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The Art of Construction
74 minutes | Jul 29, 2021
224: Blue Collar Warrior Series: Honesty is the Best Policy
Josh Gubser and Justin Luna, Co-owners of Truth Design Build, and Jon Stambaugh, Logistics Director of AOC and Mountain View Window & Door, join us for episode 224 of Art of Construction and episode three of our Blue Collar Warrior series. Truth Design Build is a Denver-based firm that’s dedicated to working creatively, transparently and with unparalleled attention to detail, while also promoting justice and equity and minimizing their carbon footprint within their community. Their non-traditional route combined with years of trial-and-error experiences have given them wide ranges of project expertise – from remodels, to restaurants, to custom homes. Having collaborated, failed and succeeded together in the field, Josh and Justin had a keen sense of the company they wanted and didn’t want to be while founding Truth Design Build. With honesty and genuine care for their warriors and their clients, they’re able to provide better homes and lives for all involved, as opposed to putting profits before people. Tune in as Josh, Justin, Jon and Devon discuss the unique foundation and fundamentals of Truth Design Build, finding the intersection of construction, budget and design feasibility, stories of hardships and lessons learned in the field, and how sometimes the most unconventional ways of doing things are the best ways.
51 minutes | Jul 22, 2021
223: The Ultimate Building Configurator
Clifton Harness, Co-founder and CEO of TestFit, and Matt McMullen, AOC Executive Director, join us for episode 223 of Art of Construction. TestFit is a building configurator tool that speeds up and refines the decision-making process on site feasibility for multifamily, hotel, parking or garden apartment projects. By inputting certain factors such as the size of units, parking ratio and building height, TestFit’s algorithms generate an optimal solution for a site in seconds. With its generative design capabilities that reach far beyond one manually drawn iteration, the software assists architects, developers, brokers and more in fully understanding a site plan — reducing risk, time and potentially, cost. Being born into a real estate development family, housing is in Clifton’s DNA, and as a result he decided to pursue architecture. Throughout his architectural journey drawing plans, he realized that solving site plans is really about mathematics, yet that wasn't effectively included in spatial planning. He saw an opportunity to better these slow, manual processes of exploring site feasibility, and with a data-driven mindset, co-founded TestFit. Join Clifton, Matt and Devon as they discuss the origins and uses of TestFit, how their software helps evolve the construction project lifecycle to be more data-driven, and how spending less time manually configuring site plans, and more time focusing on innovation, will create more meaningful places for people to live.
42 minutes | Jul 15, 2021
222: Drone School Series: Turning Theory Into Practice
Jared McKinney, BIM Technician at Burleson Construction, and Dr. Joe Burgett, professor in the Nieri Family Department of Construction Science and Management at Clemson University, join us for episode 222 of Art of Construction and episode 2 of our Deep Dive Series looking into how contractors and affiliates can best leverage drone technology to help grow their business. In our first episode of this series we learned the science and best practices of drone hardware from Stephen Baxley, Founder & CEO of Airworx. Now that we've learned what you need to know before purchasing a drone, we're exploring the nuts and bolts of using drone technology on construction projects; straight from a prior student of Joe's drone course at Clemson. The lowest hanging fruit of what a drone does is capture a pretty picture. On a construction project, there can be endless uses for having a clear, aerial view of the entire jobsite at your fingertips at any given time. In this way, we truly connect the field to the office. But capturing pretty pictures is just scratching the surface of the value drones can bring to construction companies. Join Devon and Joe as they learn how and why Jared uses a drone for his job at Burleson Construction, the endless possibilities and use cases for drones on construction projects, and how contractors and affiliates can integrate the efficiencies and improvements that construction technology brings into their workflow.
