BuiltWorlds’ top 10 most popular articles of all time

It’s a question a lot of people ask us. And maybe it’s the chill in the air that makes us nostalgic and think about the 3+ years we’ve been around.

What are BuiltWorlds’ top 10 most read articles of all time?

There’s a healthy mix from 2015, 2016, and 2017. Drumroll, please…


10. Inspiring future engineers, Hollywood-style

Everyone loves a good next-gen story. Especially now, when there’s a dearth of labor and student interest in the industry. The unique combination of big backing from our industry (from American Society of Civil Engineers and Bechtel) along with an inspiring story about young engineers, makes this IMAX movie — appropriately titled, Dream Big — a breath of fresh air in today’s entertainment. That’s why we’re not surprised it made #10 on our list.


9. Drones away! FAA says AEC use will soar

Drones are one of those fast-growing tools that are quickly becoming ubiquitous on the jobsite. Even when we released this article earlier this year, we didn’t see the sheer amount of adoption (and acceptance) that we do today. In this story, the FAA predicted drone use would multiply 10x from 2016 to 2021. Those are some serious numbers.


8. SF’s sinking tower poses myriad challenges

Oh, the sinking condo saga. This was the first article in a two-part story about a luxury condo in downtown San Francisco that began to lean 2+ inches back in 2016. With high profile residents (Joe Montana is often cited as one of them), this story was sure to garner attention. Not only did our story pick up amongst the AEC audience, but furious San Francisco residents took to it on social media as well. What was more important to us, however, was: How do we learn from this and fix it?


7. 8 companies bringing robotics and automation to construction

Listicles are great. I mean, you’re reading one right now, after all. And that’s one reason why our article featuring 8 up and coming companies made it to this list. But we gather the real culprit is the focus on robotics and automation, two very hot topics for our industry. Both are still in their relative infancy — when it comes to the adoption bell curve — and we’re still excited to see the new and viable solutions leveraging robotics and automation that are continuing to roll out.


6. Panama’s epic, wider path between the seas

We’ve grown to appreciate our community’s interest and excitement over big, cool, or seemingly impossible projects across the industry. When the Panama Canal doubled in size in the summer of 2016, the project drew lots of attention from our audience. Aside from missing deadlines, budget overruns, and structural issues, the project was big. And it involved many stakeholders, including MWH Global, TetraTech, and the Panama Canal Authority. Projects are kind of like clubs, aren’t they? We all like to see who’s involved.


5. BIM — Sorry, but one size fits no one!

Written by a contributor to BuiltWorlds, this is one example of an article that really has legs (it’s from back in 2015). It provides sound advice — that’s still usable today — on how to strategically tailor the use of BIM to each individual company, which is applicable whether you’re trying to up your BIM game internally or provide services for a client. One thing the contributor mentions at the end of the article: “I am confident that in a few years BIM will move to a business as usual activity,” he says. It’s only been two years, but he’s right — it’s come a very long way to become a must-have for many, many projects.


4. Virtual valhalla speeds new Vikings stadium

There were a lot of plusses to this story.

  1. It was a big project with big names.
  2. It featured a really unique design that created engineering and construction challenges.
  3. It was one of many sports stadia and other cultural/entertainment projects that were (and still are) proliferating around the globe.

Oh yeah. And the Minnesota Vikings picked it up. #thanksguys


3. Developer denies it duped residents of sinking SF condo

That’s right. Part two of the saga beat out part one (see #8 on the list). The story gets hairier as the Millenium Tower developer denies any neglect in notifying residents about the sinking building. It’s a project fraught with engineering challenges and a lot of pointing fingers, as nearby construction is blamed, the developer is blamed, and the contractor, structural engineer, and other stakeholders, certainly blamed. If there were “juicy gossip” in the industry, this would probably be it.


2. The top 5 sustainable NFL stadiums

Based on this and our #4 story, we conclude that we should only write about sports. Just kidding. But in all seriousness, football is a big part of American culture, which is why it didn’t surprise us when we saw this article trending again at the start of the 2016 and 2017 football seasons. And improving the sustainability game (no pun intended) in our buildings is becoming increasingly important in our urbanizing world.


1. Tower’s tuning fork design conquers tight site

And our most popular article of all time is… 150 North Riverside! This big project featured one of Chicago’s most prime locations that was continually being passed up by developers due to its extremely narrow width. We covered the multiple engineering, design, and construction challenges this unique project presented and the decisions Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Goettsch Partners, Clark Construction, and other stakeholders brought to the table. It’s a great story with a lot of players, new problems, and smart solutions.

Were you surprised by any of the top 10? Anything you thought should have made it…but didn’t?

Note: We didn’t include our recent infographics — The Internet of Things on the Jobsite  and 50 Emerging Players in Smart Buildings — in this list, but they are two of our most popular pieces of content. You can find them here and here.


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