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The Art of Construction
56 minutes | 4 days ago
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 | 11 days ago
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 | 18 days ago
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.
44 minutes | 25 days ago
204: Get Out of Your Own Way!
Todd Weyandt, host of the Bridging the Gap podcast and Director of Creative Marketing for Applied Software, joins us on episode 204 of Art of Construction. It’s no question that technological advancements in our industry are abundant. By leveraging data, we can create exact digital replicas of buildings. With prefabrication, we can systemize and streamline the building of modular homes and other construction projects. They’re absolutely crucial as we navigate through our industry’s digital transformation, but as with any technology, it only works as well as its user. Where does this all start? How do we utilize our technologies to work best for us? By getting out of our own way and fostering a mindset of growth and innovation, in our own companies and in the industry as a whole. Bridging the Gap, a podcast put on by Applied Software, an AEC and manufacturing industry software reseller, is passionate about usefully integrating and adapting new technologies that work for your company. By developing a solid plan with goals in mind, creating minor efficiencies in workflow and understanding the relationship between technology and people, the industry will be more set for success than ever before. Tune in as Todd and Devon discuss how construction can adopt new technologies in practical ways, the role of marketing in construction, the importance of connecting the right technologies to the right handshakes and of course, connecting the Bridging the Gap and AOC tribes! This is truly a match made in podcast heaven.
45 minutes | a month ago
203: Industrialized Construction Series: Optimizing Your Company’s Toolkit
Fred Meeske, VP of BIM Services at Rosendin, joins us on episode 203 of Art of Construction and episode one of our Deep Dive Series on Industrialized Construction with Autodesk. Modular. Prefab. Volumetric. All these words represent different methods of offsite construction currently growing in popularity in our industry. Autodesk calls this overall trend the “Industrialized Construction Revolution.” While not necessarily in the spotlight, specialty subcontractors like HVAC and MEP are quietly paving the way in this Industrialized Construction Revolution with their prefabricated and design-build approaches to projects. Rather than beginning each project with a blank sheet, they've developed their offerings as products with repeatable manufacturing methods that can be taken and adapted into custom projects. Rosendin, one of the largest electrical contractors in the United States, is one of these companies paving the way. They've adopted BIM, prefab, the Autodesk platform, and a variety of other tools into their project workflow, and have achieved many improvements in how projects are executed, how their collaborations with others are coordinated, and how time is spent on and off the jobsite as a result.Join Fred and Devon on part one of this Deep Dive Series, as they discuss thinking ahead into the future from the perspective of an electrical contractor, how Rosendin optimizes Autodesk’s products and their internal processes for each job, and what a product-led approach to projects would look like in the construction industry.
59 minutes | a month ago
202: It Takes a Planet to Change Construction
Steve Burrows, leading engineering visionary, and Matt McMullen, AOC Executive Director, join us on episode 202 of Art of Construction. We first spoke with Steve on stage together at Digital Built Week 2019, which became AOC Show 153: “This is The Greatest Time in History to be in Construction.” And even with a worldwide pandemic and other global turmoil in between episodes, it still is the greatest time, as well as the most challenging, to be in our industry. As times change, processes and mindsets that once provided end-all and be-all solutions must be rethought, as they simply do not serve the future of construction or our world. Materials must be modernized. The way we design and construct, and even think about homes, needs to be updated. For example, the design of the classic bedroom — before electricity was discovered, bedroom windows were made to let light and noise flood in with the day. Many of us still sleep in this style of bedroom, but is it really the best setup for our modern lives? Listen in on this insightful and thought-provoking episode as Devon, Matt and Steve delve into many mindset issues in the construction industry, the need to rethink some of our most basic assumptions, and innovative solutions that all of us in the AOC tribe can do to take action and improve our industry today.
