By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE
St. Louis-based general contractors and construction managers say collaborative and transparent project delivery, mobile technologies and lean building are trends continuing to gain momentum in public and private project sectors here.
Patrick J. Kozeny, president and CEO of Kozeny-Wagner, says engaging construction firms as early as possible in design-build and construction management project delivery is essential.
“Technology continues to drive efficiencies in construction,” said Kozeny. “Building information modeling (BIM), robotic and remote equipment, modularization and tablet-driven construction management software have all made us a more efficient construction service provider.”
Construction-specific technologies being leveraged to keep projects humming along include customized, cloud-based smartphone apps that enable project managers to schedule, direct and track the delivery of jobsite materials to coordinate logistics to the minute – particularly on tight, urban sites such as Clayco’s luxury high-rise residential tower project across from Forest Park. With no lay-down area and a challenging vertical build along busy Kingshighway, apps like these make sure just-in-time materials deliveries are a reality.
Emerging technologies in the built environment are also enabling contractors to expand their service territories more readily, according to Leonard Toenjes, president of the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Missouri. “Thanks to technology, more contractors are expanding their reach both regionally and nationally,” he said.
S.M. Wilson & Co. President Amy Berg says the use of lean building techniques to expedite projects, stay within budget and minimize waste continues to be a prevalent building trend.
Dirk Elsperman, EVP and COO of Tarlton Corp. and 2019-20 president of the Associated General Contractors of America, says finding ways to answer the question of an adequate workforce will dominate the construction discussion in 2020 and beyond. “We’re all looking for ways to satisfy the lack of resources,” Elsperman said. “Some will turn to pre-fabrication. Others will look to jobsite productivity techniques. Technology will offer some solutions. The bottom line is that we all will need to find collaborative ways to deliver our projects in ways that fairly distribute risks and rewards among the parties involved.”