51 minutes | Jul 8, 2021
221: Blue Collar Warrior Series: The Evolution of the Design Builder
Jonas DiCaprio, Owner of BUILT X DESIGN, and Jon Stambaugh, Logistics Director of AOC and Mountain View Window and Door, join us for episode 221 of Art of Construction and the second episode of our Blue Collar Warrior Series. The name BUILT x DESIGN or ‘Built by Design’ came from the harsh reality that too many homes are constructed without enough thought given to their design. Indeed, that will be a major focus of our Blue Collar Warrior Series — that the wisdom and experience of the skilled trades is not utilized nearly enough by architects and designers. As a result, many designs end up simply not working when it comes time to build, and it is usually the Blue Collar Warriors who are charged with cleaning up the mess and finding a new solution for the building. Having been raised by parents who designed and built homes, Jonas grew up around the trades, and his passion for creativity and hands-on work started very early on. During a pursuit in architecture, he saw the vast, messy disconnect between how buildings are designed and how they are built. By living and learning from both areas of the industry, behind the desk and on the jobsite, Jonas saw ample opportunity to fix this mutual lack of understanding — by doing both himself. This is what brought his modern design build firm, BUILT X DESIGN, to fruition. Join Jonas, Jon and Devon as they discuss the past, present and future of design building, Jon and Jonas’s collaborative successes and setbacks on joint projects, bridging the gap between trade education and trade experience, and how proactive communication on projects can conserve time and talent.
40 minutes | Jul 1, 2021
220: The Intelligent Home of the Future
Colin Billings, Founder and CEO of Orro, joins us for episode 220 of Art of Construction. Orro is a human-centric, wellness-driven, automated intelligent living system that creates perfect lighting for your specific living habits. With simplicity and sustainability in mind, Orro detects your presence and builds on your preferences to where you can forget about turning off your lights, conserving the normally wasted energy. Having struggled with sleep and with limited information on how light impacts the body, Colin finally found rest with the help of a computer application that altered the screen’s brightness and color temperature depending on location and time of day. The desire for this type of technology throughout his entire home fueled the creation of Orro. With nearly 80 percent of first-time home buyers expecting some sort of automated system in their home, it can be headache-inducing for contractors and integrators who have tried previous smart home technologies. But unlike systems that just connect devices and focus on high-tech gadgets, Orro strives to actually make life easier, with comfort, peace of mind, energy efficiency, simple installation and direct manufacturer support at the forefront. Join Colin and Devon as they discuss the difference between a smart home and an intelligent home, the importance of recognizing how we feel in the places we live, the future of building design, and how contractors can easily anticipate the needs of their clients as the demand for smart homes continues to increase.
57 minutes | Jun 24, 2021
219: Drone School Series: More Information Equals More Trust
Stephen Baxley, Founder & CEO of Airworx, and Dr. Joe Burgett, professor in the Nieri Family Department of Construction Science and Management at Clemson University, join us for episode 219 of Art of Construction and Episode 1 of our Deep Dive Series looking into how contractors and affiliates can best leverage drone technology to help grow their business. Tune in as Stephen, Joe and Devon discuss the limitless possibilities (including public safety) of drone technology in our industry and beyond, how a relatively small investment can bring a priceless return, and the importance of proper training when working with new technology tools.
28 minutes | Jun 17, 2021
218: Blue Collar Warrior Series: Elevating the Trades
Jon Stambaugh, Logistics Director for AOC and Mountain View Window & Door, joins us for episode 218 of Art of Construction and the first episode of our new Blue Collar Warrior Series. The Blue Collar Warrior Series is a new podcast focus within the Art of Construction focused on elevating the skilled trades — the true warriors of construction. We talk a lot on our show about the new technologies and products that are transforming the building industry. And while this is definitely needed, the fate of the skilled trades is often left out of this conversation. For this reason, we decided to have a podcast focus where we can dive into the stories of the warriors out in the field who truly bring the buildings we build to life, and figure out how they come along for the ride as our industry evolves. Jon has been in the trades his entire working life. Construction is so much in his blood, his last name Stambaugh translates from German to "woodworker." He started the Blue Collar Warrior group to create a community for other likeminded trade professionals to network and help each other grow. Devon and Jon met through working together on various projects in Colorado, and continued to work together as separate subcontractors before finally deciding to join forces. Join Devon and Jon as they discuss preserving the important knowledge of the trades and carrying it forward into the future, how we can invigorate new talent to come join the trades, and their plan to elevate the blue collar warriors of construction to a new platform where they can truly grow along with the world around them.