60 minutes | 2 months ago
201: Global Collaboration for Local Construction
Sachin Jain and Animes Sarkar, Senior Vice President and General Manager and Head of BIM Services at Pan Gulf Technologies, join us all the way from India for episode 201 of Art of Construction. Pan Gulf Technologies is a Multi-Disciplinary Engineering Solutions company based in India that works with contractors and architects around the globe. Our Executive Director Matt McMullen has a dedicated team from PGT working with him as he designs our new line of Art of Construction homes. The PGT team members do much of the heavy lifting when it comes to the BIM modeling and other technical elements on our AOC projects. But rather than thinking of them as just tech support, Art of Construction truly sees PGT as an extension of our architecture studio. This sort of personal connection established between our team and their team half a world away isn't easy to accomplish, but it's worth doing, because in the end it leads to greater collaboration and lets us all build better buildings. PGT's business model is to develop these sort of personal relationships with each client by giving every client of theirs a customized team of experts based on their needs, and participating in the projects as fellow designers and creatives. The results of this setup have been a productive and fun workflow with amazing results on our AOC projects. Join Devon and Matt as they go on a journey with Sachin and Animes to learn about PGT's philosophies on business, BIM, and serving the AEC industry, and showcase the studio team PGT has put together for Art of Construction that's taken our built projects to the next level.
96 minutes | 2 months ago
200: The Art of Construction Journey
Happy New Year! On this 200th episode of Art of Construction, we wanted to take a moment and reflect on this important milestone and what it means for us and for you, AOC Tribe. The Art of Construction journey began in 2014 as a podcast with a simple mission: to help contractors and affiliates learn and grow their business. Together, we've spent the last six years creating an amazing community of people from all over the world who are dedicated to improving the way they do business, building better buildings, and evolving the construction industry as a whole.At this point, the Art of Construction journey is beginning to kick into high gear. As we embark on our first series of Art of Construction projects here in Colorado, we're no longer just a podcast. Together with you, AOC Tribe, the changes we want to see in this industry are finally starting to take effect, and we're honored to be at the forefront with you all making these changes.Join our Executive Producer Scott as he sits in the host chair and interviews Devon Tilly and Matt McMullen to hear their stories and put the pieces together on how Art of Construction came to be, what we've accomplished so far, and what our plans are for the future. Cheers to the next 200 episodes!
41 minutes | 3 months ago
199: Bidding Made Easy
Evan Williams, Vice President of Product Management for PlanHub, and Scott Hicken, Art of Construction Executive Producer, join us for episode 199 of Art of Construction. We first met PlanHub when we interviewed President and CEO Kevin Priddy on AOC Show 179. PlanHub is a cloud-based construction bidding software and online plan room that is made specifically for general contractors AND subcontractors to grow their businesses. It aims to be your all-in-one tool to bid on projects as a subcontractor, and post contracts as a general contractor, while sharing project files and important information on a cloud-based network you can access anywhere.Since we first interviewed them, PlanHub has seen significant growth. And with that growth has come the launch of new features, many of which have been built specifically for subcontractors. In a sea of construction tech tools all currently vying to be adopted by our industry as a whole, PlanHub's rapid growth shows they are clearly doing something right. We wanted to dive deeper and find out what that is, and so we decided to speak with their head of product development to find out how their team works with their contractor and subcontractor clients to continue building out new features that help them post and bid on projects more easily and efficiently. Join Devon and Scott as they go on a journey with Evan to uncover PlanHub's product development process, and how him and his team are working to use the power of new technology and design to make bidding on projects and growing your business truly easier for you, the Art of Construction Tribe. Register for your free PlanHub account today, or book a demo to see the new Bid Navigator features in action at planhub.com/aoc
41 minutes | 3 months ago
198: Relationships Create a Solid Foundation for Success
Jeff Sawyer, President and Co-Owner of TruNORTH Construction, joins us for episode 198 of Art of Construction. In this episode, Jeff gives us the rundown on why he and his company put so much emphasis on the importance of relationships. To Jeff, relationships are one of the most important aspects of business that tends to get overlooked. Companies tend to focus on profit and numbers, but by putting the focus on relationships with clients, subcontractors, and employees the quality of work will increase along with the customer experience, which will naturally lead to more profits. By going the extra mile to treat their clients like family, TruNORTH have positioned themselves as positive figures in their community, which has only increased their project pipeline and scope of work. Beyond the quality, honesty, and personal touches they bring to projects, Jeff and his team are also very active on social media, and have found creating content is a great way to increase engagement with existing and potential clients and the community at large. Real relationships are based on trust, and we often stress on Art of Construction how trust between parties is one of the most important aspects of a healthy construction industry. But trust is earned, not given. Join Devon as he goes on a journey with Jeff to learn how he earns that trust from his clients, subcontractors and employees, and what contractors and affiliates can gain from reframing their business model away from simply chasing profits, to engaging with your community in an organic, fun and honest way.
