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The Constructor News blog features content and updates that are featured in the monthly newsletter, the AIC Constructor News.

 

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Top tags: Constructor of the Month  What We're Working on  Bridges  Sundt Construction  AC  Benjamin Hall  Concrete  Construction Technology  Dave Fleming  Ethics  James Benham  Mitch Wilson  Presidents Message  Students  Texas A&M University  TMG Construction 

2014 Construction Tech Forecast

Posted By James Benham, Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Updated: Wednesday, April 23, 2014
The capabilities of technology, once merely imaginative concepts in science fiction movies, are quickly developing for pragmatic use in industries like commercial building. Advancements in cloud computing and fiber connections are redefining expectations in data integration. Mobile and wearable technologies are redefining expectations in the user experience. A decade from now, the construction site could look quite different from today’s job site.

BIM
This year’s Construction Technology Integration Survey reported that 38.7% of the 750 construction professionals surveyed are actively using BIM software. Historically, the cost of BIM software has created the perception that only large design-build firms have the resources for BIM adoption. However, as graphic modeling and cloud technology improves, more cost-effective solutions are emerging that allow for sharing large files over the web, removing the obstacles of uploading and downloading. These solutions allow builders to access libraries of thousands of models to measure, takeoff, and share in real-time or even drop them into mapping platforms like Google Earth for job site previews and displays.

Soon, all the models, materials, and other components that make up BIM models will be cross-referenced with vendor-supplied, cloud-based cost databases. Solutions will connect users directly to suppliers, estimators, project managers, and others in need of project information without time to calculate quantities.

Mobility
It is now fair to expect all mobile devices to sync data across sources and locations in real-time. The demand for mobile technology has now pushed development past mere mobility to wearability. Today, more than just your laptop, tablet and smartphone are considered “mobile devices.” Your glasses, camera, credit cards—they are all beginning to connect wirelessly to consolidate personal and professional data, communicating information that used to be transferred manually. Communications, clash detection, progress monitoring, and time sheets will no longer be separate processes that your administrators connect. They will become seamless data, collected simultaneously via on-site wearable glasses and sensor devices that organize the data automatically for complete project management. And, with all all this synchronization and biometric technology, extinction of the password is inevitable.

Augmented Reality
2013 was the year of the cloud - the self-service, resource pooling, scalable, programmable, broad access solutions you can access via the web, sync across your devices, and allow offsite database hosting. 2014 will be the year of augmented reality. In January 2014, there were 160,000 searches in the Google Patents database for the phrase “augmented reality.” In 2011 that number was a mere 11,000. In short, augmented reality is the convergence of Big Data, mobile devices, and live end users, creating a multi-dimensional, real-time interactive virtual environment that is overlaid on real world live imagery and it’s slowly creeping into technology we already use.

As a technology provider to the construction and insurance industries since 2001, I’ve had lots of time to brainstorm how augmented reality will impact the AEC environment. Imagine if an iPad, pointed at the floor of an old building, could replace that floor with an x-ray view of the proposed renovations below. Imagine quadcopters flying above a vacant lot, rendering a 3D model to scale, using an app like SmartReality on a tablet or smartphone, allowing developers to discuss the size of a proposed project.

Integration
Integration initiatives like the Construction Open Software Alliance and agcXML will be a strong force behind the evolution of the above construction technology. The level of integration we expect from our consumer technology is not yet equally upheld in business. By demanding the same level of customization and integration in construction solutions, professionals will hopefully see a significant improvement in the syncing and transfer of data across a variety of software used for build projects.

Initiatives like the Construction Open Software Alliance work to align technology providers to provide the most seamless, integrated solutions for builders, automatically connecting processes, departments, and individuals who were previously sharing data manually. Construction companies are looking for integration opportunities both within their company and with their peers. When software solutions can integrate and cooperate regardless of the provider, the possibilities will be endless.

Tags:  Construction Technology  James Benham 

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Texas A&M Ethics Competition Winners Announced

Posted By Charles L. Sapp, Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The AIC is happy to announce that it has awarded Associate Constructor Exam Scholarships to the winning team from the recent Texas A&M Ethics Competition.  Since 2011 the AIC has awarded the top team from this competition with a scholarship to sit for the AC examination.  This year over 125 students from Texas A&M participated in the ethics competition using case studies from the AIC Program on Construction Ethics.  The competition started with 25 teams submitting written reports, from that 5 teams were selected to present their analysis of the ethical scenario to the Texas A&M Construction Industry Advistory Council.  The last round of the competition featured the top 2 teams who presented their oral presentations to former students Larry Fickel, David Fleming, and Gavin McGee.  Fleming also currently serves as the National President of the AIC.  

The winning team after the last round of oral presentations was:

  • John Anderson

  • William Conte

  • William De Groh

  • Sara Hinojosa

  • Grand Hudson

Congratulations to the winning team!  

