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 SOLAR ENERGY 01The move to outsourced solar energy has implications for construction.   

By Pete Christakis

Construction of commercial- and large-scale solar plants in the United States is a multibillion-dollar industry, leading to thousands of megawatts of new solar power on the grid. Within the market, there has been a significant shift toward outsourcing all aspects of solar plant development, including ownership and maintenance, to owner/developers through comprehensive, long-term power contracts. Outsourcing solar plant development is attractive to many companies and government agencies because it allows them to claim the benefits of renewable energy – the carbon-free electricity they generate – while sidestepping the capital costs, intrinsic risks and administrative challenges in building and operating solar plants, often at rates that are comparable to (or lower than) the electricity they buy from the grid.

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(Photo credit: Rui Tang)

Here are six ways BIM improves construction estimating.

By Rui Tang

Construction estimating is a tedious, time-consuming and error-prone process that starts with scouring pages of drawings to categorize pricing or bid items, calculate quantities, quote unit pricing and much more. Building Information Modeling, also known as BIM, has been utilized for years in the planning and construction of buildings and is proven to increase efficiency, prevent human error and cut overall construction costs and transform construction estimating into an accurate process. 

 WEARABLES 01Wearables can advance on-site safety and operations.   

By Erin Cullen

Smart technologies are becoming the norm on large construction sites as we move into 2019. Wearable devices in particular, which clip onto workers’ toolkits or are worn as a bracelet are gaining prevalence, in large part because they add an additional layer of safety to the operation. 

 TIPS FOR PURCHASING EQUIPMENT 01Here are some tips for purchasing equipment.   

By Ryne DeBoer and Willy Schlacks

Construction fleets don’t come cheap. With a compound annual growth rate of nearly 8 percent, the global construction machinery market is expected to surpass $270 billion by 2023. You can stretch your budget as equipment prices rise by considering how new technology can keep equipment up and running. 

 SMART CITIES 01There are factors to consider when trying to become a smart city.   

By Tyler Haak

Smart city technology, though not necessarily common parlance for most of us, is experiencing a rise of investment throughout the world.  This year, spending may hit $80 billion. By 2021, a growth to $135 billion spent is anticipated. This, however, is not evenly distributed throughout all cities. For some, the path to becoming a smart city will start with regulatory changes and modernization of infrastructure. In others, the first wave of smart buildings has already been developed, setting the pace for continued improvement in environmental, financial and social returns in urban life. But when trying to become a smart city in the 21st Century, what are the most important factors to consider?

 SAFETY FIRST 01Decreasing workplace injuries can increase your bottom line.   

By Jordan Mann

In the 1990s and 2000s, there was a phrase that could sum up most contractors’ business philosophy: “Production, Production, Production.” This philosophy, and for some it was a business motto, was to push through and get the job done, no matter the cost. You couldn’t slow down because “we don’t get paid until the job is complete.” But that cost often came in the form of workplace injuries, resulting from an overall disregard for job safety.

 HANDLING DISPUTES 01Here are four ways to handle construction disputes.   

By Patrick Barthet

It’s unlikely to be in the construction industry for very long and not run into a dispute. Disagreements between the parties – owners and contractors, contractors and subcontractors, subcontractors and supply houses – can crop up when one party fails to meet its obligations, contractual or otherwise. Sometimes these controversies result from a clear breach of a contract provision; other times they are simply the consequence of a party’s reaction to or disregard of a particular issue.  

 FINANCIAL OPERATIONS TECHNOLOGY 01Financial operations technology is a foundation for growth.   

By Paul Van Den Berg and John Yeager

It’s that time of the year when plans for building the business up to the next level are getting underway, yet most plans fail to recognize that the necessary foundation of financial operations – people, processes and technology – are not in place to achieve those plans.

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