59 minutes | May 13, 2021
217: How Do We Evolve Modular Construction?
Gary Fleisher, the Modcoach, and Matt McMullen, AOC Executive Director, join us for episode 217 of Art of Construction. Modular construction is continuing to gain momentum as a potential solution to many of the problems our industry faces. But although many see the benefits, there are still issues that need to be overcome for it to truly move forward. The fragmentation and lack of communication between different parts of this industry leaves many attempting to solve problems in a personal silo rather than collaborating with others facing similar problems. And new, innovative technology, though definitely needed, has a tendency to cause more problems than it solves if not applied on projects in the right way. Art of Construction knows all of this firsthand through our series of modular projects designed by our Executive Director Matt McMullen. We've been following Gary's writings for a while now and have always enjoyed his commentary on the good, bad, and ugly of modular construction, and felt it very much aligned with what we were experiencing. Based on this, we wanted him to come on the show. Gary was once a general contractor who eventually found himself fascinated by and working in modular construction. Following his career in modular, Gary took a chance when he launched Modular Home Coach, a blog dedicated to discussing the problems and issues he saw hurting the modular industry. After that came Modcoach Network, a hub of offsite construction information, and Modcoach Connects, a directory of experienced offsite consultants. Between gathering information and publishing many articles per week, Gary is often the one who industry professionals call for input. His passion for modular construction and bettering the industry shines through, with tough love and a little humor along the way. Join Gary, Matt and Devon on this episode as they exchange thoughts on the past, present and future of modular construction, the industry need for both seasoned construction veterans and fresh minds, how innovation cannot be forced, and the amazing things that modular is capable of – if egos and childish tendencies are left at the door.
35 minutes | May 6, 2021
216: It Takes More Than Building Materials to Construct a Successful Business
Shane Hoefer, CEO at Rocky Mountain Forest Products, joins us for episode 216 of Art of Construction. Rocky Mountain Forest Products is the state of Colorado’s largest lumber supplier, specializing in various building materials for fencing, siding, decking and railing. By operating for over 40 years and working with nearly 4,000 general contractors each year, they’ve done business with all types of industry professionals and recognize that relationships and trust are primary, and products are secondary. Being born into the industry, then rebelling against it, then falling in love with the game of business, Shane Hoefer returned to construction and the family company – with people and strategy being of utmost importance. He (like us) shares the same frustration that the people who literally “build the infrastructure of everything” aren’t receiving the attention they deserve, which is why he and the RMFP team developed a vlog to showcase all facets of construction, Blue Collar Blueprint, as well as a podcast, The Mill. Tune in as Devon and Shane discuss the evolution and elevation of Rocky Mountain Forest Products, our industry’s nonsuccess in showcasing the trades and craftsmen behind them, strategically defining what your company stands for, and how us all can make construction better than how we found it.
29 minutes | Apr 29, 2021
215: Smart Selling Will Transform Your Construction Business
Ryan Groth, President of the Sales Transformation Group, Inc. joins us for episode 215 of Art of Construction. Sales Transformation Group helps growth-oriented construction companies get out of the “quote and hope” rut and build foreseeable sales models through assessing issues, e-learning, coaching and events. Being as results-driven as can be, they have assisted over 100 clients increase growth margins and closing ratios – with some commercial case studies going from zero to multi-millions in sales in around 24 months. From being a child who dreamed of success and security, to growing up in the industry, to being drafted into Major League Baseball, Ryan has taken lessons from all aspects of life to help build high-performing construction sales organizations. Through his experience consulting and coaching, he’s seen far too many construction companies with no set sales processes. And without any foresight into the future, how can businesses expect to grow their sales with confidence? Join Ryan and Devon on this episode as they discuss the serendipitous meeting of AOC and the Sales Transformation Group, the importance of confidence in contracting sales, and how the combination of technology and relationships are imperative to running a fruitful business.
29 minutes | Apr 22, 2021
214: Jobsite Tech Tools are for Custom Homebuilders, Too!