The AIC continues to be a supporter of ethics training and education through it's Program on Construction Ethics.  If your school is interested in using this program as part of an ethics competition the AIC will work with your school to provide AC exam scholarships to the winning team.  Contact Joe Sapp at joe@professionalconstructor.org to learn more.

Tags:  Ethics  Students  Texas A&M University 

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Benjamin Hall, CPC - Constructor of the Month

Posted By Charles L. Sapp, Thursday, September 26, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, April 23, 2014

This month we got to know more about our first CPC Constructor of the Month, Benjamin Hall.  Mr. Hall became a CPC in early 2013 and is currently a Constructability Coordinator with FLUOR in Sugar Land, Texas.  

About Benjamin

Benjamin was born in Plano, TX but grew up in Grand Haven, MI on Lake Michigan.  From an early age he showed an interest in building and working with his hands.  During his time as a Construction Management Major at Michigan State he spent time as an iron worker, which led to other opportunities in the trades. Outside of work he listed two top priorities that will give you an indication of the type of guy he is, Faith and Family.  When he is not coaching his son's soccer team he serves as the Local Boy Scouts Den Leader, President of his Toastmaster Club, and as a mentor for the Texas Criminal Justice Department.  

What does being a CPC mean to you?
It provides our company a way to gauge employee knowledge and an added component when marketing the skills and experience of our team.  It also indicates a higher ethical standard.  

Why did you become certified?
To ensure my continued development and to test my self professionally. 

Why did you choose a career in the construction industry? 
Teamwork. I love being a part of a team all focused on a common goal and a common vision. I enjoy the dynamic of an aligned team as they can accomplish much together. The environment of construction is always changing - lots of moving parts and pieces. It gave me the opportunity to continue to learn and grow / strain toward excellence in execution.

What advice do you have for someone interested in a career in the construction industry?
Prioritize you life properly. Don't let anything come before your family. Pay attention to detail. Don't compromise your integrity. Don't be passive. Be responsible. Be dependable. Apply your all! Take care of your body! Be safe! Seek the Truth. Love and cherish your wife.

Featured Projects - Odoptu Stage 2, OS2
Location: Sakhalin, RU 

The first phase of project will support the existing oil and gas production at the Odoptu North Well Site which is part of the original field developments on the island.  The site is located approximatly. 76 KM north of Chayvo Onshore processing facility.  The second part of the project will be primarily off site modular construction wherein keeping craft peak and resource levels low due to arctic weather conditions and craft availability.  Scope of project also includes build-up of heavy haul road, pier construction and utility pipeline corridor construction.  The schedule is fully loaded, construction driven, and looks to be a very good opportunity to build character.  We are currently finalizing detailed design and starting FEED for the second phase.  Very interesting seeing all the components required to be involved in an international project.

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  Benjamin Hall  Constructor of the Month 

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Mitch Wilson, AC - Constructor of the Month

Posted By Charles L. Sapp, Sunday, August 25, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mitch Wilson has been selected as the first AIC Constructor of the Month.  He will be featured in the September Constructor News.  Want to be the next Constructor of the Month?  Click here for more information. 

About Mitch

I was born and raised in the small town of Duncan, OK. I lived most of my childhood with my father and two brothers. I began work at a young age, working for my grandparents on the family farm and at houses we rented out. This sparked the work ethic I now hold as a professional. After graduating from high school I spent my summers working for my father’s company WW Builders Inc. I began at the bottom as a general laborer doing the cleaning around some new house construction. This allowed me to see the house come together through the project and my interest in construction was sparked. 

I enrolled at the University of Oklahoma and was dedicated to construction science from day one. During school breaks I would head home and work. I made my way through all of the trades we offered. I spent summers working as a concrete finisher, utility crew laborer, dirt equipment operator, and many other jobs. Eventually I began working in the office and learned estimation. Company growth led to us obtaining a construction management job in Duncan constructing a Holiday Inn Express. I worked as an assistant superintendent, and learned a great deal. My work experience throughout my life and the education I received at the University of Oklahoma has led me to my first major project as a superintendent overseeing the construction of a 5 million dollar hotel. I owe a great deal of gratitude to my father for providing me with the opportunities I have had. His efforts have given me a great starting point and give me high hopes for the things I hope to accomplish in the construction industry. 

Why did you decide to become an AC?

I have several reasons why I chose to become an Associate Constructor. First, I wanted to become a Certified Professional Constructor (CPC). Not only will this add personal value to myself as an individual, it will add value to my company. In Oklahoma, there is a regulation that to work on public projects such as a school you have to have a certified employee within your company and AIC is one of the organizations that you can be certified from. The AIC also offers additional benefits that will provide me with a “link” to the overall improvement and knowledge of the construction industry.   

