Construction Tech for the City
Technology for the city; this trend continues to take shape across the country. As local and state municipalities are constantly tasked with upgrading critical infrastructure, building and construction departments are finding value in construction technology programs that are a step up from previous efforts.
In the past, technology used at these organizations were often outdated systems, many times put together in a manner where costly integration bridges needed to be built in order for disparate systems to talk to each other. However, today more organizations are adopting full-fledged integrated systems that focus on costing, budgeting, forecasting, and planning for state divisions.
For example, last month we saw the City of Kansas City adopt technology from e-Builder, www.e-builder.net, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., to help provide management and tracking for capital improvement projects. For the city, these projects include water, sewer, roads, facility construction, and parks, among others.
The city says the selection of the software was due in part to an effort put in place to help provide more transparency to citizens. The City of Kansas City falls into the aforementioned category of those looking to replace disparate software systems with a single, city-wide solution, and having an integrated solution such as this will help provide that transparency it desires.
According to the city, past technology efforts involved custom based solutions that were neither geared for use on capital construction, nor were they owner centric. Compounding frustrations was the fact these systems would often add more time to the overall construction process, often taking weeks to compile and consolidate information for reporting purposes.
In all, the technology will be used for budgeting, planning, and management of city construction volume that will reach about $250 million. It has roughly 225 projects in some stage of design or construction on a yearly basis.
But the benefits of technology extend beyond the design and construction process. For example, City Planning and Development plan to use the system for the purpose of electronic document submittal and approval.