3 Themes That Resounded Throughout Advancing Preconstruction 2023 

This May, Gordian attended Advancing Construction 2023 with a mission to learn more about the current state of the industry from active practitioners. We joined architects, engineers, estimators and more construction professionals for a few days of networking and education. A few members of Gordian’s RSMeans Data team were onsite and eager to share how Gordian’s construction cost estimating solutions can streamline the estimating process while maintaining the highest degree of accuracy. In between speaking with estimating professionals, we attended the valuable breakout sessions to hear more from A/E/C leaders across the country.

Three interesting themes echoed across every insightful day of Advancing Construction.

1. Communication Paves the Way for Seamless Collaboration

It’s a tale that’s old as time, but it continues to be a crucial part of any construction project. With so many moving parts, including multiple people weighing in on each project, having the entire project team on the same page during every phase of preconstruction is key for a successful build. Participating in breakout sessions across each knowledge track, we noticed that in each session someone mentioned experiencing a disconnect with other collaborators as they work through their projects.

Recognizing that communication tends to fall to the wayside across the board, the speakers at Advancing Construction did a great job providing easily applicable solutions. Implementing design-assist methodology that requires builder involvement in the design phase, creating weekly huddles including each stakeholder and building relationships with construction teams were highly encouraged. And while every team is different, panelists and speakers agreed that recalibrating as a unit to relay information and changes along the building lifecycle creates an environment for seamless collaboration and smoother projects.

2. Overcoming Critical Talent Shortages

One of the most valuable parts of the conference was hearing the voices of the industry. In the “Optimizing Collaboration with Designers & General Contractors in Preconstruction to Ensure Constructability” session, one question brought to the panel was pointed and profound: How can we make up for the lack of blue-collar workers? The construction industry is seeing a decline in blue-collar professionals like plumbers, electricians and others who are qualified and looking to work.  To address these concerns, panelists answered offered a few solutions to consider:

  • Partner with local schools – Tap into schools with trade extension programs, clubs and career centers for a chance to connect with the upcoming workforce. Work to create mentorship programs and build a positive relationship with your community.
  • Create an enjoyable work culture – From true open-door policies to celebrating and congratulating small wins, creating an environment where people are excited to show up every day goes a long way to retaining talent.
  • Strengthen the relationship with your current team – Get to know your team as people, not just employees. Understand their goals and create space for them to grow within their roles.
3. Proactive Planning Saves Money

Working within budgets is probably one of the biggest goals for planning construction projects and procuring construction services, next to completing the build itself. But once the build is complete, wear and tear are inevitable as users walk through the halls, use fixtures and appliances, and live and work within the space. As time goes on and crucial elements like HVAC, plumbing and electrical elements need mending, the materials and products selected during the planning phase will determine how much goes into ongoing maintenance and repair. Cutting corners to minimize costs and complete builds early can end up costing owners more in maintenance and upgrade costs in the long run. That’s why investing in planning with the entire lifecycle of the building in mind can be the most valuable, cost-saving decision leaders can make.

Lifecycle costing considers the bigger picture, yet it’s often overlooked because of the immediate stress brought on by tight budgets, short turnaround times and worker shortages. These pressures are real, but so are the benefits of long-term thinking. It’s important to plan well into the future when estimating and designing projects, and factors like fuel, water usage, maintenance and repair costs can still have an impact on the quality of your build and your reputation among clients after construction is said and done.

See how Gordian can help you in every phase of the building lifecycle.

All Hands In

Advancing Preconstruction began with and ended with optimistic energy of and hopeful excitement. Throughout the conference, both attendees and brand partners were eager to hear from each other and discuss solving the construction industry’s most challenging problems. Conversation flowed during every session, between and among attendees and speakers. Seeing so many teams come together to learn more about their industry and take home the tools to better their businesses was inspiring. After learning more about the industry, making new connections and catching up with old ones, we’re more than excited to see what Advancing Preconstruction brings in 2024!

About Gordian

Gordian is the leading provider of Building Intelligence™ Solutions, delivering unrivaled insights, robust technology and expert services to fuel customers’ success through all phases of the building lifecycle. Gordian created Job Order Contracting (JOC) and the industry-standard RSMeans Data. We empower organizations to optimize capital investments, improve project performance and minimize long-term operating expenses.