Author: Constructech Editors

The handwriting is on the wall—and it is green. From residential builders to infrastructure giants, contractors across the world are recognizing the need to plan and execute for a greener tomorrow. U.S. electric utilities, especially, are under growing pressure to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and integrate cleaner, more sustainable energy sources in a bid to meet aggressive net-zero energy targets. Based on a survey of more than 200 power industry professionals, the 2022 Megatrends in Power report from Black & Veatch and Clarion Energy identifies four major trends – decarbonization, electrification, climate adaptation, and energy transformation – that continue to drive…

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There is a difference between integrated and connected. In software applications, integration creates a single solution to multiple problems by combining, not just connecting, elements to work together seamlessly. In an ideal situation, one platform provides the basis, the underlying foundation, for many applications to integrate. As platforms and applications become popular for solving challenging situations, companies seek ways to integrate their applications with the platform and other applications on that platform. As an example, DCW (Digital Construction Works), a construction application and technology services, integrations, and solutions company, launched a Microsoft Certified Power BI Connector for its “integrations platform…

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When large suppliers seek new markets, being able to open facilities quickly can give the company a local edge. Contractors that depend on local merchants for their building materials, tools, and equipment, benefit from having those suppliers nearby, not an hour’s drive away. As an example, top-ten electrical wholesale distributor, CES (City Electric Supply), recently opened a branch in Moncks Corner, S.C. This facility, about 35 miles north of Charleston, S.C., will save local builders and remodelers as much as an hour and a half in travel time compared to shopping at the next nearest CES store. With more than…

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Innovation requires support to effect execution. If the infrastructure isn’t available to support new transportation methods—electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles, for example—the ideas might stay on the shelf or in the parking lot. Given enough time, though, the support facilities can be ready by the time the innovation goes into production. An innovative concept for green aviation is the fully electric aircraft. One example is the use of electric engines for propulsion and helium cells for lift—an electric airship instead of an electric airplane. The design of a hybrid aircraft, combining buoyant lift from helium with aerodynamic lift and vectored thrust,…

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For those who don’t live there, Maine has a reputation as being a cold place in the winter. Actually, those who live there think that, too. Snow? Average about 70 inches. Temperature? The average for January is 7 degrees. Needless to say, buildings are weather proofed as much as possible, and heated as economically as possible. Mainers have another reputation to uphold: they are thrifty and conserve energy. Maine became a state in 1820 and, like Maine itself, the Maine National Guard has the distinction of having existed as an organization prior to the existence of the United States itself.…

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Metaverse. The metaverse is still more of a buzzword and vision than a fully-fledged end goal with a defined arrival date. Despite all the headlines and investments, the metaverse will not arrive in 2022 or, for that matter, within the typical 5-year forecast window. What we have today are tech companies building their version of a “multiverse,” but this is not fully interconnected, does not yet widely employ open standards, and certainly has not fully embraced XR (extended reality)—all tenets of the metaverse vision. ABI Research predicts, however, that by 2024, the XR market will hit $4.84 billion, up from…

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“Houston, we’ve had a problem…” When Apollo 13 encountered trouble with an oxygen module explosion in 1970, ground controllers in Houston faced a formidable task. Completely new procedures had to be written and tested in the simulator before being passed up to the crew. As the astronauts slept in the lunar module, the command module had to be powered down to preserve the batteries. NASA engineers used a simulator, what amounted to a twin of the command module, and a separate twin of the module’s electrical system to devise a series of steps to power up the frozen space craft…

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Green building. The green light has traditionally meant proceed, go, continue moving forward. As we move forward in our search for better living conditions, the building industry has adopted the term “green” as well. We are not referencing, except in rare occasion, buildings colored green. Yes. They may have greenery covered exterior walls—and in some case, interiors—but that is not where the “green” comes from. The general focus on green buildings has been on energy conservation, emissions control, and efficiently using water and other resources. To paraphrase the words of Kermit the Frog from the Muppets, “It isn’t easy being…

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While light duty trucks, pickups, and delivery vans, are popular with consumers they are vital for construction companies. Heavier trucks are just as important for moving material and supplies from site to site. The transportation network that is the major link in the supply chain depends on heavy vehicles. But those larger trucks are also a significant source of emissions and pollution. The U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is proposing new, stronger standards to promote clean air and reduce pollution from heavy-duty vehicles and engines starting in model year 2027. The proposed standards would reduce emissions of smog- and soot-forming NOx (nitrogen oxides) from heavy-duty gasoline and…

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Metaverse. What will the metaverse eventually provide to construction businesses? Is there, in fact, such a thing as the metaverse? The metaverse is still more of a buzzword and vision than a fully-fledged end goal with a defined arrival date. And the impact for construction companies is even less defined. What we have today are tech companies building their version of a “multiverse,” but this is not fully interconnected, does not yet widely employ open standards, and certainly has not fully embraced XR (extended reality)—all tenets of the metaverse vision. Despite all the headlines and investments, the metaverse will not…

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