Digital Deals abound with integrations, new products and 3D printing breakthroughs
The first 3D-printed home builder to get a U.S. building permit got D.R. Horton backing, big con-tech software names linked up and collaborations for wearables and IoT tracking tools made headlines.
Tech firms in the construction space often join forces to marry their niche solutions with other technologies and provide more comprehensive and interoperable tools. Every few weeks, Construction Dive provides a roundup of the most recent mergers, acquisitions
3D-printed home builder gets funding from D.R. Horton
After building a 3D-printed house which it says is the first to secure a building permit in the U.S., Icon closed a $9M seed round led by Oakhouse Partners and composed of funding from America’s largest home builder by revenue and closings, D.R. Horton. Investment also came from Emaar, the largest developer in the Middle East and erector of the tallest building in the world, and a collection of traditional banks, venture capitalists and startup accelerators.
Icon said it will use the funds to further develop its model of building affordable structures through robotics, software and advanced materials and enhance its process, which it says can already print a home in less than 24 hours.
Bentley and Microsoft launch ProjectWise 365
Two big names in construction software joined forces with the introduction of ProjectWise 365, a workflow solution that combines Bentley tools, geared toward helping designers and contractors standardize the outcome of workflow deliverables for project delivery, with Microsoft Office 365, which is a common tool used on many jobsites already.
“The integration combines ProjectWise's Project Insights — which helps users identify trends that could cause problems and delays down the line — and Microsoft Power BI —which helps users create reports on finances and scheduling,” the companies said in a joint press release. “Together, the two pieces of software mean that users can look at design, financial and scheduling information all together and see how they might impact each other.”
Elizabeth Berna, AECOM’s information manager, said, according to the statement, that the construction giant uses ProjectWise Project Insights “to identify trends in project performance, providing the client with new ways of assessing project health."
Doosan Bobcat links with startup accelerator to explore equipment autonomy
Doosan Bobcat North America signed a deal with startup accelerator Plug and Play with the purpose of developing methods in which internet of things and artificial intelligence could lead to autonomous equipment on the jobsite.
The partnership will match Bobcat with startups that can help make the technology a reality for Bobcat clients. Through Plug and Play's network, tech firms looking to place their systems in equipment can get access to Bobcat machinery for research purposes.
Gilbane onboards Triax Technologies for wearables development
Gilbane Building Co., one of the top builders in the country, sparked a partnership with insurance provider Travelers Cos. and a software firm that's been making a big splash in the con-tech market, Triax Technologies, to explore the potential of the latter’s construction-centric internet of things systems to make jobsites safer and more productive.
Through the arrangement, Travelers will review data collected from Triax’s Spot-r IoT devices, including those being used at a 60,000-square-foot, six-floor building Gilbane is constructing in New York City, over the next 20 months.
More than 130 workers will wear Triax’s internet of things-enabled Spot-r Clips on their waist belts, and all jobsite machinery will be equipped with Triax’s Spot-r EquipTag location tracking systems. The site will also be outfitted with Spot-r EvacTags, which enable managers to trigger high-decibel, highly visible emergency alarms to workers via a dashboard. Data collected will be used by the trio to understand and better develop worker safety measures.
PCL Construction adds Pype to its pipeline of work
PCL has endorsed Pype’s AutoSpecs solution — which touts its ability to lean on patented artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to help mitigate risk, reduce costs and streamline project delivery for faster completion times — through the signing of an extended partnership.
"When quality management software and apps entered the construction industry, we were able to shift many hours of clerical work to meaningful activities like proactive quality planning, field inspections and validation of conformance,” said PCL Quality Manager Alex Ramirez in a recent press release. “Pype AutoSpecs is doing the same for us in the construction specification realm, allowing us to concentrate on valuable analysis and preparation of submittals logs and quality requirements.”