2014 Beck Technology Roundtable Recap

The 2014 Beck Technology Roundtable was March 26th in The Beck Group’s Imaginarium in Dallas.  The event included a project tour of First Baptist Church that was led by Beck Group Architecture, a think tank discussion on construction technology and an array of presentations from Beck Technology partners.

Beck Technology has held this annual event six times but this is the first time it was hosted in Dallas.  Having it in our backyard allowed attendees to do a project tour of a Beck Group project.  John Paul DeFrank (Principal of The Beck Group) and the First Baptist Church team of Jon Mindrup, Louis Sierra, and Jayson Kabala led attendees through the process of how technology was utilized on the landmark project.

 

After the tour, attendees participated in a construction technology think tank discussion.  Meloni McDaniel, Director of Member Programs and Services of TEXO Association, facilitated this segment of the event by asking questions that were submitted by Beck Technology, Assemble Systems, Autodesk and Leica, the four software vendors in attendance.  Attendees discussed what is working and not working in the building industry.  Best practices were shared among all attendees from architecture, engineering and construction.  The think tank conversation was highly collaborative and gave Roundtable participants the chance to share their vision for the industry’s future as well as where technology can help innovate design and construction.

Presentations were kicked off by Brad Brown, CEO/President of TEXO Association.  Brad spoke about the current state of the construction industry and where it is going.  In his role, Brad meets with people all over the country about construction trends.  Historically, he stated, innovation waves have moved from the west coast to the east coast.  Recently, however, 9 out of 10 projects that he hears about are based in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  Brad said, “We are in an area that is a breeding ground for construction innovation.”

Other presenters included:

  • Aaron Haas, VP of Pre-Construction & Construction at The Howard Hughes Corporation
    • Beck Technology has partnered with The Howard Hughes Corporation (HHC) to provide project planning technology.  HHC has in process of several new developments and their use of technology to develop scope of work has blossomed in this partnership.
  • Dr. Forest Flager, Lecturer & Researcher at Center for Integrated Facility Engineering (CIFE) at Stanford University, and Eric Fritsche, Senior Software Engineer at Beck Technology
    • Stanford University and Beck Technology have had a long partnership in research and development.  Eric provided a high level overview of Beck Technology’s new product, Optioneer, while Forest showcased research being conducted by CIFE as it relates to design optimization upon which the Optioneer is based.
  • John Reich, Preconstruction Manager at The Beck Group, and Jeff Ratcliff, Senior Project Manager at The Beck Group
    • John and Jeff provided case studies of Beck Group healthcare projects that utilize DProfiler as well as the advanced logic database.  Their approach to projects is truly an integrated effort between design and construction which has led to better scope clarity with owners.
  • Tim Blood, Preconstruction Project Manager at Sundt, and Jonathan Bowser, Senior Software Engineer at Beck Technology
    • Sundt saw a need for a customized estimating platform and approached Beck Technology to help them create a solution.  Tim spoke about Sundt’s estimating needs and how their processes are becoming more efficient due to Beck Technology’s new product Estimator.  Jonathan talked about the collaboration between Sundt and Beck Technology that went into creating the Estimator which required close interaction with Sundt’s estimating team and Beck Technology’s software development team.
  • Ray Catlin, Executive Vice President at EMJ Construction
    • EMJ Construction is a new DProfiler client and currently implementing the software across the entire company.  Ray spoke about EMJ’s technology utilization and how Macro BIM will allow his company to be proactive on project pursuits while setting themselves apart from their competition by offering owners a deeper understanding of project requirements.

Recordings of the presentations are available on the Beck Technology YouTube channel.