Posted by Tyson at 22 October 2014

Category: Architecture News

Tags: , , , ,

Construction Tech 150x150 5 Apps Every Construction Pro Should Download NowEquipment World.com named the Apple iPhone 5s the best smart phone for construction industry professionals. It’s not the biggest, the most rugged, or the most affordable. Despite its faults, the iPhone still has far more readily available apps that make construction pros smarter, more efficient and more effective on the job. Add a beefy case and the right app and you have a powerful tool that goes wherever you do, including the jobsite.

App Appeal

Construction apps can provide the developer, project manager, and even site foreman a wealth of real-time resources that make every job easier. From apps that monitor project bids to finger-assisted CAD drawing to calculating architectural formulas, the number of available construction-specific apps is currently in the thousands and growing.

Best Apps for Construction

The best app for you depends on your job responsibilities, personal preferences and technical aptitude. Here are a few of our favorite free apps you may find useful:

Aconex Field

Track and share project documents, images and videos with team members and customers

Force Effect by AutoDesk

Analyze structural reactions from images and translate them to diagrams with load calculations

ThresholdCM

Manage, tag and markup, then share images from your jobsite

DropBox

Easily store, access and share large files from the cloud

Evernote

Sync notes, images and voice memos across all of your mobile devices

What’s on Your Phone?

It’s time for construction to take advantage of the possibilities. With any industry, the best information comes from within, specifically those who have “boots on the ground.” So we’d like to hear from you.

  • What construction apps do you currently use?
  • What is the best app for construction?
  • Is there an app that you would like to see developed?

Give us your recommendations in the comments below.

The post 5 Apps Every Construction Pro Should Download Now appeared first on ModSpace Blog – Construction News, Updates & Insights.


ModSpace Blog – Construction News, Updates & Insights

Posted by Tyson at 22 October 2014

Category: Uncategorized

Tags: , , , ,

farmhouse-featured-3

On a recent trip through Scandinavia, we had the opportunity to stay in a Swedish farmhouse originally built in 1680. It was a learning experience on many levels, and while the home had the quirks and nuisances of any older home, staying there was a pleasure. We were impressed by the flexible open rooms, the adaptability of the spaces, and most of all, the timelessness of the design. The simple A-frame structure was easily updated over the years; new windows, placed in the existing openings, improved the energy savings as electrical improvements, new appliances, and cosmetic updates brought the living experience up to modern day standards.

A couple of days into our stay, our hosts brought out an 8½” x 11” booklet which documents the important design options for building a Swedish farmhouse like the one we were staying in. This simple guide lists the different materials and parts necessary to build the structure, and even covers important site planning strategies. We were astounded that such a guide exists and that we were holding it in our hands. Driving around the Swedish countryside, the similarities between farmhouses were apparent. It was easy enough to assume that there was a collection of design standards passed down from one generation to the next, but to see the entire family tree of design variations illustrated in a tidy portfolio blew us away.

farmhouse-01

While the dates on this booklet indicate that it was produced well after these structures had been constructed, we’d like to think that it visually documents what was a common design vocabulary over the last several hundred years in rural Scandinavian residential construction. With this in mind, we should refer to it as a retro-active instruction guide for the Swedish farmhouse.

The guide covers an impressive range of design in just eight simple pages; from the site planning and relationship with the garden to the door hardware options. Most impressive is that the illustrations boil down hundreds of years of knowledge into a couple of simple options. The diagrams on roof slopes, for instance, offer just two options: a 55 or 48 degree pitch. For whatever evolutionary reason, these are the two roof slopes that make the most sense for this type of structure in this environment. The same goes for the configuration and attachment of the barn structures to the living quarters. Studying the illustrations, you get the impression that these guidelines are the result of generations of trial and error; that these design solutions exist for a reason.

There is a refreshing sense that the material options are local and practical to obtain. The sustainability is already built into the design, with the option of bringing bespoke materials from exotic places removed from the equation. The same can be assumed of the construction methods, it would appear that the building techniques depend on resources directly available within the community.

farmhouse-02

While the guide is regulating and pragmatic, this method of design probably didn’t feel restrictive to homeowners when these farmhouses were originally constructed — in fact it probably still doesn’t feel restrictive in Scandinavia. There are a variety of options to fulfill a homeowner’s desire to make personal choices, and ample opportunity for each farmhouse to be unique. The important element is that this design freedom all occurs within set boundaries defined by sensibility; by what works and what doesn’t, by what is available and what’s not, by the practicality of time and budget. There are six varieties of roofing, seven types of siding, and nine distinct door designs. These three variables alone allow for 378 unique farmhouse designs and while one completed design could vary from another, each individual design decision is manageable. The nine door options are locally made from community resources, not a thousand from every corner of the earth. The same philosophy of decision-making applies to all aspects of this guide: Design decisions are informed by the collected knowledge of the people who built a house before you did.

