- Construction technology startup Briq has raised $3 million in a February seed funding round led by Eniac Ventures, the company announced. Other investors participating in the round were MetaProp NYC and MState.
- Briq’s platform is based on machine learning and data intelligence, helping users predict which construction projects will be successful, where demand for new construction is highest and how to better structure their workflows. Briq’s technology can also help contractors match the best subcontractors and employees to a specific project, plan material deliveries, analyze enterprise resource planning (ERP) data and better manage the submittal and Request for Information (RFI) process.
- Briq founder Bassem Hamdy previously worked at Procore, helping the company develop its popular technology products. “Bassem built and helped run the most successful construction software businesses in the world,” said Tim Young, founding general partner at Eniac. "It is rare and humbling to have an opportunity to help build a company from the ground up with an industry legend."
In an April 2018 report, McKinsey & Co. called machine learning and the larger universe of artificial intelligence ”the next frontier” in the construction industry and targeted five applications already in use in other sectors that could start helping contractors right away:
- Transportation route optimization tools for construction project planning.
- Predictive pharmaceutical apps to help forecast project outcomes.
- Retail supply chain optimization tools for management of the offsite, modular and prefabrication segments.
- Robotics solutions to assist in prefabrication.
- Healthcare imaging solutions for early detection of critical project issues.
Other possible construction industry uses for machine learning and AI, McKinsey said, are in the areas of quality control, management of contractor or subcontractor claims, staffing evaluations, project monitoring and risk management.
McKinsey said "early movers” on this new technology will not only be able to help direct how the industry uses machine learning and AI but also stand poised to reap the benefits.
In a more recent report, McKinsey found that machine learning, among other innovations, was among the technologies gaining the most traction in the construction industry, along with 3D printing, modularization, drone and laser scanning technology, virtual learning and robotics.
Just this week, Autodesk previewed Construction IQ, a machine learning- and AI-based system that can perform quality and safety risk analyses using customer project data gleaned from BIM 360. As part of a function similar to one of Briq’s features, project leaders who use Construction IQ can identify high-risk subcontractors and then view actionable risk factors associated with those firms.