BuiltWorlds Analysts’ Pre-Americas Summit Takeaways

Ahead of the Americas Summit, the BuiltWorlds Analyst Team unpacked their key takeaways from their research findings that they will be presenting at the Summit. Read below to gain invaluable insights from four industry experts, and don't miss the chance to sign up to connect with them during the three-day event.

BuiltWorlds’ 2023 Americas Summit is quickly approaching, with pre-events beginning on September 19 in Chicago. This three-day event is curated for top-level, C-suite executives within the AEC industry to connect and discuss the trajectory of the industry with all of the ever-changing technology and innovation. BuiltWorlds is thrilled to be hosting this conference that will feature speakers who are industry pioneers and drive excellence within the ecosystem.

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Sean Wrenn

Research Analyst

Focus: Building Tech/Sustainability

Key Takeaways

  • Sustainability teams at contractors are playing an increasingly important role — responses show that they were most commonly involved in the design phase, followed by estimating, bid management, and project modeling.
  • The majority of respondents were tracking either scope 1 or scope 1 & 2, and far fewer were tracking scope 1,2, & 3. However, conversations with members hint that they're looking for more effective ways to accurately track and report scope 3.
  • Five types of "High-performance materials" were identified by respondents. Mass timber was the most frequently identified material being leveraged by contractors, noting its increased strength, versatility, stability, and less energy needed to produce.
  • BIM remains the top technology used by respondents to aid in planning and design efforts.

Alexis Adams

Research Analyst

Focus: AI/Construction Tech

Key Takeaways

  •  74% of survey respondents reported that they have adopted one or more robotics solutions, but implementation rates are much lower, with only about 7% of respondents using a robotics solution across on every project. 44% of firms that reported they use robotics are just testing robotics out on a few projects. These stats suggest that there is a lot of excitement around trying out robotics solutions, but that most contractors are still exploring and have not yet found their dedicated robotics solution.
  • There are notably low rates of adoption and implementation for wearable solutions. Not only are contractors not widely using wearables, but those that do use them really do not like them. Wearables had the lowest satisfaction ratings of any technology type studied in the Tools, Equipment, and Robotics report.
  • Equipment and machinery marketplace solutions are not widely adopted (only about 6% of survey respondents use them across every project), but the contractors who do use them are highly satisfied with the end results.

Daniel Laboe

Director of Venture Investment

Focus: Venture

Key Takeaways

  • The global economy saw 10 years of digital pull-forward in a matter of 10 months during the pandemic lockdowns, instilling a sense of innovative urgency into the paper-trailing AEC sector
  • Construction spending has been one of the most economically agnostic sectors in the US economy with 2023 generating 7 consecutive months of record spending, driving elevated levels of venture capital into this tech-lagging industry as its digital transformation takes hold
  • Innovations surrounding sustainable infrastructure & buildings have been a primary area of VC focus in recent months, as the mounting number of Climate Tech investors begin to realize the blue ocean opportunities in environmentally focused AEC startups
  • AI-enabled technologies that have come to market in recent quarters further accelerated this sense of transformational necessity among leading AEC leaders. BuiltWorlds Venture Forum identified AI/ML as the top focus area this past quarter, a change in tune from 6 months prior when tech that had the greatest ease of implementation topped the group's survey results.

Tyler Sewall

Sr. Director

Focus: Construction Tech

Key Takeaways

  • Adoption utilization & ease-of-use categories are seemingly correlated to the perceived value of technology solutions. Technology that is ready to go, easy to train, and intuitive to use is more likely to be successful to project teams as well as the solution providers.
  • Adoption of bid management & prequalification solutions has continued to increase on an enterprise scale as preconstruction teams continue to find value in the new technology solutions available to them. Industry average solutions are rated highly across all categories, and trending upwards in categories that were previously surveyed.
  • Similarly, the adoption of estimating solutions which provide functionalities for accurate cost estimates, labor forecasting, quantity takeoffs, and value engineering have shown increases in adoption on an enterprise scale. Though estimating solutions have not proven to be 100% accurate to construction drawing pricing, they continue to prove as useful tools in the preconstruction phase.