Digital Dryshack: ENR Future Tech conference 2012: Future of Construction Technology

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Digital Dryshack: ENR Future Tech conference 2012: Future of Construction Technology

We just returned from ENR Future Tech conference in San Francisco, which was mainly geared to future technology in the construction industry. My goals for Rob & me were to make us think, and to generate ideas to help us provide more valuable services, with a higher level of expertise and broadened perspective, to our clientele. I wasn’t disappointed. A quick 30,000 foot overview of only a few highlights from its lightng-fast program:

Brian David Johnson, (Intel Corp.) futurist, on (what else?) the future:
“you can’t let the future happen to you.”
“First, Understand what people want to do in the future…next, use…(a defined) Process to figure out what is necessary to get there.”
(Timeline of computing): “Compute Moves to Zero”
mainframe- mini-workstation-pc-laptop-mobile-ubiquitous
1960       – 1970   – 1980    -1990 -2000   -2010  – 2020
“How can we free up people to be better?”
David Brown, (D. Brown Management), on targeting and achieving worthwhile change within a construction firm’s culture:
“Tech is a process; there is no end.”
(beware of) ….”change fatigue…resistance to too much change…” (we see this often in our work with contractors)
Do mini-implelmentations, 4-week turnarounds. ask, “can the benefit be quicly summarized?” (20 words or less)
“are we learning something that will be valuable in the future?”
“Team 1st, Tech 2nd”
“prioritze (change initiatives) to CUSTOMER’s benefit”
CIO Panel excerpts, on the focus and methods of IT departments:
(make sure) “IT focus is on helping your people: ASK & LISTEN !! – the people(‘s gain) has to drive the technology”
(on mobile apps):
“keep apps simple & small; separate apps for readers of data (80%) vs. data editors (20%)”
“apps need to be useful when DIS-connected; then sync to connected database.”
(data goals):
TIMELINESS & ACCURACY (the Holy Grail of data collection!)
Delivery something amazing, that solves CUSTOMER’S exact needs

Moawia Abdelkarim, of DPR’s Construction Technology and Innovation Team:
“goal: walk the job with a model, status progress, calc & generate billings, measure and manage productivity to job goals”…(all in one automated step)

The Future in Construction is Modular Panel excerpts:
“Increased productivity in construction will only be achieved through increased prefabrication & modularization.”
“It will require: Tech integration, (enhanced) Design tools, and a Manufacturing Mindset”
“BIM (of today’s construction industry) is Boeing’s CAD of the 1980’s”

At times I was too busy to take notes; watching amazing presentations (for instance), using Enhanced Reality & Artificial Reality. One by DPR projected the future finished construction on a laptop from the BIM model, superimposed to true 1:1 scale on the raw in-place framing, to ensure all equipment, power, & pipe rough openings were located precisely for the future placement of the equipment and prefabbed components….very cool stuff!

Moawia Abdelkarim eloquently summed up the entire conference in one simple sentence: “We won’t be able to build tomorrow’s projects with Today’s Technology.”
(Sounds to me like our homework assignment…)

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