As architects, designers, builders, thinkers, and people who live in homes, this little guide really has us thinking about our philosophy of design (and our philosophy of life, quite frankly). Since returning home, it's been impossible to ignore the stark contrast between the method of design and construction prescribed by this little booklet and our observations in the United States.

farmhouse-03

Without a doubt, this guide to Swedish Farmhouse Design strikes a delicate balance. Too much standardization, and you get the endless repetition of suburban tract homes loathed by anyone with a design pulse. But the opposite end of the spectrum is equally harmful to the built environment. Without design discipline, the built environment doesn’t make forward progress in terms of sustainability and creating healthy environments. Without the careful curation of design options, homeowners all too often end up with a project that is over-designed, over-stylized, and over budget.

Using local methods, materials, and labor narrows down the design choices and clarifies which options are the most sensible. Employing a healthy dose of sensibility fosters design that responds to its immediate environment and prevents materials from being unsustainably shipped from halfway around the world. These decision making skills are important design tools on a project and they help create spaces for living and working that are relevant to specific environments for generations to come (also known as timeless).

farmhouse-04

While American culture loves to “re-invent” design, we can’t help but wonder if the very nature of re-inventing something like the single family residence is counterintuitive to good, sensible design. Among the important messages to take away from the Swedish Farmhouse Guide is that the design of something should be based on the lessons learned from the entire lineage of past designs similar in nature.

Standardization may sound too harsh to apply to residential design (or it simply brings up visions of Suburbia), but when applied correctly, it provides a sense of reason and can lead to exceptional results. This little guide makes a good case for a recalibration of how we think about design in the U.S. and also sheds light on a design profession that practices with purpose, reason, and conviction. We’re incorporating more of this thinking into our own design process here at BUILD and we’ll be sharing more of our experiences soon.

Until then, cheers from Team BUILD


Build Blog

Posted by Tyson at 20 October 2014

Category: Building

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Canada-based Williams was an expert in microclimate impacts on building performance; Podolny, a former FHWA senior structural engineer, was a bridge design guru; Hines led the school design practice at Connecticut structural firm, The DiSalvo Engineering Group
Top Stories from ENR.com

Posted by Tyson at 20 October 2014

Category: Construction

Tags: , , , , ,

By Brendan Thomas Breaking news:  You no longer have to be a superhero to lift thousands of pounds with just one hand. Your envy of Superman’s astounding strength does not have to eat you up inside anymore, thanks to air-operated skates. Air bearing technology is not brand new.  However, it has become increasingly common on […]


Construction Informer Blog

Posted by Tyson at 19 October 2014

Category: Architects

Tags: , , ,

Construction Americas 2015Next spring, the Construction Marketing Association will take our construction marketing talents to South Beach, and all of you are invited.  Just announced, Florida International University will be hosting a new exposition for construction brands that features a think-tank of panel discussions on key factors propelling the future of construction best practices and technologies, with a focus on North and South American markets.

These panels will offer insights from construction industry leaders from multiple perspectives: CEOs, Editors, and technology providers.  Additionally, more than 10,000 square feet of exhibit space will offer attendees the opportunity to peruse hot new products and technologies on display by leading construction product brands and service providers.

Scheduled for March 26 & 27, 2015, Construction Americas is the newest expo on the block and will be hosted at the U.S. Century Bank Arena on the FIU campus, Miami, Florida.

You can learn more about the exposition below; whether you are an attendee, exhibitor, or sponsor.

Construction Americas Call for Sponsors

Sponsor Construction Americas 2015 Exposition, and gain access and exposure to thousands of construction professionals across the United States, North and South America! Following are some of the key benefits of sponsorship:

  • Company/brand logo on CA website
  • Profile listing and link on CA website
  • Recognition on event signage, and during panel discussions
  • Recognition in news announcements
  • Recognition in email campaigns
  • Blog company/brand information with links
  • Discounted exhibitor fees (based on sponsor level)
  • Free VIP & attendee passes
  • Sponsor lounge access

There is a sponsor package for every budget including Premiere Sponsors, and several event sponsorship options. Premiere Sponsors include Gold, Silver and Bronze levels.  Learn more about the Sponsorships on the Construction Americas Sponsorship Page.

Demonstrate at Construction Americas

Want to put your products and services in front of decision makers? Starting on October 15, 2015, you gain the opportunity to register for prime position at Construction Americas! What can you gain from exhibiting at Construction Americas?

  • Meet Industry Executives and Decision Makers
  • Put your products and services in front of leading construction editors
  • Network with Students

The expansive U. S. Century Bank Arena on the FIU campus has capacity for thousands of attendees, and hundreds of exhibitors. So don’t miss this chance to showcase your construction brand to this important group of construction decision makers and influencers.