30 minutes | 4 months ago
197: Real Workplace Safety Includes a Mental Health Plan
Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas, mental health advocate, podcast host and founder of Construction Working Minds, joins us for episode 197 of Art of Construction.In this episode, Sally takes us on a deep journey through Beauty and Beast: the importance of mental health, suicide prevention, and its correlation to the world of construction. More specifically, Dr. Spencer-Thomas assists construction companies with creating strategies for both suicide prevention and mental health. Areas under construction, as most know, can prove to be dangerous in many aspects. But what happens when you mix the dangers of a construction site with the unpredictability or depression of a person suffering from mental health issues? “The perfect storm of risk,” says Sally. These foreseen dangers mixed with the extreme failures, tight and stressful schedules, and the culture of fearlessness within the construction community, can stunt the growth of a company or family within the blink of an eye. 80% of suicides are by white, middle aged men. Just based on that statistic alone, male dominated industries, such as construction, need to not only keep a better eye out but put in place extra precautionary measures to ensure the physical and mental safety of the whole crew. Just how CPR training is taught everywhere, many companies now train their employees through a program that helps them deal with handling situations involving a person or persons mental state. Construction will never stop, and neither will the cases of mental illnesses within a company. The only way to prevent the amount of cases of depression in a business is to act, and act fast. Implementing techniques and strategies to counteract mental illness will redefine the workplace, eradicating as much of this real world problem as possible. Thank you Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas for everything you’ve done and continue to do in order to keep our Art of Construction tribe safe!
31 minutes | 4 months ago
196: Supply Chain Financing for Contractors
Chris Doyle, President and CEO of Billd, joins us for episode 196 of Art of Construction. The construction industry often has a money problem. The longstanding financial issue for contractors in our industry arises from the period of time between when they submit an invoice for a completed project and the eventual payment of that invoice. In the weeks – or even months – of that waiting period, they still must fund expenses such as labor, materials and equipment for other ongoing projects. This inevitably leaves many in our industry shorthanded and stressed when a client doesn't pay on time, which leads to worse performance on projects they've won. Billd aims to fix this problem with a simple business model: they offer 120-day terms to pay for commercial construction materials upfront. This way, contractors don't have to worry about receiving the payment from their client so that they can then pay the supplier. With materials being paid for upfront, the supplier is taken care of immediately, giving contractors more breathing room to go out, grow their business and get more jobs.Contractors normally don't have access to many credit options. And banks traditionally have not done well at truly understanding what goes into a construction project in order to accurately assess lending options. It is for this reason we're super excited to see what Billd is doing in order to open up the flood gates and give contractors the funding they need to move projects along. Join Devon as he goes on a journey with Chris to learn his story in starting Billd, what their financing process is like, and how they are working to improve trust and relationships in construction by fixing the finance gaps that so often plague the construction supply chain.You can sign up and learn more about Billd at Billd.com
38 minutes | 5 months ago
195: Adopting the Digital Building Lifecycle with Microsoft
Salla Eckhardt, Director of Transformation Services at Microsoft, joins us for episode 195 of Art of Construction. Salla is an innovation leader and an industry change agent directing Microsoft's entrance into the world of construction. Her main focus is advocating for the industry-wide adoption of the Digital Building Lifecycle, an overall framework she's developed that encompasses the entire building lifecycle, from design all the way to operation. Just as Office 365 is an all-encompassing platform for companies to operate their daily activities within, the Digital Building Lifecycle is Salla's vision of the overall platform that every company that takes part in designing, building and operating buildings could work within.Salla's vision for the Digital Building Lifecycle is all about having one set of data from start to finish. With this common set of data, she envisions: "Design doesn’t get out ahead of what’s practical for construction or feasible for a real estate owner. All parties are informed about construction cost and operational cost implications earlier for educated decision making. Fewer final decisions are pushed to the construction phase when the cost to change them is high, and no final decision is slipped into an after-thought when the cost of changing them is the highest."Music to our ears. But how do we actually get there? How can the average general contractor or architect begin adopting the Digital Building Lifecycle right now? Listen in and find out!
