What Is Sustainable Construction?

Sustainable Construction

We talk a lot about “sustainability,” but do you know what it means? Today, it’s a combination of the two main definitions of the word.

Sustainability means to last; endure. It also means to exist for as long as possible without depleting natural resources and build in a way that maintains an ecological balance.

Prioritizing Sustainable Construction

Sustainability isn’t simply a nice goal. It’s a process, and one we need for future generations. The American Chemistry Council (ACC) drafted 3 guidelines for building designs and sustainable construction:

  1. Establishing “sustainable” building/product practices should include:
    • Open for all stakeholders
    • Based upon scientific facts 
    • Transparent
    • Up-to-date
  2. Energy efficiency and environmental performance should:
    • Focus on how individual components interact within the building system
    • Identify options to improve energy efficiency
    • Seek ways to reduce overall environmental effects
  3. Environmental considerations and energy efficiency should be balanced with:
    • Performance
    • Price
    • Product availability
    • Product safety

Real-World Sustainable Construction

We know when push comes to shove, the stakeholders in a construction project make the decisions about materials and methodologies. Fortunately for our planet, sustainable construction is more than admirable; it’s affordable.

With today’s technology, materials can be lightweight and cost less while promoting sustainability. Using recycled plastics and laminated timbers can cut our carbon footprint.

We can improve our methodologies, too. Other sustainable construction methods include:

  • Conserving energy
  • Constructing “green” buildings
  • Managing construction sites to improve the environment
    • No smoking
    • Onsite water filtration
    • Recycling bins
  • More precise materials measurements to reduce shortages (and leftovers)
  • Using less to reduce waste

Building Your Business

The future is now. Sustainable construction is a business direction you must take.

Successful construction industry companies embrace green building and technology. Construction Monitor has “big data” for your business, and it’s customized for where you are or where you want to be. For example, if you’re considering expanding sustainable construction options, we’ve got data for using solar as an alternative energy.

Contact Construction Monitor to learn more.

Using Construction Technology in the Age of COVID-19

Construction Technology

Without discounting the pain the 2020 pandemic has caused for so many, it’s pretty safe to say most of us are sick of coronavirus. Still, some good things are emerging from these hard times.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing us to find safer and smarter ways of building homes and offices,” said the World Economic Forum in August 2020.

  • Big data and AI (artificial intelligence) during architectural design and construction process are rapidly transforming construction technology.
  • Digital technology is driving prefab housing. This creates highly sustainable, high-quality housing faster.

9 Focal Points for Post-COVID Construction Technology

Global management authority McKinsey doesn’t mince words when it says the construction industry has performed unsatisfactorily for quite some time. We’ve ignored ecosystem development, even though it accounts for 13% of global GDP (gross domestic products). “Time and costs overruns are the norm,” says a recent report.

The pandemic has accelerated changes we’ve been slow to adopt. Post-COVID-19 construction technology will focus on:

  1. Digitalization
  2. Industrial approaches
  3. Lower costs
  4. New materials
  5. New profit sources
  6. Offsite manufacturing
  7. Skills scarcity
  8. Specialization
  9. Sustainability

Ways We’re Improving Construction Technology

Building Information Modeling (BIM) became more widely used during the pandemic lockdown. We worked on our projects virtually because we weren’t able to work on them in-person. This encouraged more communication and more collaboration.

We’re using AI designs for testing on virtual platforms. We can make smarter, more knowledgeable decisions about costs, requirements, and commitments. We can make those decisions early-on, which speeds up the entire construction process.

Offsite manufacturing is meeting the challenges of less labor onsite due to social distancing. Onsite construction – before COVID-19 – was at best an “uncontrolled environment.” Construction technology can support a safer work environment by analyzing activities and anticipating required worker movements. We can adjust workflows to separate people or create workgroups and shifts to reduce risks.

Construction Monitor: One of the Most Valued Construction Technology Sources in the United States

Every week we compile big data on thousands of U.S. residential, commercial, and solar construction projects nationwide. You can use our information to

  • Follow sales leads
  • Identify competitors, newcomers, and top contractors
  • Make better bids
  • Track construction statistics

Get a free sample edition for your area and contact Construction Monitor us to learn ways construction technology can increase your business.

