Author: Constructech Editors

Take a group of experienced contractors and a new technology, combine their expertise with the technology’s capabilities and the result can be impressive. When seven leading construction and drywall companies­­—Webcor, DPR Construction, Swinerton, Nevell Group, KHS&S, Daley’s Drywall & Taping, and California Drywall—participated in the construction field’s version of a clinical trial of a robotic finishing machine, their feedback resulted in a Level 4 Targeted Spray system from Canvas. Canvas created its Innovation Partner Program, which now has the seven companies involved, in December 2021. Like nearly every company in the industry, since the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted projects, they have…

Read More

Inventory management can be a cost center or a profit center for a contractor. Missing tools that show up in inventory mean that tools won’t be available when and where needed. Tools that are ready to work but aren’t in the inventory list are too often replaced, at additional cost, by panicking supervisors heading to the jobsite. If these scenarios sound familiar, think about how a similar problem can challenge a major tool rental service. Among the major national contractor suppliers, Home Depot and Lowe’s battle it out for customers. Each strives for efficiency matched to customer service and the…

Read More

Most companies of any size have a website, an internet presence. Whether you actively deal in international trade, build across borders, or just communicate with people in other countries, your actions will be scrutinized for illegal behavior—behavior you probably didn’t even know was illegal. Posting notices about cookie use is a common indicator of taking privacy seriously but it can’t be the end of the story. According to a survey by Gartner of more than 5,800 customers conducted in December 2021, 71% of B2C (business-to-consumer) customers and 86% of B2B (business-to-business) customers expect companies to be well-informed about their personal…

Read More

The term “smart” as used in “Smart Home” and “Smart Building” is often a replacement for “connected.” The expansion of connectivity brought about due to the IoT (Internet of things) has increased the dependency on individual modules being available at all times. The connected home can be compared to a string of holiday lights: In one version, if one bulb burns out, the string goes dark. Using parallel wiring allows the string to keep burning brightly even if individual bulbs fail. The challenge with the smart building is to know which approach is best. The IoT is being implemented in…

Read More

Coral does it, oysters do it, can we do it too? The building blocks of biology can be used to develop building blocks—actually, concrete masonry units (CMUs)—that are carbon free. A starting point is using living organisms to create zero-carbon building materials. According to the Institute of Civil Engineers, enhancement of the mechanical properties of cementitious materials) by using bacteria is known as biocementation or MICCP (microbially induced calcium carbonate precipitation). On hydrolysis, bacteria produce carbon dioxide, which forms calcium carbonate in the presence of calcium ions. The precipitation of calcium carbonate in the concrete matrix augments the mechanical properties…

Read More

LED otherwise known as light emitting diode, lights have become the go-to for energy-conscious homeowners. They reduce energy costs and are being recommended as the lighting alternative. Bulbs and fixtures that use much lower wattage while providing light, both in color temperature and lumens, equal or better than incandescent or florescent units are becoming the norm. And when designing the entertainment area in a new construction or remodeling project, LEDs in strip or tape format adds changeable colors and new ambiance to the room or, in some case, the outdoors. A familiar name in LED lights is American Lighting, a…

Read More

Do you have customers who come to you with photos from magazines showing custom kitchens and bathrooms, saying “We want ours just like this,” and then get frustrated when your designers can’t match the photo? All too often, the layout in the photo is dramatically different than the floor area in the customer’s home. The answer might be found in a new application called 3D Kitchen Designer and its Design from Photo feature. 3D Cloud by Marxent’s automation feature for kitchen designs allows home improvement retailers and custom home developers to apply styles from inspirational kitchen photos directly to a…

Read More

As the world slowly comes out of the COVID-19 pandemic’s worst days, architects and designers are researching what the effects were on living spaces, commercial and residential. The changes experienced by people in all walks of life were drastic in many cases. People found ways of coping with the restrictions, remote working, new-found need for cleanliness, and other aspects of the pandemic, working around the limitations in their buildings that were overlooked in normal times. How can this knowledge be applied to the future design and construction of buildings? What are the criteria for a healthy home going forward? The…

Read More

Sparks and arcs can cause serious injury and, in drought conditions, major wildfires. In 2018, the Camp Fire destroyed most of the town of Paradise, California, resulted in 85 civilian fatalities and destroyed more than 18,800 structures. PG&E (Pacific Gas & Electric) confessed that the utility’s crumbling electrical grid was responsible for the spark that ignited the blaze that also drove PG&E into bankruptcy. We’ve all experienced sparks generated by AC electric wires crossing and touching. Arc flashes are similar, an electrical accident that creates a dangerous, high-temperature explosion. An arc flash results from an arc fault caused by electricity discharging…

Read More

The connected building is not a fantasy, it’s a reality. But the integrated building is still a way off, it seems. To connect intelligent devices requires interoperability among those devices where proprietary protocols are the enemy and universality is a goal. Many manufacturers provide connected devices that are only compatible within one brand’s platform. For example, a consumer may purchase a connected washer and dryer from Brand A and benefit from features like notifications that alert the user when their wash or dry cycle is complete. Unfortunately, these notifications can only be enabled via Brand A’s platform. Interoperability enables consumers to…

Read More