Construction Industry is Capitalizing on Integrated Preconstruction Technology

Builders across the construction industry are adopting integrated preconstruction technology at increasingly rapid rates. The use of an integrated preconstruction platform significantly reduces the risk of errors that are inherent with the number of tools being used by preconstruction departments. Integrating both 2D and BIM-based takeoff while supporting unit-based and crew-based estimating with the ability to compare the projects with the company’s own cost history brings significant efficiency gains to the preconstruction workflow.

General contractors and construction management for-a-fee firms are being tasked with producing more estimating deliverables in less time, and in a piecemeal collaboration structure. This industry trend has led companies to search for technology that not only understands this dynamic shift in preconstruction but will also continue to grow as the built environment evolves and encourages collaboration within one platform across multiple disciplines. Since DESTINI Estimator became publicly available in 2015, over 30 companies on the ENR “Top 400 Contractors” list have made the shift to integrated preconstruction technology, including Balfour Beatty, The Korte Company, Gilbane, Layton Construction Company, and Cumming Corporation. Read more

AEC Firms Go Outside the Box

This article was written by John Caulfield, Senior Director for Building Team, and published on March 22, 2019 by Building Design + Construction

Who’d have thought that the file cabinet would make a comeback in the digital world?

Want evidence? Just listen to how two developers describe their recently released software products:

“It’s almost like a file cabinet in the cloud,” says George Pontikes, CEO of Satterfield & Pontikes Construction, about Assemble Systems, whose platform helps users manage bids, estimate costs, and plan and run projects and BIM across a project’s network of people and work.

“It becomes a file cabinet,” says Todd Wynne, VP of Business Development and Partnerships with Bluebeam, who with his colleague Joe Williams, while both were at Rogers-O’Brien Construction, developed Atlas, a digital mapping tool that uses geo-location software to bridge the gap between 3D models and 2D drawings.

Aside from their functionality, what distinguishes these tools is that both were incubated by AEC firms with an eye toward commercialization.

While it’s common for firms to develop tools for internal use, the leap to marketing new products to the industry at large is still the exception. Thornton Tomasetti’s CORE studio is one of the more robust examples of an AEC firm that has set up an entity specifically to nurture ideas and evaluate their marketability.

Other firms also want their creations to make a bigger splash. “Kieran Timberlake does only 10 to 15 projects a year, so internal use wouldn’t have the same impact of expanding a product as marketing it to the industry,” says Roderick Bates, LEED AP, Principal and Researcher, Environmental Management and Commercialization with Kieran Timberlake. The ideas that its KT Innovations incubation group has helped shepherd include Tally, a lifecycle analysis app.

When Beck Group set up Beck Technology 23 years ago, its goal was to find ways for contractors and their clients to make decisions and outcomes more predictable. What emerged was Beck’s still-popular Destini suite of products that includes Profiler and Estimator.

Here’s a roundup of six AEC firms who have incubated startups and spinoff companies aimed at commercializing tech tools for the industry. READ MORE

Estimating Life with ERDMAN

Curious about how preconstruction technology can benefit your company? Then you’ll definitely want to click the play button. Taimoor Khan, Director of Preconstruction at ERDMAN, sat down with Connor Ward, Account Executive at Beck Technology, to discuss some of the most common preconstruction challenges he’s encountered throughout his career and how taking advantage of emerging technology helped him discover innovative solutions to these challenges. He also talked about the importance of developing collaborative partnerships with software vendors, and why it’s beneficial for companies to embrace technology as a step towards enhancing their preconstruction offerings.

Watch the full discussion BELOW!

LS Black Constructors Select DESTINI Estimator to Support the Construction Firm’s Rapid Growth

Beck Technology, leading software and service firm for the commercial design and construction industry, announced that LS Black Constructors has chosen DESTINI® Estimator as its new enterprise-wide pre-construction platform.

 

Headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, LS Black Constructors is a 41-year-old construction company building complex projects in the federal, civil/industrial, and commercial markets. The company wanted to grow its pre-construction team as well as invest in the firm’s future by investing in technology to help them with processes. LS Black’s team did an exploration of Estimator and determined that the estimating software was the ideal solution for the company’s current and future needs.

