At the 2023 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo last week in Washington, D.C., building product manufacturers and service providers came together to showcase their offerings.
Nearly 250 exhibitors showed off their wares in the 230,000-square-foot expo hall. Here are a few finds from the show floor that can help contractors and their subs save energy, reduce waste or meet green building requirements.
Oakland, California-based robotics firm Urban Machine aims to chip away at the problem of construction waste. Using AI-driven technology, its robot titled The Machine uses claws to remove scrap metal, screws and nails from reclaimed wood, which can then be shipped and sold to cut down on scrap and lessen the environmental impact of the material, per its website.
The wood is held in place by shuttles while fasteners are extracted, and then surface materials are removed using rotating wire brushes. The system also performs a quality check to ensure the wood is ready for new construction, the company says.
Online code library
It’s no secret — jurisdictions across the country have different sets of codes, and builders have to be knowledgeable about the local areas they’re building in. Enter MadCAD.
The Washington, D.C., firm’s Cloud-Based Reference Library compiles information about codes across the U.S. and its territories. It also offers codes in sets, where users can purchase a package of the guidelines. Users can additionally opt to purchase books for a flat price, according to the website.
Prospective builders can search MadCAD’s code library by topic, area or code standard, and features codes ranging from ASHRAE to SMACNA.
Construction ESG platform
Savannah, Georgia-based Green Badger makes a SaaS platform for builders with a core focus on sustainability. With its Construction ESG platform, for example, contractors can keep an eye on M/WBE and vendor data on their jobsites track carbon, water and energy data. It also streamlines the Corporate Social Responsibility reporting process, according to its website. The program is available on phones, tablets and computers.
Carbon footprint analysis
London-based software firm Qflow, formerly Qualis Flow, collects data on sustainability and supply chain performance in one place. QFlow analyzes data from a construction project through audits and analysis and weighs material costs and waste data on site against a project’s carbon footprint, according to its website. While the product is based in the U.K., it’s available in the U.S.
Builders know that with the sheer amount of paper that floods a job, it’s hard to keep track of everything.
The pVault platform from Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Paperless Environments stores documents digitally. Users can scan and take photos of their documents, like receipts, and upload them to the platform, according to the website. It also allows cloud collaboration, meaning that the user doesn’t have to be on the computer or device that uploaded the original documents.
Timber Drive Structural Fastening System
The Structural Fastening System from Simpson Strong-Tie is a stand-up industrial screwdriver built for repetitive fastening on heavy duty jobs, like flooring and boardwalks. The fastener can adjust from 3-inch to 6 ¼-inch screws, and the diameter adjusts for #10–#12, #14–0.315", 0.316"–0.394" shanks, per the company’s website.
The firm claims the fastening system lessens the load on workers’ backs, knees and shoulders.
Air quality monitors
Following a summer of major wildfires across the country, air quality has been a hot topic among the U.S. construction industry. Enter Particles Plus’ air quality monitors, which are marketed to companies from builders to facilities managers.
Its Ambient Air Monitors can detect particles ranging in size from 5 nm to 25 μm in any outdoor environment. The company also provides Handheld Particle Counters in addition to the mounted offering, which is useful for contractors moving around a jobsite.
The Greenbuild conference is owned by Informa, the parent company of Industry Dive.