38 minutes | 5 months ago
194: Cultivate Advisors Series: The Power of Prioritization
Casey Clark and Jaime Rowe, CEO and Business Advisor at Cultivate Advisors, join us for episode 194 of Art of Construction. This is the sixth and final episode of the awesome Deep Dive Series we've had the pleasure of doing with Cultivate Advisors. Over these past five episodes, we've had the honor of speaking with owners and entrepreneurs from all over the construction industry and hearing their stories, trials and tribulations. Now to wrap things up, we brought back Cultivate CEO Casey Clark to reflect on all that we've learned. What is the one thing that all successful entrepreneurs have in common? As we've seen throughout this series, it is the ability to prioritize. As we've heard throughout this series, owners and entrepreneurs constantly have to rise above the daily grind in order to make sure they and their team know exactly where they are headed, and exactly how they plan to get there. This, after all, is what Cultivate Advisors' Entrepreneurial Journey is all about. It's a roadmap for all of us in the industry to understand exactly where we are so we can move forward most efficiently.Join Devon, Jaime and Casey as they go on a journey to reflect back on all the lessons learned in this amazing series and what it means to be an Entrepreneur in construction.
30 minutes | 6 months ago
193: A Matchmaking Service That Sweetens the Deal for Contractors and Homeowners
Jean Brownhill, CEO & Founder at Sweeten, joins us for Art of Construction episode 193. Sweeten is a digital matchmaking service, such as Match or Tinder, but for linking up homeowners with contractors. Jean is a trained architect who founded Sweeten after a personal home renovation project that was much harder than expected. After seeing the disorganized chaos around how general contractors work with homeowners in our industry, she decided to launch Sweeten to streamline the process of how homeowners find the right general contractor for their jobs, and vice-versa. One of our favorite parts about Sweeten is the relationship they have with the general contractors that use their platform. When a homeowner signs up for Sweeten to find a GC, they are promised that they'll find someone top-notch. This means that Jean's team works hard to recruit only top-notch contractors to their platform, and works hard on building relationships in order to help them grow even more. Likewise, Sweeten doesn't get paid until the GC gets paid, meaning they are truly in it to help our industry grow. Join Devon as he goes on a journey with Jean to learn all about her story in founding Sweeten, how the matchmaking service works, and how figuring out exactly what jobs you excel at the most is key to growing your business as a general contractor.
28 minutes | 6 months ago
192: Cultivate Advisors Series: The Influencer
Graham Desert, Chief Visionary Officer and Managing Partner of Roofing101, and Jaime Rowe, Business Advisor at Cultivate Advisors, join us for episode 192 of Art of Construction. To explore the final stage in Cultivate Advisor's Entrepreneurial Journey, we talked to Graham about his new role in his rapidly growing roofing business. Thanks to his vision and leadership, Roofing101 has grown tremendously and has expanded to cities throughout the nation. It now runs without him needing to be there, which has opened up more time and a new space in his life to explore new advancements for his company five, even ten years down the line. With this sort of freedom from the day-to-day gained from hard work and dedication, Graham has become an influencer in the world of construction. Influencers are able to rise above the daily grind most of us live in and use their time, brain and willpower to continue to push not only their team, but their industry and the entire world into the future. Join Devon and Jaime as they learn Graham's story and find out what it means to be an influencer!
40 minutes | 6 months ago
191: A Breakthrough Business Model for Contractors
Danny Kerr, Director of Assessment / Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Breakthrough Academy joins us for episode 191 of Art of Construction. Breakthrough Academy trains contractors to develop systems and teams that grow their business. At a young age, Danny managed his own trade business as a painting contractor, and after much success decided to pass along the value he’d created in his business model to others. Since starting in 2015, BTA has grown to several hundred clients in the various trades and has created a community of contractors dedicated to learning and improving themselves and their business. Join Devon as he goes on a journey with Danny to learn all about his story in founding Breakthrough Academy and how his team is building a new, more successful model for how we can all push our contracting businesses forward and have a ton of fun along the way.