Infrastructure Heavy Construction

Infrastructure Heavy Construction

Infrastructure construction is under the “heavy construction services” umbrella. Infrastructure projects develop and repair or maintain services (often serving the public), facilities, and large systems.

Eight Types of Infrastructure Construction Services

Sometimes governments and private-sector companies collaborate on a large infrastructure project. Despite second-quarter losses, U.S. infrastructure construction services are expected to show growth for 2020.

Types of North American infrastructure projects you may be working include:

  1. Aviation – In 2019, the DoT (Department of Transportation) awarded $840 million in infrastructure grants to U.S. airports. Much of the projects focus on bringing older airports up-to-date, as well as renovating run-down runways.
  2. Bridges – Almost every day, we and millions of others access highway bridges. It’s no small concern that more than 54,000 bridges in the U.S. show structural damage and deterioration. The federal report said it may take more than 80 years to repair them.
  3. Communications – This sector of infrastructure construction services is all about technology. Connecting our country using WiFi, cable, cloud, and satellite technologies generate new jobs every year.
  4. Power/Energy – Our electrical infrastructure is one of the largest in the world. (We have over 160,000 miles of power lines.) Wind and solar energy are among the leading energy alternatives in the U.S., so infrastructure construction services are much-in-demand to develop and maintain these sustainable structures.
  5. Railroad – Bridges, track layout, and tunnels are infrastructure construction projects that safeguard rail transportation in our country.
  6. Roads – In 2017, there were 4.18 million miles of road in the U.S. Infrastructure construction for roads designs, repairs, and maintains mass transit systems. Principal materials used are:
    1. Aggregates
    2. Asphalt
    3. Cement
    4. Concrete
    5. Steel
  7. Water – Construction infrastructure projects include creating and maintaining EPA-approved drinking water facilities as well as waste/pollution treatment and recycling sites.
  8. Waste – These construction services create facilities and tanks to store, treat, and improve the environment by eliminating hazardous materials.

Marketing Made Easier – and Better

Not all of us in construction services can be billion-dollar infrastructure stakeholders. But you can run your business like a Fortune 500 company when you utilize Construction Monitor building permit data analytics to drive your marketing.

Contact us. We’ve got the tools your marketing strategy can use.

Heavy Industrial Construction

industrial construction

Two of the main construction services sectors within our industry are non-residential and residential. Within the non-residential sector are three subsectors:

  1. Engineering
  2. Heavy industrial and infrastructure
  3. Institutional and commercial

Heavy Industrial Construction Services: Building ‘Something Amazing’

Working in heavy construction services, “You’ll help to build huge industrial facilities like power plants, refineries, nuclear plants, mines and oil sands installations…” says Careers in Construction. Some of the biggest trucks in the world are on heavy construction job sites. One piece of construction equipment can cost millions of dollars.

Trends: Modularization and Real-Time Data

Construction and input costs for key building materials
(such as steel) are rising, largely driven by limited
supplies and tariff uncertainties.
Deloitte.com

The heavy construction industry has historically low profit margins. The 2020 global pandemic and resulting economic fallout put an even greater strain on U.S. heavy construction profitability. Between that and a shortage of trained employees, heavy construction services industry stakeholders need to better-manage the areas that impact profit margins and end-game profitability.

Module assembly yards providing fabrication and building elements pre-assembly can rapidly transfer construction components to job sites. Modularization can save on onsite labor costs, improve quality control, and shorten project timelines. The end result is the possibility of better safety (avoiding reworks) and costs savings.

Digital technology and real-time information will make the profit difference. Eliminating manual data entry and utilizing identifying trends can save money and time.

“Having state-of-the-art…tools and technologies is becoming a competitive advantage,” says Deloitte. Rather than seek damage control solutions to cost overruns and construction delays, real-time insights can lead to better-informed decision-making.

Real-Time Data for Real-Time Insights

Building permit data is fundamental to understanding construction services trends in your market. We provide customized, weekly reports that can provide insights on where in your world opportunities for business growth exist.

