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Hivot Weekly round-up 05/11/2022

Bringing you this week's must-reads for construction and industrial trades workers. 

Computer supervision offers construction safety solution

Betterworks, the winner of the Innovation Saskatchewan Innovation Challenge, in partnership with the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association (SCSA), presented their solution Vergo at the SCSA’s Constructing Safety Leadership Conference. The challenge gave Betterworks a 16-week residency with SCSA and Saskatchewan Innovation to develop the technology.
Vergo, which stands for video ergonomics, is a software product that aims to prevent injuries in the workplace. Christian Browne, president and founder of Betterworks, explained the technology integrates with existing worksite cameras to automatically perform ergonomic risk evaluations from the images in minutes.

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US construction tech firms brace for increased cyberattacks

Cybersecurity experts caution against something far more foundational than ransomware attacks or private data thefts when it comes to threats in the construction sector: Their eyes are on the security of building materials.  

“Take for instance the construction of a bridge, you have to have that strength integrity,” said Jason Vigh, principal consultant for 1898 & Co., a Kansas City, Missouri-based business, technology and cybersecurity consulting firm. “What if [hackers] change the systems that are actually being used to automate [the project] and it collapses… all because the supply chain is compromised in the first place.”

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Construction costing more, taking longer to complete

A shortage of materials is putting construction on hold as workers wait months for back-ordered items to become available. The construction industry is also seeing the highest price hike in more than 50 years.

"I have never seen it quite like this," Linda Allard, the president of LA Design said. "Pretty much everything has somewhat doubled in time to get products to our job sites."

For Allard, it means the typical renovation project is taking longer and costs more.

"We are ordering materials earlier," Allard said. "We're looking at alternative products."

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Formwork Labs aims to build ‘the YC of construction tech'

Construction tech is one of those sectors that has not historically been considered “sexy” in a startup world that often favors glitzier technology. But construction fuels the commercial and real estate industries, which in turn impacts all of us in one way or another.

Historically, the industry has been reluctant to embrace technology, but as there have been generational shifts in leadership, that has slowly changed.

Procore and Autodesk are two examples of ventures in the construction space that went from startup to publicly traded companies today worth $6.2 billion and $40.5 billion, respectively. But beyond those two companies, there are scores of others eager to break into the industry.


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4 Factors Delaying Digital Transformation in Construction

While digital transformation offers the promise of greater efficiencies and productivity, adoption has been especially challenging for the construction industry. Yet in an October 2021 survey of construction professionals conducted by Dodge Construction Network, only 15% have implemented a digital transformation strategy. What’s the disconnect?

One explanation is the complexity of the ecosystem – owners, designers, builders, insurers, etc. all have to participate in digital, voluntarily or not. A second is that fast moving projects generally get priority over IT infrastructure projects. And a third explanation is the cultural divide between the building trades and knowledge workers.

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