Andy Bacchus, President and COO of Industrial Steel & Machinery and Owner and Developer of Skilled On Site, joins us for episode 214 of Art of Construction. Skilled On Site is a project management mobile application for small custom homebuilders and home remodelers that is focused on streamlining jobsite communication, crew management and client collaboration – with utmost simplicity in mind. Organized by project, contractors can easily go in and communicate with different trade crews, all without opening an email or checking a voice message. By taking over the family contracting business, Industrial Steel & Machinery, Andy Bacchus has experienced the chaos and inefficiencies of a jobsite. Sharing that 33% of jobsite work re-done due to miscommunication, he saw ample opportunity to clean up construction communication, with a technology simple and streamlined for the everyday contractor. Tune in as Andy and Devon discuss everything Skilled On Site has to offer, the importance of accountability in our industry, and how quality leadership can successfully implement new technologies.
49 minutes | Apr 15, 2021
213: Is Artificial Intelligence the Future of Construction?
René Morkos, Founder and CEO of ALICE Technologies, joins us for episode 213 of Art of Construction. ALICE Technologies is the world's first AI-powered construction simulation platform. Founded in 2015 based on research from Stanford University, ALICE leverages artificial intelligence to analyze a project's complex building requirements and generate highly efficient building schedules and solutions. Founder and CEO René Morkos has been infatuated with construction his entire life. As the project manager of various construction teams early in his career, he observed just how low productivity often is on a jobsite. He took those observations and conducted a study where he confirmed that only three percent of a construction site's space is being actively utilized for construction at any given time. In the past six years, the ALICE Technologies team and him have developed the world’s first generative construction simulator with the goal of increasing jobsite productivity dramatically. In short, you set up your construction project's requirements, send them to the simulator, and ALICE picks the best schedule and solutions for your project out of millions of possibilities. It helps navigate the inevitable "what-ifs" in construction and can re-sequence your project accordingly after experiencing delays in materials, changes to the building requirements, or any other of the infinite obstacles we experience in our industry. Join René and Devon as they discuss rethinking project management in construction, his journey in creating ALICE, and the magic that happens when we let algorithms do the heavy data crunching, allowing us to focus all our energy on doing our jobs better.
34 minutes | Apr 8, 2021
212: An Automated Home is a Healthier Home
Steve Weber, President and CEO of Liaison Home Automation, joins us for episode 212 of Art of Construction. As people evolve and homes become more sophisticated, wouldn’t it be nice to have an “Easy” button to help simplify our lives? It turns out that button IS possible, and it could have many positive impacts on our home and health. With an incredible medical and surgical background, Steve Weber has always had a passion for how technologies can help people live healthier lives. His drive went beyond the operating room, and into his own home, where he wanted to simplify his life and automate various home systems. But after four years of unsuccessful attempts and constant issues with the same integrator, he realized the need for simplification of these processes. With a most fitting name, Liaison Home Automation became just that. Liaison helps homeowners control every electronic aspect of their living space – all from a single app. From air filtration systems that kill bacteria, to lighting that works with our natural circadian rhythm instead of against it, they integrate the software, hardware and technology into a system that homeowners can easily use, eliminating any technology pain points. Join Steve and Devon in this intriguing conversation as they discuss the full scope of Liaison, details in living spaces that fulfill the needs of today, how home system integration and health coincide, and some tantalizing technology products that’ll change our lives.
23 minutes | Apr 1, 2021
211: Compassionate Leadership Builds Up Employees and Our Industry
Jeff White, President and CEO of Holmberg Mechanical, joins us on episode 211 of Art of Construction. From mowing grass as a teenager, to becoming CEO of a full-service mechanical and engineering contractor, Jeff White has known the power of positive relationships within the workspace since the beginning. This shines through at Holmberg Mechanical, where state-of-the-art mechanical systems, servant-style leadership and workplace safety are at the forefront of all they do. From weekly community outreach projects, to creating a company-wide search party for an employee’s missing child (who was safely found), Jeff views corporate social responsibility as just that: a responsibility. Our realm of work is tedious, dirty, and can be dangerous. And in an industry focused on building bigger and faster, wouldn’t companies want to construct a positive culture that fosters compassion, safety and growth? Crusty Contractors who cut corners with their employees are abundant in our industry, but if you're a member of our tribe, you know we're committed to doing things better. Jeff is as well, which is why we decided to talk to him. Join Jeff and Devon on this inspiring episode, as they discuss the fiercely loyal company culture at Holmberg Mechanical, the importance of understanding before being understood, and our obligation as leaders to serve our employees and our community through the bad times and the good.