Learn more about the pricing levels and benefits at the Construction Americas Exhibitor Page.

Attend Construction Americas

Construction Americas 2015 Exposition will give attendees a broad look into the future of construction. Focusing on North and South American markets, this new exposition will share cutting edge perspectives from construction industry leaders, brands, academia, and editors from leading construction publications—each sharing their views and insights into construction trends, technologies and best practices.

Lower than the average cost of exhibitions, you can learn more about the event at the Construction Americas Attendee Page.

Construction Americas Agenda

Kicking off on March 26, 2015, Construction Americas begins at 6:00 PM with a reception and opening remarks from Dr. Irtishad Ahmad, P.E., the Director of the OHL School of Construction at FIU.

March 26, 2015

6:30 pm: Evening Reception
Opening Remarks Dr. Irtishad Ahmad, P.E., Director – OHL School of Construction

March 27, 2015

8:00 am – 9:00 am: Breakfast and Keynote:  CEO Panel

9:00 am – 6 pm: Exposition Open

11:00 am – 12:00 pm: Morning Breakout:  Technology Panel

12 pm Exposition and Lunch on your own

2:00 – 3:00 pm: Afternoon Breakout:  Editor Panel

6:00 pm: Exposition Closes

Learn more about the different panels at Construction Americas.

We look forward to seeing all of you at Construction Americas 2015 Exposition!


Construction Marketing Blog

Posted by Tyson at 19 October 2014

Category: Building News

Tags: , , , ,

Bruce's PaintingIn the construction industry, one usually finds “left-brained” thinkers, people who tend towards the analytic and objective. Bruce Adams, a part of our senior management, is one who also exercises his “right brain,” being a talented artist.

Recently, he was telling me a process he uses for still life paintings. When he finishes his sketch, prior to applying brush strokes, he looks at the canvas upside down. At that point the sketch becomes simple lines, shapes and forms, instead of a coherent painting.

Bruce showed me the rough draft of the painting above. The glass jar has just been laid in and appears somewhat correct when viewing right side up. However, when the picture is viewed upside down, it’s easier to see that the bottle is lopsided. The change in perspective paves the way for a correction.

To me, this is similar to conflict discussions. It might be a good idea to take a moment–and a deep breath or two, at times–and look at the situation from the other opposite perspective. Maybe we learn something when we take our view and “turn it upside down.”

 

Planting Acorns

Posted by Tyson at 17 October 2014

Category: Construction

Tags: , , , ,

By Derek Graham I expect in this day and age we have seen every sort of conceivable construction schedule tool in existence: from lines in the sand, to a full-blown integrated project system. Here is a summary of some available programs I have used. I started scheduling c. 1993, cutting my teeth with a program […]


Construction Informer Blog

Posted by Tyson at 17 October 2014

Category: Building

Tags: , , , , , ,

Survey says region’s oil and gas development has spawned 45,000 new jobs since 2008.
Top Stories from ENR.com

Posted by Tyson at 16 October 2014

Category: Construction

Tags: , , ,

If ESI International’s assessment of trends in project management for 2014 is anywhere near accurate, construction project managers are going to be in demand and challenged to deliver more leadership value to the project. ESI is a project management training company that puts together prognostications about project management every year. The trends are picked by […]


Construction Informer Blog

Posted by Tyson at 16 October 2014

Category: Architects

Tags: , , , , , ,

 

Some of the biggest costs that face construction marketers today—advertising, print literature, reliance on a sales team—can be easily reduced.

As you look to develop a budget for the 2015 year, we want to help you make the most out of your marketing efforts while reducing your costs.

Our friends at Modern Marketing Partners have been helping businesses make the most of their marketing, advertising, and trade show budgets; and we share this great advice to help you lower your marketing budget while maximizing marketing results.

 

1) Know Thy Customer

Marketing is expensive and mistakes can devastate a marketing budget. Avoid mistakes by getting to know your customer. Know the: segments, needs, decision makers, and more by gathering/using data. House all your customer data in a database or by using marketing automation software that can be updated with ease and used for marketing.

Conduct research. One of the easiest ways to do this is by regularly surveying your customers. Surveys are incredibly inexpensive and they will give you valuable information that can be used as a foundation for guiding marketing decisions. If you have trouble getting your customers to take your surveys, provide incentives such as discounts or special offers to customers who take them.

2) Banner Ads over Billboards

Advertising is often the most costly part of a marketing budget. Adjust your budget to invest more into search engine optimization (SEO), and content marketing through blogging and social media.

Your website ranking can make or break your marketing efforts. Chikita, an ad network, has continuously monitored search results to find that the top result on Google sees a 32.5% click-through rate, with continuous drop-offs from there (91.5% of clicks occur on the first page).

