State of the Market
Dedicated to preconstruction and estimating, the third annual Advancing Preconstruction & Estimating conference once again delivered compelling sessions led by thought leaders from construction firms and solution providers. Here are some of my reflections…
BIM continues to merge design and execution technology and processes. Tools supporting BIM are in demand by the market. Technology companies respond by providing integrated solutions that reduce the struggle preconstruction departments face when cobbling together point solutions. Several sessions presented real-life case studies showing the value and challenges of efficient 2D and 3D quantification (hint: it’s not either/or, it’s both) combined with the estimating system. In addition, trade contractors are pushing the envelope and taking construction to the obvious conclusion: manufacturing technology and process integration is where the market needs to go. I was especially impressed by Lighthouse Electric’s approach to pre-fabrication.
Conceptual estimating and project history shared center stage. Whether defining and initiating a new data warehouse or using history to its full advantage, several sessions focused on the importance of—and use cases for—a well-defined project history system. Nick Papadopoulos, Eos Group’s CEO, demonstrated conceptual estimating techniques using Sage Estimating and Navigator to publish the results to Cortex. His presentation showcased how a new conceptual estimate can be benchmarked against similar projects in a project history data warehouse. To do this effectively and quickly, the value of a rich estimating database and suitable benchmark projects cannot be minimized, but the results are astounding and clearly a goal of the attendees.
It is always an honor to have face-to-face discussions with the professionals on the front lines of the construction industry. The challenges are never-ending and the technology is always changing. Attrition, time and resources to develop and maintain systems, and communicating the intricacies of construction to the client or owner are hurdles that remain constant. Facing these challenges is the relationship between contractors, design-build firms, and owners, as well as technology companies trying to put the pieces together. The Advancing Preconstruction & Estimating conference is a well-attended and energetic event and one we highly recommend – we’ve already signed up as a sponsor for next year in Las Vegas. Hope to see you there!