50 minutes | Mar 25, 2021
210: Material Science Will Advance Construction
Scott Jenkins and Dr. Doug Brown, CEO and CTO of ZS2 Technologies, join us for episode 210 of Art of Construction. Build better buildings. It’s what AOC and our tribe are all about. But how do we actually do it? By using more sustainable materials and processes. It sounds simple, but in an industry where too many builders are reluctant to change, the challenges seem impossible to overcome. Fear not, as Scott Jenkins and Dr. Doug Brown reassure us that no old construction material or method is set in stone – not even cement, and there’s real science to back it up. By developing and manufacturing low-carbon materials like cement alternatives, prefabricated panels and even composite stud technologies, ZS2 Technologies believes in developing high-performing, sustainable solutions in construction, for a better performing industry and a healthier planet. Not only is this forward-thinking approach mindful about the planet we live on, but it's also conscious in reducing the length and cost of a project. Tune in as Scott, Doug and Devon discuss the mad science and business sense behind ZS2 Technologies, navigating advancements that are crucial to our industry’s growth and success, and the true power of sustainable construction.
35 minutes | Mar 18, 2021
209: Determining the Value of Your Work
Luke Miller, host of the Tile Money podcast, joins us for episode 209 of Art of Construction. Tile, like any trade within the construction industry, is a specialty all its own. Behind each home adorned with stunning tile floors is a contractor that’s also a craftsman. But having artistic ability with little to no business sense is what can break your hustle. Starting out as a day laborer at age 14 and becoming a tile contractor at 25, Luke Miller has seen, worked and lived the tile business for decades. Throughout his career, he’s realized that many contractors in tile were willing to share tips in the field but were much more hesitant when it came to business advice. With seeing too many of his own kind working countless hours and getting underpaid, he knew neglecting business practices wasn’t an option. He took this opportunity and ran, as he now hosts the Tile Money podcast and its connected Facebook group, where both seasoned tile professionals and those just beginning can get insight in laying out their business - from choosing the right insurance to understanding what your expertise as a contractor is worth. Join Luke and Devon as they align the Tile Money and AOC tribes and discuss what makes tile different from other trades, utilizing social media as an educational tool, and the profitable power in knowing the ins and outs of your business.
39 minutes | Mar 11, 2021
208: The Rise of Drones in Construction
Dr. Joe Burgett, professor in the Nieri Family Department of Construction Science and Management at Clemson University, aka Dr. Drone, joins us for episode 208 of Art of Construction. On our recent episode with Matthew Byrd, we discussed the plethora of reality-capturing tech products and services that are being heavily utilized in construction. All of them are astonishing and useful if implemented properly. But as we know, fear is the most common factor in trying new things, especially new technologies. Today we’re literally flying away from fear as we zoom in on drone technology and all the incredible advantages general contractors acquire by becoming a drone pilot or having one on their team. Being in the building industry for a decade prior to teaching, Dr. Joe Burgett has seen the issues that happen in the field, and the difficulty of improving processes if you’re preoccupied with other chaos at hand. Through his research to make the lives of contractors somehow easier, he discovered that drones and their data aid in making better decisions out on the field. Now, he teaches a class dedicated to drones at Clemson University, specifically for contractors and surveyors. From capturing the perfect video footage for marketing materials, to inspecting field work in real time, to broadcasting data offsite, to creating 3D models, the sky is the limit on a drone’s capabilities. And the best part of all? You don’t need to be an IT mastermind to effectively operate one. Join Joe and Devon as they discuss the many uses and benefits of drones within our industry, the class that Dr. Drone offers at Clemson, and how with better information on projects, we can provide better services to our clients and build better buildings. Learn more about Dr. Burgett’s online drone course for contractors and sign up for the next session at www.clemsondrone.com.
