Catching Up: Construction Industry  
Moves Ahead in Technology  
istorically, the construction sec-  
tor is much slower to adopt new  
technology compared to other  
IT Spending as a % of Revenue  
industries. But lately, it’s been turning  
a corner. The Associated General Con-  
tractors of America hosted a webinar  
titled “Construction Technology: Yes-  
terday,Today,Tomorrow,”during which  
industry experts discussed why this  
has been, and what the future holds.  
Software Publishing and Internet Services  
Banking & Financial Services  
Media & Entertainment  
Professional Services  
Cross Industry Average  
Life Sciences, Pharma, Medical Products  
The transformation in the con-  
Industrial Electronic & Equipment  
Consume Products  
struction industry has been nothing  
short of dramatic,” said Rajesh Ram,  
chief customer officer of Egnyte Inc.,  
who moderated the discussion. “And  
the vision that’s been demonstrated  
by their IT [information technology]  
leaders in this space has been very  
compelling. … Today’s construction  
Industrial Manufacturing  
Food & Beverage Processing  
Construction Materials and Resources  
1% 2% 3% 4% 5% 6% 7% 8%  
Source: IT Key Metrics Data 2014. Gartner Benchmark Analytics  
industry sits on the cutting edge of The construction industry historically has adopted technology at a slower rate  
adopting new technologies across both than other sectors, though it has come around in recent years and has taken  
the data center and field operations.”  
During the presentation, two con-  
on many new innovations.  
struction IT professionals,Jim Puerner is] seeing more investments from soft- working with the owner, the architect,  
of Tutor Perini Corp. and Mark Bryant ware firms in the last five years than [it all the subcontractors—a tremendous  
of PCL Construction, discussed the has] seen in the previous 100.”  
state of technology in the industry. Additionally, Bryant said the con-  
amount of collaboration has to go on.”  
Bryant agreed, noting that owners  
Puerner said the sector traditionally struction industry is unique given its are demanding more than in the past.  
has been a late adopter of technology, high attention to safety for employees He said construction firms need to be  
and he showed a chart of IT spending and quality for owners and custom- able to provide visibility into what a  
as a percentage of revenue among in- ers. “When you start changing things, building or project may look like prior  
dustries. The “construction materials you’ve got to keep that in mind,” he to building it, and also to illustrate any  
and resources”category was at the very said. “So that ‘proceed with caution’ changes taking places.  
bottom.“Our industry spends about 1 [mentality] I think is something we’ve  
percent of revenue,on average,on tech- always seen across the industry.”  
nology,” he said.  
Bryant said his company’s business  
technology strategy can be broken  
Despite all of this, change is happen- down into four categories: cloud, mo-  
Bryant added, “In the AEC indus- ing. Puerner said one key catalyst has bility,integration and data/analytics.“I  
try, we’ve been building structures as been demographics. “There is a new don’t think you can have a great mobil-  
human beings for a long time, and it’s generation entering the workforce, ity strategy without cloud and data. …  
a relatively mature industry with lots and I think that has a lot to do with it.” Those three things have to go hand in  
of great standards and processes.” He He added that by nature, the empha- hand,” he said.  
said the onus also falls on the technol- sis on collaboration in construction  
From a mobility standpoint, he said  
ogy and software sectors, which “have projects has forced the issue. “[In the the end users on the jobsite are de-  
been late to the marketplace. And past], we’ve had lots of paper docu-  
that’s really changed. [Construction ments going back and forth … we’re  
continued on page 24  
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | July 2016  
manding the ability to get information. changes in the plan room can get trans- and drones. “We’re f nding opportuni-  
They don’t want to walk back to the ferred to workers on the jobsite imme- ties in drones to analyze our construc-  
trailer; they want to get that informa- diately, via a mobile device. tion sites,not only progress,but to scan  
tion at the workspace,” he said. “In a Ram said studies suggest 30 percent the surface area of a terrain,” he said.  
0-story building, you can imagine the of the construction process is re-work, Puerner added his company is fo-  
ineff ciency when you have hundreds 60 percent of labor is wasted, and only cusing on end-to-end project integra-  
of workers on a jobsite. If they have ten percent of losses are due to wasted tion—taking a job from estimate to  
that information at their f ngertips, materials.“There are clearly a lot of av- bid, schedule, execution and turnover.  
they’re going to be much more pro- enues for improving eff ciency,”he said. Other trends are perfecting the use of  
ductive and eff cient.” He said mobile  
Bryant noted technologies that will BIM modeling for constructability and  
technologies can be used for quality continue to pick up steam include 3-D quality control, as well as the concept  
inspection and safety, and real-time printing, speech recognition, iBeacons of smart buildings.  
Study: Glazing Market Still Growing  
he non-residential glazing  
market continues to expand,  
The recently released bi-annual re-  
port notes that measures in terms of  
vision area, the non-residential win-  
dow market increased by 5 percent  
from 2014 to 2015 and 10 percent  
since 2013.  
Storefront applications and  
site-fabricated commercial windows  
combined account for 54 percent of  
the non-residential market. Shop-fab-  
ricated commercial windows, which  
include residential type and light  
commercial windows, as well as ar-  
chitectural windows, represent 24  
percent of the market, and curtain-  
wall accounts for the remaining 22  
percent of non-residential vision  
area. All of these categories were up  
from 2013.  
according to the American Archi-  
tectural Manufacturers Association’s  
AAMA) 2015/2016 Study of the U.S.  
Market for Windows, Doors and Sky-  
Non-Residential Window Market  
• Storefront applications and site-  
fabricated commercial windows  
combined account for 54 percent of  
the non-residential market.  
Shop-fabricated commercial  
windows represent 24 percent of  
the market.  
Curtainwall accounts for the  
remaining 22 percent  
of non-residential vision  
area. All of these  
categories were  
up from 2013.  
Source: AAMA 2015/2016 Study of the U.S. Market for Windows  
Additionally, the U.S. commercial months between contract awards and a slight decline. Manufacturing/ware-  
skylight market in 2015 was up 5 per- actual non-residential construction, houses declined 7 percent, stores/  
cent from 2014 and 10 percent from the relevant metric for 2015 product mercantile building declined 4 per-  
013. The 2015 market for non-res- demand market is the increase in cent and office buildings/hotels/insti-  
idential entry doors also grew, up 5 non-residential contract awards of 15 tutional declined 5 percent.  
percent over 2014 and up 16 percent percent, according to the report. In Going forward, non-residential con-  
2015, the market declined 5 percent tract awards are expected to increase  
since 2013.  
Due to the lag of approximately 12 overall, and all segments experienced in 2015 throughout 2018. n  
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | July 2016