Author: Peggy Smedley

Last week, I kicked of a blog series focused on our experiences in the Living Lab, a home that aims to leverage advanced products and systems from leading manufacturers and technology companies to demonstrate and educate both industry and consumers. Today, let’s look at the shades used in the home. First, a little bit of background about the shades that we chose for the project and the company that provides them. PowerShades was founded in 2017 to provide motorized shades to enhance the quality of life with products such as PoE (Power over Ethernet) shades. Some options, like PoE, require…

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From urban sprawl, to aging infrastructure, to the rise of electrification, we are seeing increasing challenges for infrastructure professionals. Digital twin, metaverse, and BIM (building information modeling) have the potential to completely transform the way the construction industry does business—and we are seeing some big announcements and advancements that will make an impact. Consider the example of iTwin Activate. Bentley Systems has launched the 20-week codevelopment program to accelerate early-stage startups in infrastructure engineering software. The company engaged with many startups in the past couple years and saw the need for an organized way to support early-stage startups that were…

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In the past decade, the rental car industry has evolved exponentially. We have seen the rise of EVs (electric vehicles), AVs (autonomous vehicles), and consolidation and strategic alliances in the marketplace. What’s more, we have reached the inflection point where legacy systems are no longer an option, as digital transformation and MaaS (mobility-as-a-service) are taking hold in an era of hyper personalization and high customer expectations. This was a conversation I had recently with Julie Shainock, managing director, travel, transport & logistics, Microsoft, who says, “There are these evolving customer expectations out there. They really want a more frictionless, touchless…

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From the street, the Living Lab will look just like many other homes in the neighborhood, but when you walk inside you will discover it is intentionally designed to be a model for sustainable, resilient, and efficient residential homebuilding practices. Roughly two years ago I embarked on a journey with my husband David to build a Living Lab with the help of partners to encourage ecofriendly and green living. This individual project incorporates advanced products and systems from leading manufacturers and technology companies to demonstrate and educate both industry and consumers alike about how we can create a sustainable, clean,…

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As I always say, the housing market is cyclical and very resilient. But which wave are we riding right now? A closer look at the State of the Nation’s Housing 2023 shows the biggest trends in construction, homebuying, and homeownership—and gives a peek into what technologies might be most needed today. The report, from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, dives into current market conditions and the outlook for the industry going forward. Of note, interest rates and overall affordability continue to impact the market. Actually, the changes in the housing market and AI (artificial intelligence) in general appear…

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AVs (autonomous vehicles) and EVs (electric vehicles) are speeding on to the scene faster than ever before, powered by new technologies. Still, there are many looming questions to be considered before the majority of drivers are behind these computers on wheels. When will cars mostly drive themselves—and what technologies are still needed in order to make this come to fruition? What exactly will catapult electric vehicles to more mainstream adoption? Perhaps, most importantly, what does the consumer think about all of this and when will they be ready to adopt these high-tech vehicles? Let’s unpack some of the biggest trends…

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More than 400 wildfires have burned in Canada in the month of June, with more than half of them out of control at one point. Certainly, this is not the first time we have heard about fires. California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah have all had their fair share of wildfires. What’s more, when natural disasters happen on a scale of this magnitude, we are all impacted. In this case, the fires in Canada have impacted air quality in many parts of the United States. Everywhere from Chicago to most recently the eastern United States, have seen…

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One of the biggest challenges the construction industry has today is inexperienced skilled labor, which impacts nearly every aspect of a construction project. The good news is with technology in hand construction professionals can bring experienced workers and inexperienced workers together, ultimately achieving the best from both. This is a conversation I was having recently with Corey Johnson, senior director, construction product management, Bentley Systems. He says COVID has accelerated the need to better plan work because the skilled labor force has been looking for alternative types of work or has retired. With that, construction has seen an increased reliance…

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Labor hoarding, quiet quitting, the great resignation. We continue to put labels on trends in the job market—but do we really know what long-term impact this is having on business, and do we recognize what steps we need to take next to have a better workforce? To start, let’s define a few of these. Great resignation: Some call it the great resignation; others call it the great reshuffle; I like to say the great job hop. All in all, this was the great exodus of employees from their employment obligations. Picking up speed in the spring of 2021, the great…

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I am sure by now many of you have seen the statistic that shows 75% of companies encounter rework at least twice a week. It is startling, to say the least, but I have some thoughts about what might lie a bit deeper under the surface. First, let’s dig into the report, which polled 541 decisionmakers from construction companies in the United States and the United Kingdom. The research is from XYZ Reality, which was carried out in partnership with market research company OnePoll. The research finds delays and defects are squeezing tight markets, with a variety of reasons including…

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