Why did you choose a career in construction?

I see construction as a controlled and detailed process. I like the ability to plan ahead and foresee future problems that would occur and mitigate them. I like how you can shift through the plans, see the building, know it inside and out, and communicate that vision to the subcontractors. I also enjoy the balanced environment of being able to rotate between the outside and inside.  

What advice do you have for someone interested in a career in construction?

The construction industry is for someone who is willing to work. I would advise them to actually go out in the field, work and communicate with the employees, and learn to absorb all the information that is being relayed.

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  AC  Constructor of the Month  Mitch Wilson 

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President's Message

Posted By Dave Fleming, Friday, August 23, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dear Friends,

Greetings from AIC; I hope your summer has been productive and that each of you were able to get time away with family to relax.

Since April, when I was installed as AIC President, time has flown by. Our Executive Director Joe Sapp continues his stellar job of operating the daily business of AIC and the Commission while also keeping our volunteer leadership focused on meeting the goals we have set. I find these times in our industry to be dynamic. As the industry comes out of four years of economic downturn I continue to be optimistic and see signs of positive growth. With all of us facing increased workloads the management of the AIC over the past few years would not have been possible without Joe and his team. 

Just in the last few weeks Joe has held meetings with several other organizations and is looking for teaming opportunities to help AIC expand our exposure into markets we have never been before. Joe has had great support for these meetings from other Board members and officers of AIC and has kept all of us spinning in multiple directions. It is great to see all the support from members and I challenge each of you reading this today to let Joe know you can help AIC in some small way, whether it is calling on a local school, arranging a meeting with a new construction program or association, or signing a colleague up for membership. We are working hard each and every day to make this a better place and I encourage each of you to step up and help us with the mission.

Some of the activities your AIC Board has been working on this summer include:

University Visits:
Several Directors have made visits to universities who give AC exams to their students each year. They are a mainstay of the AIC Certification program and making sure we are listening to the needs of the universities while we manage the testing of over 75 sites around the country takes a lot of planning coordination and effort. The opportunity to meet with educators at these universities has proved invaluable. These visits have also given us the opportunity to welcome the future of our industry by meeting with students who are preparing to take the Associate Constructor exam.

I personally made a visit to Colorado State University in Ft. Collins with AIC Board Member and Secretary Mike Golden in late May. We were well received and given a complete tour of their facilities and seen the progress Mostafa Khattab, Ph.D. Department Head for Construction has been able to make. We also met many of the staff and several professors. A tour of the facilities was very interesting and we can see great things are in store for Colorado State in the future. One item of note to pass on is their program of giving back, called CM Cares initiative. I hope you take a few minutes to visit the CM Cares website for more information.http://www.cm.chhs.colostate.edu/cm-cares/index.aspx

If you have visited a University program and discussed AIC or Certification let Joe Sapp know so we can get the word out. It is our plan to visit many Universities in the year ahead and get to know our university contacts better. I have plans to visit the University of Houston and Texas State near where I live in the coming months. I challenge each of the CPC’s to revisit the schools you associate with. If you would like to be connected with one of our university testing sites please contact Joe to help arrange that.

Long Range Planning for AIC:
Other news of the summer comes from our June Strategic and Long Range Planning Meeting in Chicago. We had 12 leaders of AIC and CCC come to Chicago and spend two days in deep discussions over how the future of AIC should be shaped and how we get our message out to our members, industry, and clients. I look forward to sharing some key points and deliverables from that meeting that will affect each and every member, AC, and CPC. We have some great new programs being developed that we are sure will take AIC to the next level.

Mid Year Meeting October 17-18, Washington D.C.
Our Mid-Year Meeting is scheduled for October in Washington D.C. is shaping up to be the best one yet. We have several Industry Associations who will join together at the First Annual Inter-Industry Roundtable for in depth discussions on key industry topics and how we as organizations can collaborate for the good of the industry. We also have added new education sessions and events to the schedule that make this a must attend event.  For more information about the Mid-Year Meetingclick here.

In closing, GET INVOLVED! I truly believe we moving in the right direction as an organization. We have several big initiatives coming up and I hope you will come along for the ride. We are an organization driven by our volunteers. Your help will directly impact our organization and help us accomplish the things we are setting out to do. I have always been a believer that you get out of this organization what you put into it. That goes for everyone at any level. AC’s, let us know how your university program has impacted you; share your story with us! Members can join a Committee and help shape future programs or initiatives. Most importantly, if you have not done so, join as a member! If you have already earned your AC or CPC I hope you will take the next step and become a member of the AIC.

I thank you for the opportunity to serve as your AIC President this year and I look forward to see many of you in D.C. this October or at a future AIC event.

David Fleming, AIC-CPC, DBIA
President, AIC

Tags:  Dave Fleming  Presidents Message 

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