36 minutes | 7 months ago
190: Cultivate Advisors Series: The Systemizer
Jenna Bayer, Owner of Jenna Bayer Garden Design, and Jaime Rowe, Business Advisor at Cultivate Advisors join us for episode 190 of Art of Construction and episode 4 of our Deep Dive Series with Cultivate Advisors!So far in this series, we've gone over the first three stages of the Entrepreneurial Journey: the Hustler, the Experimenter and the Visionary. We've taken a journey through the beginning stages of starting your business, through hiring your first employees, developing your company's mission, team and strategies, to paving your path towards profitability. Now, as the systemizer, you're a business owner who's done all those things and is now looking ahead towards scalability and growth far beyond where you started.Jenna is like many owners and entrepreneurs in the construction industry, in that she has a tendency to move a mile a minute. And while that sort of personality is great for growing your business, it can get in the way of effectively managing employees who may move at a different pace. To create a solid organization within your business, you need to develop systems and practices that work not only for you as the owner, but for everyone on your team.To set up those effective systems, Cultivate worked with Jenna to help her understand the dynamics between her team and her on a deeper level. With that added psychological view of where her employees fit into her vision, Jenna was able to create effective systems and practices that utilized each employee to their fullest potential. By doing this, she was able to successfully expand into new areas and grow her garden design firm to new levels of growth she never thought possible.
30 minutes | 7 months ago
189: Adding Value to Your Customers is the Ultimate Marketing
Spencer Powell, President of Builder Funnel and Host of Builder Funnel Radio, joins us for episode 189 of Art of Construction.Spencer's family has been in the building industry for 110 years. With that background, he took an interest he developed in digital marketing and decided to help contractors leverage the power of the internet to grow their business. Spencer's company, Builder Funnel brings marketing services and lead generation to the modern builder through SEO, social media, and most importantly, valuable content creation.While many might think of marketing as the process of telling your potential customer what makes you the best, this is not necessarily the case. As Spencer tells us, sometimes it can be better to SHOW your customers you're the best through content that educates them on your industry. By doing so, they develop a trust for your brand and look to you as the experts that they can call upon when they are ready to make a purchase. This might seem like a new idea, but it's not. John Deere began their own added-value content marketing strategy with a magazine for farmers in 1895, and it built their business a big enough pipeline of customers to last until now. With the wisdom you'll hear from Spencer in this episode, you can do the same, AOC Tribe!
32 minutes | 7 months ago
188: Cultivate Advisors Series: The Visionary
Jeff Toren, Owner at Kitchen Tune-Up, and Jaime Rowe, Business Advisor at Cultivate Advisors join us for episode 188 of Art of Construction and episode 3 of our Deep Dive Series with Cultivate Advisors!So far in this series, we've gone over the first two stages of the Entrepreneurial Journey: The Hustler & The Experimenter. We heard from Nicole Delmage on how she started her own architecture business, hired her first employees and zeroed in on her company's mission. Now, as we move onto the next stage, we're beginning to learn what happens after you've done all the initial legwork for your company and have hit the ground running. As the visionary of an established company, your role is no longer starting your business, but growing it. The foundation has been laid, your team has been assembled, and now it is time to look towards the future and figure out how you scale it, how you motivate your team to do the best work they can do and how you ensure not only REVENUE but PROFIT. As Jaime Rowe says, "Revenue is vanity, profit is sanity, and cash is king."Jeff Toren originally came from software sales, and after starting his own Kitchen Tune-Up business, quickly grew it into the most successful franchise of any Kitchen Tune-Up in the country. But although the revenue was coming in as quickly as he could get it, Jeff knew he had to be very intentional about his business model and systems in order to ensure scalability. He also knew that disruptions can come along, such as what we're all currently experiencing with Covid, and that he had to prepare his company to be able to survive and flourish not only in the good times, but the bad as well. Join Devon and Jaime as they go on a journey with Jeff to learn all about how Cultivate Advisors helped him navigate through this crucial stage in his Entrepreneurial Journey: The Visionary!
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