpillar invested $2 million in Fastbrick Robotics, an Australian robotic technology company.
Augmented and Virtual Reality has always been designated for large headsets. Even with recent developments in the construction industry, like Microsoft Hololens and the DAQRI Smart Helmet, if you want to experience AR, you have to get used to wearing something you’re not used to around a job site. As cool as both of those technologies are, it seems that the ole trusty smartphones and tablets have been overlooked. A Danish BIM company has developed a smartphone and tablet application that leaves the headsets behind.
It’s pretty amazing all of the things that smartphones can do right now. While some wish phones would go back to “just making dang blasted phone calls, like the good ole days,” it’s clear that phone’s will always be more than that moving forward. Through apps and other attachments, phones can now turn into a thermal imagine camera, an x-ray vision scanner to see what’s behind walls, a laser measure, and now an augmented reality tape measure.
For many construction superintendents and project managers across the world, tablets are becoming one of the most important tools on the job site. They’re great for looking at plans, taking pictures, making notes, and running your favorite construction apps. Carrying a tablet does take up at least one of your hands, however, so it can be a hindrance if you need to help a co-worker lift material or climb a ladder.
Fiskars was first founded as a Finnish Ironworks company in 1649, making it one of the oldest companies I have heard of that is still going strong. Recently – relatively speaking - in 1967, Fiskars made a name for themselves with their orange handled scissors. Noted for their build quality, sharpness, and durability, these scissors quickly became an industry standard and a leader in the category. Since then, Fiskars has expanded into other areas of the home and outdoors. You may also recognize the name Gerber, as this is one of the brands Fiskars sells under.