What does this mean? Unless your website is ranked in the top few search result positions, all the advertising in the world won’t help. Having a mobile-friendly website will also be critical.

3) Print Brochures are so 2003

Print may not be dead, but it could use a lifeline. Whether seeing decreasing success in direct mail or increasing costs in brochure printing, it may be time to make the move to digitize.

Actively provide PDF versions of your advertising and reduce print runs.  You can always keep brochures ready to be printed single-run, as opposed to wasting the space to store thousands of brochures.

Further, you can upload all of these PDFs to SlideShare, allowing customers to find your material even more easily!

4) Build Your Brand with Publicity

A saying that you need to take to heart: Advertising and Marketing is about saying how great you are. PR is getting others to do it for you.

PR or publicity placements are free by definition, with awareness building that rivals advertising!

A few examples of how you can use PR to your advantage:

  • Release Products using Free or Paid PR Wire Services
    • Free: Check out this list of Free PR Submission Sites
    • Paid: Great sites include PRWeb, BusinessWire, and PRNewswire
  • Build Relationships with Reporters and Journalists
  • Find Public Speaking Opportunities
  • Go Guerrilla

A few good ideas for what to share:

  • New Product
  • New Website
  • New, Significant Customer
  • Whitepaper
  • Partnership
  • Changing a Name
  • Any of these 30 Newsworthy Press Release Ideas

Make PR integral to your complete and integrated marketing communications strategy.

5) Repurpose your content

Content is king, but it doesn’t have to take up a large portion of a marketing budget. Create content that relates to and will interest your current/potential customers. Use the same content in different formats.

Blog about your projects, post about the projects on social media, create a corresponding video (time lapse videos of projects are simple and effective!), introduce to customers and prospects via email, develop surveys, host a webcast or podcast and much more.

In addition to this, creating ‘evergreen’ content will give you more mileage to your money.  What is evergreen content?

“Evergreen content is quality, useful content that is relevant to readers for a long period of time.”

The key with evergreen then is that this quality content means something to a visitor who found the post the day it was published and one who happened upon it six months later.  This means that, for the time it takes you to write one piece of content, you can reach more users.

Reducing marketing expenses for your construction firm can be simple.  Just be sure you have a plan.  This is why we welcome you to join thousands of members in one of our LinkedIn Groups:

  • Society of Building Products Marketing Professionals
  • Construction Marketing Association


Construction Marketing Blog

Top tips for working in construction

The construction business is one of the most pulsating and challenging business ventures. It demands lot of investments in terms of your energy, capital and time that is the main reason why it is very essential that you are passionately interested in this business venture.

With each passing day this arena is facing lot many changes in the techniques, equipments and style of working. You can do yourself a huge favour by seeking the right qualifications in order to have in-depth knowledge about the different dimensions of the construction business. No doubt, the reality picture tends to be different but it is always worthwhile to be well versed with the theoretical aspects in order to focus on the challenges of the actual world of work.

It will also help you in becoming more receptive of the changes and better options. You will be able to embrace the novelty easily if you remain open to its challenging nature. For that you always need to be on your toes and make sure you are well aware of the changing trend. With this attitude you will never lag in the race of being a proverbial in the construction business and lead your company towards excellence and proficiency.

Make sure you have the right tools. It's a poor craftsman who blames his tools, but it's understandable if you can't get the job done because you haven't got the equipment you need. As an example, portable hyundai generators can provide you with power when out in the field

Hence, you should seek this business option only when you think and firmly believe that it is your area of expertise. This will help you in creating better perspective and clear the expectation zone! It is important to be interested and really like the construction work in order to reap better rewards!

Once, you have set your mind in your business endeavours you need to take the first step of launching the construction business. You can also affirm your intensions and visions by joining the trade union. This step can facilitate your functioning as a proficient business venture. Moreover, the formalities, legal procedures, financial liabilities can be sorted by seeking the right guidance and information.

Most importantly, the construction arena is sure to make you more aware and concerned about the safety needs of your workers and employees. Hence, you will be giving lot of importance to safety meetings. These meeting can be taken as the right opportunity to seek awareness about the location and enforcing required rules and regulations. This is why you should never avoid or delay the safety meetings and its significance in your business. The insightful observation when blended with experience can help you get prepared for emergencies also. This also pave the way for better adjustments when require.

It is clear that this business can be crude and demanding in many respects, yet it also creates a very profitable and satisfying venture. In order to get the maximum of your business set up you need to have proper vision and clear expectations. Your attitude and working style is going to determine your success and the heights of your profits. Therefore, it is time that you open yourself to the creative and profitable ideas to ensure that your construction business is a roaring success from now on!