56 minutes | Mar 4, 2021
207: Industrialized Construction Series: Building Order Out of Chaos
Amy Marks, Head of Industrialized Construction Strategy and Evangelism at Autodesk, aka The Queen of Prefab, joins us for episode 207 of Art of Construction and episode three of our Deep Dive Series on Industrialized Construction with Autodesk. Amy Marks is on a mission to bring the construction industry into the future. As we all continue to explore the adoption of different offsite construction systems and techniques in our projects, she is leading the charge at Autodesk to rally our industry around a unified vision of how we can work together to integrate these systems and build order out of chaos. Her vision is called the "Industrialized Construction Revolution." A big part of this revolution is the groundbreaking work done by specialty mechanical subcontractors who have been successfully prefabricating for decades. We had a lot of fun learning about the prefab systems pioneered by Rosendin and Environmental Air Systems in our two previous episodes, and it was an honor to wrap up this series with the #QueenofPrefab herself. Tune in on the third and final episode of this Deep Dive Series, as Amy and Devon examine the unexpected driving factors that are bringing the Industrialized Construction Revolution forward, breaking down industry silos and misconceptions about what’s ahead, and how connection in technology and culture is far more important than any one product – all with undeniable passion, and a few laughs along the way!
55 minutes | Feb 25, 2021
206: Tools for Capturing Your Project's Reality
Matthew Byrd, President of Nexus 3D Consulting and host of the Reality Capture Network podcast, and Scott Hicken, AOC Executive Producer, join us on episode 206 of Art of Construction. The truth is, 3D scanning is the future, and it’s enticing. State-of-the-art products give us the ability to capture and utilize accurate data for every stage of a construction project, from checking off pre-insulation details in a newly built home, to remodeling giant architectural masterpieces like the Seattle Space Needle. But as we know, each project is different. There’s no “One Size Fits All” in the AEC industry, and certainly not in system integration. With different laser scanners and photogrammetry software on the market, how do you choose what will best serve your project and company’s needs? Here at Art of Construction, we strive to provide the best resources possible to innovate your business and move our industry forward, and Nexus 3D Consulting holds the same aspirations. As a company of multifaceted services, including 3D scanning, BIM services, surveying and point cloud data, they know all too well that without the right education and communication, these tools can make us work harder, NOT smarter. There is a time, place and product for each project, and knowing the difference between them is key! Join Matthew, Devon and Scott as they discuss the similarities, differences and history of 3D capture products (like Matterport and Leica BLK360), choosing tools that'll best assist you with your project, where companies can go wrong in implementing new technologies, and connecting the RCN and AOC podcast tribes!
33 minutes | Feb 18, 2021
205: Industrialized Construction Series: Mechanical Contractors are Paving the Offsite Way
Bill Bullock, VP of MEP Engineered Solutions at Environmental Air Systems, joins us on episode 205 of Art of Construction and episode two of our Deep Dive Series on Industrialized Construction with Autodesk. As our industry progresses into the “Industrialized Construction Revolution,” there are plenty of misconceptions that go along with it – like the loss of individuality in buildings, or that there’s a limit in what prefabrication can produce. These concerns are valid, but what can we do to break down these false walls in our minds, so we can build actual walls more efficiently? Balance, mindset, and a blended approach. One MEP contractor knows there’s a need for standardization in the manufacturing process, while still accommodating custom solutions for their clients. Environmental Air Systems, the premier mechanical contractor for nearly seven decades, has been the pioneer of offsite construction solutions. From developing custom HVAC and air handling equipment in the 80’s for the textile industry, now to full-scale modular data centers, they’ve seen constant change in processes. And throughout those years, adopting new technologies like Autodesk has been necessary in becoming the single source solution for MEP infrastructure. Join Bill and Devon on part two of this Deep Dive Series, as they discuss the unique complexities of mechanical contracting and the data center projects they acquire, EAS blazing the offsite construction trail within the HVAC industry, and maintaining a forward-thinking culture in a legacy organization.
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