We have an active support team available to answer your questions. Call 800-925-6085, email, or contact Construction Monitor today. Let’s discuss construction data options that will benefit your construction industry business development in the U.S.

Institutional and Commercial Construction Services

construction services

Institutional and commercial construction services require heavy-duty, specialized equipment. Unlike infrastructural and industrial jobs, commercial construction stakeholders are usually interested in profit.

Commercial Construction Services: More Than Construction

Institutional and commercial construction services encompass everything from the building to maintenance, upgrading, and renovating large structures. Contractors and builders are usually employed by private companies. With the unprecedented economic swings of 2020, construction predictors are best-guesses. But from 2014-2019, commercial renovation as a construction services industry rose 8.9%.

Five Ways Institutional, Commercial Construction Use Big Data

Do you know how the term “big data” came about? The concept is based on such voluminous information – data – that you can’t begin to comprehend it, let alone use it properly. It’s that big.

The advantages of using big data don’t occur naturally. You must first set clear business goals. Then you need to understand the power of data analytics. Finally – and most important – you need to learn how to put construction statistics to work.

Here are five examples of institutional and commercial construction services’ ways to use big data:

  1. Organization – Data can give you GPS coordinates, vehicular traffic information affecting the job site, and supplies/machinery routing to lower fuel costs and increase operational efficiency.
  2. Prefabrication – Large modules can be designed onsite and prefabricated elsewhere.
  3. Risk management – Commercial and industrial construction companies may have fewer-per-year projects than most construction services. This makes project pricing, staying within budget and on-time even more important. Big data can compare the subcontractors’ and suppliers’ dependability.
  4. Simulation – Many mistakes can be avoided. Frank Lloyd Wright said you can use an eraser on the drafting table or a sledgehammer onsite. Big data can reduce mistakes by comparing site conditions and limitations.
  5. Tracking – Losing a hammer is no big deal. Losing a bulldozer is a problem. “No other industry spreads its assets out geographically like the construction industry,” says project management analyst Rachel Burger.

Statistics for Targeted Marketing Data

Our customized building statistics can give you targeted, area-specific data that cookie-cutter construction software programs can’t. Contact Construction Monitor to learn more.

Engineering Construction: Things to Know

You’d be surprised by how many people think “construction engineering” and “engineering construction” are one and the same type of construction service. Quite simply, they aren’t. 

Construction engineering is:

…the management and delivery of construction projects…used for residential, commercial or industrial applications. Civil engineers who are educated in the field of construction management are classified as Construction Engineers.

Engineering construction is:

…the sector of the construction industry…concerned with the design and delivery of industrial, civil, and structural engineering projects.

Types of engineering construction can include:

  • Geotechnical
  • Infrastructural
    • Bridges
    • Buildings
    • Dams
    • Mines/natural resource facilities
    • Roads
    • Railways
    • Waste treatment plants
    • Wharves
  • Environmentally compliant facilities
  • Pharmaceutical production plants
  • Power/heat generation plants (conventional, renewable and nuclear)
  • Structures for the onshore and offshore oil and gas industries
  • Waterworks/water resources

Engineering construction may include soliciting bids, pricing equipment, implementing the usage of sustainable materials and setting safety standards.

Engineering Construction Management

“Engineering construction has a substantial proportion of megaprojects (projects with a delivered value of greater than $0.5 billion),” says UK Civil Engineer Naomi Brooks. 

Civil engineers are concerned with delivering quality projects on-time, within budget, and generating ROI (return on investment).

“Stakeholder relationships in engineering construction are different from those exhibited in other construction arenas.” continues Brooks. In some ways, stakeholder interactions are easier to map in engineering construction. “Large-scale engineering construction projects often demand complex governance for financing (such as multiple joint ventures).”

