Even after calling the utility companies and waiting for them to come out and mark the ground, it’s still way too easy to hit unknown utility lines and it happens all the time. Call811.com explains that calling 811 (this is for the American folks) before you dig, reduces your chance of hitting a utility line to less than 1%. That may seem like a very small percentage, and it is, but with hundreds of billions of dollars in construction spending each year, that 1% is actually spread across thousands of projects. This also does not include poorly drawn as-built plans that result in major maintenance and renovation problems down the road due to mismarked and misplaced utilities.
Manufacturer, 3M, has recently released an Electronic Marker System (EMS) Rope 7000 that emits a radio frequency signal, so that it can be located, even when it gets damaged or cut to help locate the utility lines that it will be installed next to. According to 3M, the rope is virtually maintenance free, has a long life expectancy, and is corrosion resistance. Since the rope does not require a power source to operate, the location system will still work if part of the rope is cut or damaged. In order to find the rope, 3M’s EMS Marker/Tape Locator Model 7420 needs to be used.
“Using the new path marking system, we’re able to mitigate the challenges that often plague other marking applications, such as fear of cut lines, unlocatable utilities, bad digs and miss-hits. Over the life of a project, this may save considerable time, money and provides peace of mind,” said Ed Scott, business development manager of 3M Electrical Markets Division.
The rope can be installed in any open trench up to 2 feet deep and can be installed inside conduit.
The video below of the EMS Rope 7000 is a bit of a cheesy news parody, so I skipped ahead a couple minutes to the more informative part.
Whether you’re looking to begin using software for the first time or update your current system, here are some ways that software can help improve your company in 2018:
Picture documentation is arguably one of the most important aspects of a construction project. They can help communicate a story, catch mistakes, and assist in warranty calls. In the past, pictures only told part of the story, because they were two dimensional and often impossible to place where they were taken on the site. Now, 360 degree photos are becoming the norm and pictures are becoming an even more powerful tool.
By all accounts, Apple has become the operating system of choice for the construction industry. According to JBKnowledge’s latest Construction Technology Report, 70% of respondents stated that they used iOS devices in 2017, and iOS was also the most used system in 2015 and 2016. Procore, another tech company that’s a favorite for the industry, has just released a fully redesigned iOS app for both the iPhone and iPad.
Early in 2018, PlanGrid announced that they would be organizing their very first annual Construction Summit, which would unite PlanGrid users and stakeholders in the company’s home city, San Francisco. At the Summit, which took place on June 10 and 11, 2018, PlanGrid CEO Tracy Young and CTO Ralph Gootee chose to announce several major product innovations and developments.
Construction Junkie's 4th Annual Best Construction Podcast Competition has officially come to an end and the results have been tallied. It was a very exciting competition this year, with several very strong competitors pulling in tons of votes.
Tracking updates to construction software is uncharted territory for many contractors and very easy to miss. I’m going to be highlighting a lot more software updates and enhancements for several of the major project management and construction productivity software that many construction professionals are using in the future. Recently, PlanGrid announced 7 new updates that its users will most certainly find helpful.
Creating submittal logs and tracking forms can be a complete hassle, so thankfully tech companies have taken notice and have begun creating tools to alleviate the problem. Earlier this week, Procore announced the release of their new Submittal Builder tool, which will scan your project’s spec book and create a submittal log within minutes.
One of the biggest hassles of site work in construction is the hauling away of spoils. It’s costly and time consuming to bring in truck after truck to take unneeded soil off to an unknown dump site. When Elon Musk and his team, The Boring Company, started digging a tunnel for a HyperLoop system in Los Angeles, they knew there had to be a better way to handle to soil than to haul it away.