 

The multi-year enterprise agreement will enable the company to utilize DESTINI Estimator in all of its pre-construction efforts.

 

“I saw DESTINI Estimator a couple of years ago and thought the platform was the right choice for LS Black because we are growing rapidly and needed a software that could support us today as well as keep up with our growth,” said Brandon Davis, Director of Pre-construction for LS Black Constructors. “The Estimator exploration was eye-opening and the unique implementation plan the Beck Technology team put together for us was collaborative.”

 

“When construction companies look to spur their growth one of the areas they focus on is pre-construction,” said Connor Ward, Account Executive at Beck Technology. “LS Black’s team not only had their focus on making their company better but they also made sure Beck Technology’s future aligned with theirs.”

 

Cumming Chooses DESTINI Estimator to Enhance Preconstruction Offerings

Beck Technology, leading software and service firm for the commercial design and construction industry, announced that Cumming has chosen DESTINI® Estimator as its new enterprise-wide pre-construction platform.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, Cumming has over 30 offices globally and is ranked No. 20 in ENR’s Top 100 Construction Management-for-Fee Firms for 2018. The company has been in business for over 20 years and focuses on complex projects in the education, healthcare, themed entertainment, and hospitality markets. With a goal of streamlining the cost estimating process, Cumming selected DESTINI Estimator to help create consistency across all of its teams. The construction consultancy wanted the ability to better compare and benchmark its estimates and use the data in more value-added ways.

The multi-year enterprise agreement will enable the company to utilize DESTINI Estimator in all of its estimating efforts.

“Having one platform to manage all our cost management projects is critical as we move into the future,” said David Baird, Executive Vice President at Cumming. “Consolidating our multiple pre-construction tools down to one platform is a major change, however it’s necessary as we streamline our estimating process. I expect Estimator to be the foundation that our cost management team uses to stay at the forefront of innovation and technology.  With Beck Technology as our trusted partner, I believe we will be very successful.”

“Beck Technology continues to be the team that I rely on for pre-construction advancements,” said Chris Wilson, Director at Cumming. “I’ve worked with them in the past using DESTINI Profiler and have a tremendous amount of trust in their team. Using Estimator provides us with another tool to use in our analysis of construction costs which will give our clients better insight into their projects.”

“Cumming shared its vision of what a better construction industry would mean for its business and clients,” said Cheyanne Hampton, Account Executive at Beck Technology. “As the construction consultancy explored Estimator, they also fully utilized our implementation team and support channels. Cumming isn’t just purchasing a pre-construction solution, but helping make pre-construction better for the entire industry by setting an example of how to put customers first.”

Peeling Back the Paper: How Marketing Reveals the Bedrock of Estimating

This article was written by Lucy Zeiger, Marketing and Creative Manager at Harper General Contractors, and published in the March/April 2019 edition of DCD Magazine.

If you were to ask someone what makes a building beautiful, most people would doubtless answer with something like this: gorgeous hardwood flooring, eye-catching wallpaper, beautiful light fixtures. You probably wouldn’t hear anyone talking about an incredibly well-designed foundation or a beautifully executed frame. But without the foundation or the frame, all of that visually appealing interior design would have nowhere to go -and without the wallpaper and the flooring to transform the insulation and the concrete, not many people would want to purchase the building.

Marketing and estimating are often viewed in a similar light. At first glance, the two jobs seem like the most unusual pairing in the world. Marketing usually brings to mind fun and creativity – a job where the focus is on artistic pursuits like designing graphics, developing strong branding, and writing interesting articles and press releases. Estimating, on the other hand, conjures up images of long hours, stuffy cubicles, and rows upon rows of numbers and charts full of data that can often look meaningless to the casual observer.

