Author: Constructech Editors

Autonomous vehicles, like electric ones, are in the news lately. But while new, ground-up designs are the favorite topic, retrofitting a standard vehicle for autonomy is a growing segment of the market. To accelerate development of autonomous transit shuttles, last-mile delivery, and other R&D programs, Hexagon division AutonomouStuff’s new by-wire platform easily integrates autonomy software with by-wire and sensors to fast-track safe navigation on Ford Transit vehicles. The ability to quickly implement autonomous and automated capabilities has never been closer for Ford Transit platforms than by using positioning and perception sensors and a by-wire system to control the vehicle. Designed…

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Extreme weather conditions seem to increase annually. Climate experts predict more extreme temperatures, heavier precipitation in the winter, and drier conditions in the summer will become more prevalent. Intense storms, with strong winds and flooding rain, are expected to become more common as well. Welcome to the world of climate change. These changes put more pressure on designers, contractors and, most importantly, the building envelope. To prevent failures and premature aging, materials must be carefully selected to withstand the specific extreme weather conditions of the region where the building is located. Material science is working to develop more sustainable construction materials while…

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There is no question that AI (artificial intelligence) pops up in the news at regular intervals, usually with breathless claims for its value in a business or personal application. People worry AI will take over their lives; people worry AI won’t live up to the claims made for it. Users want more AI, critics want less. But what is AI in the real world? Research companies try to define the terms they research to be sure they are asking the right questions and their data are valid. One of the largest firms tracking AI is IDC, (Intl. Data Corp.) Seeing…

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With the signing of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and a significant portion of our infrastructure reaching the end of its expected life, the demand for infrastructure renewal and asset management is higher than ever. As funds are allocated to begin the work on U.S. infrastructure, companies around the country are preparing to enter the bidding wars to get a part of the action. Those that are already on the leading edge of digitalization will, no doubt, have a leg up. And developers and vendors of the products to make a difference in digitalization are ready, too. Trimble and Infotech, a…

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In 1971, John Denver sang, “Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy.” In 2022, energy companies are singing, quietly, “Sunshine on our panels makes us happy.” The environmental movement is also happy with the sun shining on solar panels as that is one step closer to lowering emissions to battle climate change. As Research and Markets reports show, climate change has spurred a flurry of investments in renewable sources and decarbonization efforts. More than 100 countries pledged to cut methane emissions by 30.0% from 2020 levels at the recent COP26 and this is likely to have a direct impact on…

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Napoleon had serious trouble at Waterloo in 1815 when he met the British-led army arrayed against him. Unfortunately, Bonaparte’s Retreat (the real one, not the folk song) was so long ago, there was no Internet to stream the action to computers and TV set everywhere. A newer action at Waterloo, this time in Iowa, will result in many more opportunities for streaming—and better quality streaming at that. Metronet will bring gigabit-speed, 100% fiber optic Internet service directly to homes and businesses of the City of Waterloo. The fully funded multimillion-dollar investment will provide residents and businesses with access to a…

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“If you can’t define it, you can’t manage it.” Increasingly, terms are created without adequate definition and people use them without knowing how others will see what they say. Nowhere is this truer than in high tech. Often common, everyday words are appropriated by technology companies to be used in totally different ways than originally used. In construction and architecture, the technology of CAD—computer aided design/drafting—and BIM—building information modeling—have become commonplace. Each depends on a commonly accepted database of terms, so interoperability and data value are maintained. With the growing demands for connected devices, the IoT (Internet of Things) is…

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The world is not flat. A jobsite is not flat, either. Taking a single photo of a jobsite gives you a two-dimensional display of a three-dimensional reality. When you go on that site, you can look around and see front, back, and sideways. So why can’t you image that way? The COVID-19 pandemic has driven AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) professionals to adopt new technologies to keep projects on track with many people working remotely. Technology has become the best way to stay a step ahead in an increasingly digital world that has become the “new normal.” A survey, conducted…

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While new, greenfield smart cities are being planned and started in the Middle East, old cities in Europe are seeking ways to retrofit to be smarter, too. And when we say “old” we mean more than 1,000 years old. Noted as early as 1051 in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the port city of Bristol in England was a critical trading and ship building center. Unfortunately, it was also known for less respectable trade: Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard the pirate, was allegedly born in the city in the 1700s. Like all cities, Bristol is undergoing a transformation. Today, it is becoming…

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Many construction companies, especially subcontractors, are small business with under 300 people on staff. Tracking the hiring and employment rates for such companies is often limited—there are so many of them to survey—and they don’t get the coverage they deserve in the press reports on employment rise and fall. There are companies, however, that do track this category, although not specifically in construction, and we can get some feeling for this market from their research. The SBEI (Small Business Employment Index) is reported by CBIZ, a provider of financial, insurance, and advisory services to businesses throughout the United States. The…

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