Earlier this summer, I participated in an internal AECOM client event that discussed the future of “integrated” mobility hubs in different types of geographic locations (urban, suburban, and rural). What is an integrated mobility hub? It’s our working definition for real estate or infrastructure development that incorporates mixed uses, smart-city technology, public spaces, and multi-modal transportation options, from autonomous vehicles and buses to ride-sharing alternatives, scooters, and drones. At the event, I spoke specifically about e-commerce applications, public-private partnerships, and how certain kinds of P3 models might be used to foster the development of these hubs. I thought it would be worthwhile to transform my talking points from the event into a longer form article here at AEC Labs, so here we go!
Gamifying Infrastructure: Why the Future for Bridging the Infrastructure Funding Gap Could be Crossed on the Blockchain
It’s been quiet around here lately thanks to some demands around the AEC Labs home office, but we’re happy to be back and have some great content and initiatives planned around here in 2019, so I hope you will stick with us! As some of you may know, I spent a lot of time last fall thinking about how blockchain technology could apply to the construction industry. In the course of working through that effort, I also found myself increasingly thinking more specifically about how a blockchain solution or protocol (but not necessarily a standalone cryptocurrency) could help bridge the $3.5 trillion infrastructure funding gap (for maintenance on existing infrastructure alone!) through 2025. And, with infrastructure getting a single mention 55 minutes into this week’s State of the Union Address, I think it remains timely to consider how the country can possibly bridge that gap.
The construction software startup Grit Virtual is using virtual reality models that are crowdsourced from labor in the project trenches to better plan construction schedules and prioritize labor workflows in the field.
A recent article in the UK’s Construction News publication (also picked up nationally here in the US by Bisnow) suggests that Amazon is “reinventing” the construction and real estate development markets thanks to its incredible growth, both in the US and abroad. But what, specifically, does that mean? And should construction industry stakeholders feel “emboldened” or “threatened” by Amazon’s disruptive tactics? Could the company vertically integrate into a development, design, and construction operation that serves third-party clients? We tackle all of these questions in this article here at AEC Labs.
The potential “tokenization” of infrastructure assets via an “initial public token sale” that would allow communities (or perhaps developers) to raise money for infrastructure projects, with the potential for those tokens to increase in value over time (like many other cryptocurrencies), seems a step closer here in 2018 with real estate cryptocurrency developer BitRent holding an initial coin offering earlier this year.
SaaS Contech Startup, Reconstruct, Integrating AI, BIM to Boost Productivity and Predict Problem Projects
Reconstruct calls itself an integrator of the “ABCs” of construction tech (artificial intelligence, BIM, and computer vision); its product is a software tool that simultaneously applies reality capturing, BIM, and project scheduling. It assembles images and data from drones, handheld cameras, and laser scanners to create 3D models of a project during construction. Simultaneously, the model integrates the project schedule from Oracle’s Primavera, Microsoft Project, and BIM models.