The art and science of architecture is a complex and inventive effort. Beyond designing the physical elements of a space, how would architects meet the unique challenge of creating a healthy indoor environment for a series of endangered animals--like lemurs? The San Diego Zoo’s new Africa Rocks exhibit presented our firm, The Miller Hull Partnership, with such an opportunity. The project transforms eight acres of the Zoo, replacing 1930’s era grottos and cages with an immersive patron experience representing ecosystems from savannah to shore and which includes the Madagascar Habitat featuring five species of lemurs. As one might imagine, recreating lemur habitat required extensive research and product development. Lighting, we learned, plays a significant role in promoting physical and emotional health of these sensitive primates. Miller Hull coordinated a team of primate management staff, lighting technology engineers, and medical researchers to collaborate on a solution to simulate the lemur’s natural habitat.
The titans of the tech industry have been warning the public of their growing concern of robotic intelligence, i.e. machine learning. They say these systems will become so sophisticated that they could phase humans out of labor industries. Intelligent machines are becoming more reactive to a wide range of variables on the job site and reducing project costs to the extent that the role of field personnel is changing. Some speculate the blue-collar worker is at risk while others predict that their role will change.
Today’s building systems are dynamic. They functionally integrate to minimize energy consumption, decrease water usage, increase indoor air quality, reduce operational costs, and minimize environmental impact. Buildings are being designed to deliver services to make occupants more productive (e.g. lighting, comfortable climate, indoor air quality, physical security, sanitation, etc.) at the lowest cost over it’s lifetime. There's a lot to love about their intelligence.
When it comes to collaboration, are you a big fan of the white-board? What if we were to tell you that your well-loved whiteboard will eventually take residence next to your dusty cassette tape player? Would you believe it? Technologies in the form of virtual, augmented, and mixed reality are becoming a game-changer for team collaboration, enabling a spatial environment for effective decision-making. Immersive collaboration allows users to communicate in real-time, effectively working together from remote locations as if they were walking a project site together. This posts highlights the five ways immersive technologies are transforming project team engagement.
A solid foundation for implementation will yield companywide results.
At a time of fierce competition, the distance between technical promise and genuine achievement is a matter of special concern. Faced with their regular duties, Managers experience great difficulty in closing this gap. The key challenges for managers responsible for implementing new technology include: an inescapable dual role, the range of technologies that need to be supported, resistance to change, the right degree of incentives, and the need for one person to take overall responsibility. This post offers up 10 Quick Tips For Implementing a New Construction Technology.
Topics: Construction Technology
Connectivity is a vital part of our daily lives, particularly in structures where we work. As a result, building powerloads are increasing, mostly from wireless accesspoints, in-building wireless antennas, Internet Protocol (IP), LED lighting and environmental controllers. The ability to effectively and efficiently power these devices is a growing challenge. This post discusses the critical role of low voltage systems to optimize building performance.
If you read BuildingTech INSIDER consistently, you know builders are applying virtual design and construction (VDC) practices for building information modeling (BIM). Major disciplines leveraging the many benefits of BIM are mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP), as well as fire protection. MEP is a critical discipline for systems decision-making – these decisions are sometimes made by a facility’s management and operations team. Using BIM practices to gain additional perspective on MEP is tremendously powerful. This post discusses how to rock your next MEP effort with BIM.
The drones are coming! Yes, they are making their way to your jobsite if they have not already arrived. Why? They provide invaluable perspective. These unmanned aircraft systems allow builders to more effectively study jobsite conditions enabling time and money savings. More importantly, the drone can operate with various degrees of autonomy to capture jobsite viewpoints previously inaccessible. The presence of jobsite drones is a game changer.
Drones can outperform humans in number of ways. First and foremost, they can fly. Beyond that very fundamental fact, drones capture invaluable information for project manager dissemination, allowing for a greater level of oversight. Rather than comparing the drones to humans, the following discusses how the drones can effectively serve a project from start to finish.
Everyone seems to have a 2017 Hot Tech List. I thought it would be great to follow up with on our own take on what will be top-of-mind this year. First, let’s consider the big industry picture, there are A LOT of construction technologies allowing builders to communicate in real time with project stakeholders. Communication is not just through a phone call; it can be through image-sharing, document-sharing or quick text messages via smart phone or tablet. Builders no longer have to wait to report activity at the end of the day or until they have the next team meeting to report updates. There is a tremendous shift taking place.
The other day, I read an article from Construction Dive reporting data from the National Insurance Crime Bureau stating “…the construction industry loses up to $1 billion annually in heavy equipment theft…that does not even account for smaller tools stolen from job sites every day.” When I think about the amount of people, materials, and equipment moving in and out of any one given project, I cannot help but think there are technology solutions to this problem.