Research + Tech

Construction technology investments surpass 2017

A July report from Jones Lang LaSalle Inc., Chicago, shows during the first half of 2018, investments in construction technology surpassed the previous year's total by 30 percent, according to

Spending in the construction technology segment reportedly is outpacing overall tech startup investment growth in the U.S. The report states: "It's no mere accident that this uptick in [construction technology] investing coincides with an industry plagued by cost fluctuations, labor shortage issues and overall lack of productivity improvements—creating what many venture capitalists view as a prime opportunity for disruption."

Jones Lang LaSalle estimates construction technology-focused startups will receive funding through about 120 deals by the end of the year.

The report also indicates collaboration software and project management purveyors account for about 112 construction technology startups, followed by about 50 firms focused on off-site techniques and nearly 40 mobile-centric startups.

Three startups valued at more than $1 billion—Katerra, Menlo Park, Calif.; Uptake Technologies, Chicago; and Procore Technologies, Carpinteria, Calif.—are in the top five construction technology startups in terms of amount of funding received, at $1.1 billion, $287 million and $180 million, respectively.

The report states: "Off-site construction, cloud-based software and new, tech-focused hardware are capturing the largest investor dollars and customer bases. Artificial intelligence and big data solutions are a close second but are positioned to make even larger impacts."

NIBS, ASTM International and RCI Inc. announce collaboration

The National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), ASTM International and RCI Inc. issued a joint statement July 11 announcing their intent to avoid duplicating efforts relating to their respective building enclosure commissioning (BECx) programs.

NIBS has begun launching a series of new BECx certification modules as part of an agreement with ASTM International to create a joint certificate in BECx. NIBS unveiled three two-hour pilot modules during the BEST Building Enclosure Science & Technology Conference™ in Philadelphia in April. Additional modules will be unveiled during a workshop at NIBS' Building Innovation 2019 Conference & Expo Jan. 7-10 in Washington, D.C. ASTM International will work with NIBS to develop e-learning versions of each module to provide users online access through ASTM International's learning management system.

In partnership with Professional Testing Inc., an Orlando, Fla.-based certification and examination company, RCI is developing certifications for various BECx roles as defined by ASTM International. RCI's goal is to develop full-scope certifications for each area to advance the level of quality and standards in the U.S. BECx industry. The certifications are being developed in accordance with ISO/IEC 17024:2012 requirements. To ensure all stakeholders' needs have been taken into consideration, industry experts are invited to serve on job task analysis working groups to be hosted at the University of Wisconsin—Madison in October.

ASTM International committees present merit awards

ASTM International has announced Randall Ober, product development consultant for Carlisle Construction Materials, Carlisle, Pa., has received an Award of Merit from ASTM International's Committee D08 on Roofing and Waterproofing, and Christopher White, research chemist for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Md., has received an Award of Merit from ASTM International's Committee C24 on Building Seals and Sealants. Established in 1949, the Award of Merit is ASTM International's highest recognition for individual contributions to developing standards and includes an accompanying title of fellow.

Ober was honored for his outstanding leadership, distinguished service and personal dedication to developing and promoting Committee D08's voluntary standards, particularly his contribution to the group regarding organic roof coverings. A member of ASTM International since 1990, Ober previously received Committee D08's Award of Appreciation in 2005 and 2014, Distinguished Leadership Award in 2010 and 25 Year Service Award in 2015.

White was honored for his dedicated service to Committee C24, particularly his commitment to standards development and his respected technical expertise and leadership. A member of ASTM International since 2002, White previously received Committee C24's Award of Appreciation in 2008 and Lou Toporcer Hall of Fame Award in 2013. White also is active in the American Chemical Society, American Physical Society and Society of Plastics Engineers.



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