Research + Tech

Technology could help attract next generation of construction workers

Although the construction industry may appear hesitant to embrace new technology compared with other industries, many construction companies are taking steps to implement helpful technology on job sites. As the industry continues to evolve, companies will have to embrace more innovation to attract millennial workers and those even younger, according to

Millennials have grown up with digital devices, and many possess emerging technology skills companies may be able to leverage on job sites, including drones, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, smartphone apps, tablets and wearables.

"Job sites today are so far removed from what millennials have come to expect in their daily lives," says Chad Hollingsworth, co-founder and CEO of Triax Technologies, Norwalk, Conn. "They expect new solutions to do their jobs better, to get rid of manual processes."

Closing the gap between seasoned construction professionals and millennials could prove challenging. Seasoned pros may be hesitant to adopt new systems, and younger, tech-savvy individuals may not have much experience with traditional construction methods.

"Older generations look to millennials for how to incorporate the tech into the job site," says Paul Gomori, application engineering manager for JCA Electronics, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Additionally, millennials' attitude and outlook toward life and their careers can help entice them to work in the construction industry.

"Millennials want to add value, make an impact and find meaning in what they're doing," Hollingsworth says. "This carries over into their professional lives."

But attracting millennials during the ongoing workforce shortage is not the only advantage of having more technology on job sites, according to Barry Peyton, product manager for Intelliwave Technologies, Leduc, Alberta. He says newer devices and methods can help improve efficiency and productivity and produce tangible results.

Hollingsworth also recognizes the long-term benefits of technology integration at construction job sites.

"The right construction technology can centralize information and communication, improve safety and reduce the amount of time spent on non-value-added tasks," he says. "It is something (workers) can use to develop their skills, streamline daily tasks and ultimately become better at their jobs."

Building Safety Month recognizes the importance of building codes

Government agencies, corporations, nonprofit organizations and building industry professionals are invited to celebrate the International Code Council's (ICC's) 38th annual Building Safety Month in May.

Building Safety Month is a global event highlighting the importance of building safety codes and the role code officials have in providing safe places for people to live, work and play. Modern building codes and standards incorporate the latest technology to help designers and builders create safe, resilient structures.

"Modern, regularly updated building codes ensure the homes we live in and the schools, hospitals, offices and stores we frequent are able to withstand structural failures, fires and natural disasters," says ICC CEO Dominic Sims. "These codes affect each and every one of us every day of our lives."

More than 50 state governors, ICC chapters and local leaders have issued proclamations in support of Building Safety Month, and 19 organizations are financially sponsoring the initiative, including the National Association of Home Builders and National Institute of Building Sciences.

Throughout the month, ICC, local building departments and other supporters are bringing together architects, builders, manufacturers, code officials and other industry experts to discuss the importance of building codes and why they matter. A calendar of Building Safety Month events is available at

NRCA announces significant updates to Roof Wind Designer

NRCA has updated Roof Wind Designer, an online wind-load calculator intended to help roofing professionals determine roof systems' design wind loads for many commonly encountered building types subject to code compliance.

The free calculator has been updated to reflect significant changes made to ASCE 7, "Minimum Design Loads and Associated Criteria for Buildings and Other Structures," including basic wind map changes, new roof zone layouts and updates to pressure coefficients.

Roof Wind Designer now can perform wind-load calculations for the 2016 version of ASCE 7, and users can choose between three versions of the standard: ASCE 7-05, ASCE 7-10 and ASCE 7-16.

The 2016 version also can be used on flat buildings up to 160 feet using the standard's Chapter 30, Part 4: Buildings with 60ft < h ≤ 160ft (Simplified), enabling users to calculate a wider range of buildings. Design wind loads for other applicable buildings are calculated pursuant to simplified low-rise procedures for each standard.

Roof Wind Designer initially was developed in cooperation with the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association and North/East Roofing Contractors Association.

Additional information about Roof Wind Designer is available at


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