One positive impact that the COVID-19 crisis could create is the opportunity for governments to address infrastructure needs through stimulus, stakeholder engagement, and innovation. To that end, and for the third consecutive year, the global infrastructure giant AECOM recently released its “Future of Infrastructure” report, which is always a great read about the zeitgeist of the infrastructure industry. This year’s edition covers infrastructure stimulus, reopening airports post-COVID, building a “better case” for infrastructure investment, resiliency, effectively deploying private finance, net-zero energy projects, mobility in mega-cities, and innovation.Read More
After nearly three years of revisions spurred by public opposition and data privacy concerns, project approvals for Sidewalk Labs’ Quayside “smart city” project in Toronto were set for a June 25 vote. But recently, in an open post on Medium, CEO Dan Doctoroff announced that Sidewalk is dropping the project. So what’s next for the Alphabet-backed startup? In this long-form article, we take a look at its plans for Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners, and how its investment model could help spur innovation across a spate of technologies in diverse market sectors, from mobility and wastewater to renewables and other “smart city” technologies.Read More
What does COVID-19 mean for AEC industry startups, public companies, and the future of the construction industry?
In this long-form article, AEC Labs takes a look at whether recent capital inflows to the construction industry could be redirected toward more established players who may struggle to emerge from the shadow of COVID. We also ask if COVID will put the brakes on capital flowing into the sector entirely and drive increased consolidation across the industry. What about construction tech’s prospects, valuations, and the future of construction tech more broadly? There’s a lot to unpack here!Read More
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!Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
Where, how, and why governments are applying blockchain technology and smart contracts to real estate transactions, and what It could mean for construction
Transparency and reducing transaction costs. Noble goals, for sure, and perhaps much easier to reach in the near future for both real estate and, perhaps, construction transactions through the power of blockchain. In this article, which we plan to update regularly as new governments and jurisdictions implement blockchain technology for real estate, we take a closer look with an eye towards how these systems might ultimately impact the civil engineering and construction industries.Read More
The future of the built environment: what new technology will be most disruptive to the construction industry?
I had the pleasure of sitting on a panel at the first Builtworlds Project Conference in New York City that discussed the future of the construction industry. What technologies will be most disruptive both in the short- and long-term? Where are our respective AEC organizations seeing specific challenges and opportunities for innovation? In this article, I’ve outlined some of those questions as posed to the panel with my own answers.Read More
This is a response piece to a list of 8 design firm inefficiencies recently discussed at Building Design + Construction magazine. In it, we analyze each, and suggest how construction tech could provide a solution. Our biggest takeaway? The AEC industry is changing rapidly on numerous fronts, and firms need to adapt and evolve or otherwise risk becoming obsolete.Read More
AECOM research report, “Without Limits,” highlights need for innovation, tech in future of infrastructure
AEC industry giant AECOM’s first-ever research report, “Without Limits: The Future of Infrastructure” has some interesting insights and data about current attitudes toward technology, innovation, and project delivery models, culled from survey questions and interviews with over 500 AEC industry professionals and executives.Read More
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The robots are coming! (for the construction industry)Feb 25, 2019 | Robots