Engineering construction management involves itself more with

  • Budget/business operations
  • Global/national regulatory requirements
  • Project management/supervisors
  • Quality control
  • Timelines/project phases

The duties of engineers on engineering construction projects include:

  • Communicating with project leadership and stakeholders
  • Creation and design of construction plans/blueprints
  • Drafting supporting documents
  • Managing construction projects
  • Overseeing legal documents
  • Supervising engineering construction processes

Construction Monitor for Every Level of Business Operations

The possibilities for analyzing building permit data are limitless. For example, we’ve helped ambitious dry-cleaning chains looking to expand services. Engineering is a highly specialized and upper-industry segment. Engineering professionals also use the kind of big data our presorted weekly and monthly information provides.

Call 800-925-6085 or contact us today.

Grey Areas: New Home and Renovation Construction Services

There are grey areas in construction services. The United States Census Bureau says the construction industry (for purposes of definition) does not include:

  • Gas/oil drilling, including the construction of offshore drilling platforms, digging/mine shoring of mines
  • Land acquisition
  • Maintenance/repairs to existing structures or service facilities
  • Offsite fabrication
  • Production/machinery cost
  • Special-purpose equipment costs (e.g., pews in churches, lockers in gyms, medical equipment, display cases/shelving in stores)

That’s where we disagree – to a degree. Our construction services client-companies using Construction Monitor building permit datasorts often provide these services.

If you bid on a hospital construction project, the price of X-ray machines won’t be included. But if you quote on a church project, chances are you may be including pew and altar-price options based on design.

Grey Areas

There are no grey areas when it comes to quality and profit. No company compromises safety for greater profit. Choices like that can come back to bite you big-time.

New homes and renovations companies avoid grey areas by specifying and pricing bids as tightly as possible.

Confidence Returning to Home Renovation Market

Remodeling and design construction services are optimistic. Third-quarter 2020 is looking better than 1Q/2Q. Following the 2Q 2020 drop, business indicators are returning to – almost – pre-pandemic levels. We can pat ourselves on the back because we managed this by:

  • Applying remote collaboration tools
  • Dealing with supply-shortages
  • Implementing safety guidelines
  • Increased use of video consultations
  • Using more online product sourcing

New Home Construction Services

Single-family and multifamily housing starts rose 17+% in June 2020. This is a good indicator we’re trying to make up for double-digit declines. The bad news? Lumber costs are also increasing.

Our real estate friends say existing home sales rose 20.7% in June 2020; down from last year. Mortgage applications are rising, too.

Data Analytics for Construction Services Profit

At Construction Monitor, we believe numbers don’t lie. New single-family homes and renovation construction services are playing catch-up; the opportunities are there for you. Join our family of construction industry companies using big data analytics to grow and prosper in unusual times.

Using Big Data in Construction to Predict a Contractor’s Next Move

big data in construction

Without competitors, there would be no need for strategy. – Keniche Ohmae

There’s nothing wrong with watching “the big boys” of construction and learning from their successes. Mentorship can take you to a better place, business-wise, and faster than you imagined.

Your competitors are the same-size companies bidding on the same jobs as you. You need big data in construction for predicting their next moves. You can imitate other construction contractors (but never copy). Your honesty, integrity, and work ethics should make your business a standalone.

Big data in construction can give you the information edge to strategize business development.

Big Data in Construction

In 2014, you may not have known what “big data” meant. Big data is using statistics to gain business insight. Using big data in construction is one way to get ahead of the competition.

Many in the industry are just learning the ins and outs of big data in construction. Some immediately began using analytics and business intelligence (BI) to better manage project bids, finances, and opportunities. Cautious companies chose to “wait and see.”

Data analytics for real-time leads is now an affordable – and necessary – way for contracting companies of every size to thrive.

The construction industry’s big data advantage is “the ability…to compare (profitability, days outstanding of accounts receivable, cash flow, and other financial metrics) against similar-sized contractors,” says Constructor magazine.

Your competitors are usually local. But track the progress and moves made by other companies in similar demographics. What do they know you don’t? Find out. Then examine their strategies to see if they are workable for your reality.

Construction Monitor: So Much Big Data, So Little Time

Using historical data, you can predict costs. But convert dollars-then to dollars-now, as cash values rise and fall in predictable patterns. Meanwhile, if it seems as if the world is spinning at warp speed, it is. Don’t waste more time spinning your wheels.

Contact Construction Monitor to learn more about other contractors. Then use that big data for business development.