It’s also true that in the A/E/C industry, marketing and estimating may not cross paths that frequently. Marketing often gets tied up in business development, while estimators – as anyone who’s ever worked for a general contractor will know – are constantly slammed with deadlines. But just as a well-executed interior can point to the equally beautiful foundation beneath it, building a partnership between marketing and estimating can bring huge value to a general contractor, in addition to strengthening project proposals. How? Just take a look at Harper General Contractors, and some of the ways their company has benefited from the collaboration between marketing and estimating. Read more

Gray Construction Selects DESTINI Estimator as Pre-Construction Solution

Beck Technology, leading software and service firm for the commercial design and construction industry, announced that Gray Construction has chosen DESTINI® Estimator as its new enterprise-wide pre-construction platform.

Headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky, Gray Construction has been one of the leading industry pioneers in design-build integration. Since their formation in 1960, Gray has expanded into multiple offices both in the U.S. and internationally. The company specializes in engineering, architecture and construction services, with projects spanning across a variety of markets including manufacturing, automotive,  food and beverage, and distribution. Gray Construction’s team needed to find an estimating solution that could keep up with the pace of their growth and align with their company-wide standards.

The multi-year enterprise agreement will enable the company to utilize DESTINI Estimator in all of its estimating efforts.

“At the rate that our company is growing, we needed a platform that is dynamic and adaptable,” said David Florence, Vice President of Pre-Construction Systems and Services at Gray Construction. “We definitely feel like DESTINI Estimator is a system that can shift according to our individual needs, and we’re excited to see where it takes us.”

“Gray Construction has been a forward-thinking company since their inception in 1960, and we believe Estimator will only strengthen their culture of innovation,” said Cheyanne Hampton, Account Executive at Beck Technology. “We are looking forward to collaborating with them and learning from their experiences and their input.”

Estimating Life with McHugh

You’ll definitely want to hit the play button on this month’s webinar. Doug Maiden, Manager of Professional Services for Beck Technology, sat down to talk with Dave Bartolai, Vice President of Preconstruction at McHugh. Dave shared his team’s experiences in transitioning from a primarily Excel-based estimating system to a database-driven system, some of the challenges they encountered during that implementation, and how they were able to collaborate with Beck Technology to overcome those challenges. Dave also gave some tips for successfully implementing a new estimating system, as well as where he sees technology taking preconstruction in the future.

Watch the full discussion BELOW!

Estimating Life with Sundt

This month’s webinar is definitely one you won’t want to miss, so if you couldn’t attend, click the link below to watch the full interview. Stephen Stoltz, Manager of Implementation Services for Beck Technology, took a few minutes to sit down with Melissa Love, Senior Estimator for Sundt Construction, to talk about some of the ways using DESTINI Estimator has impacted them as a company. Melissa gave some background behind the collaborative relationship between Sundt and Beck Technology, as well as where they see Estimator taking their company in the future.

Watch the full discussion BELOW!

ERDMAN Selects DESTINI Estimator to Enhance Pre-Construction Offerings


Beck Technology, leading software and service firm for the commercial design and construction industry, announced that ERDMAN has chosen DESTINI® Estimator as its new enterprise-wide pre-construction platform.

ERDMAN is nationally recognized as a preeminent provider of healthcare facilities and senior living communities. Known for being one of the first truly integrated design-build firms in the United States, ERDMAN applies an Integrative Thinking approach to solving the complex challenges of healthcare and helping their clients build healthier communities.

The multi-year enterprise agreement will enable the company to utilize DESTINI Estimator in all of its pre-construction efforts.

“I saw DESTINI Estimator in its earliest stages, and even then it was a truly innovative product,” said Taimoor Khan, Director of Pre-construction at ERDMAN. “With the advancements and additions in the product since then, it became an obvious choice for ERDMAN, especially as we continue growing every year. The lengths Beck Technology has gone to implement our feedback into Estimator only confirmed our decision.”

“We always strive to make sure that Estimator exceeds customer expectations, and part of that includes listening to and implementing client feedback,” said Connor Ward, Account Executive at Beck Technology. “We’re excited to continue collaborating with ERDMAN, getting Estimator implemented, and hearing more ideas they bring to the table as the whole team starts using it on projects.”