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HPAC Engineering - 2018

Editor's Note: Buckle Up, Buck Rodgers

Oct. 1, 2018
If you don’t think our industry's relentless technology revolution applies to you because your projects are too small or too specialized, then think again. From BIM and 3D printing to Augmented Reality and real-time collaboration, the opportunities for increased profit and improved process have never been greater.

Before joining HPAC Engineering a year ago, I had served the previous three years as chief editor for the blog at BuiltWorlds, a media and events startup founded in 2014 by Chicago area general contractor Matt Gray. While startup life had its predictable ups and downs, the trajectory of the construction technology market that we covered was surprisingly consistent: always upward.

Today, even as mergers and consolidation in that sector continue to make headlines — the latest being Autodesk’s acquisition of Assemble Systems — the overall health and vitality of tech in this market seems as strong as ever. One particularly energetic advocate for greater tech use in the HVACR trades has been the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA), which launched its own ambitious Technology Initiative for members some four years ago. In this issue, MCAA’s Sean McGuire, the group’s first-ever director of construction technology, updates us on the broader strategy now being implemented for giving members more case studies and solid research data upon which to base their tech investment decisions.

Toward that end, MCAA is also the lead sponsor for the 7th Annual Construction Technology Survey, just completed last month by industry tech evangelist JBKnowledge Inc. Some 2,800 firms across the U.S. participated in the survey this year, and results are still being tabulated for release in January. (For more on the type of data included, visit our story from February on last year's report.)

To visit our archives of Editor's Notes, click here.

About the Author

Rob McManamy | Editor in Chief

An industry reporter and editor since 1987, McManamy joined HPAC Engineering in September 2017, after three years with BuiltWorlds.com, a Chicago-based media startup focused on tech innovation in the built environment. He has been covering design and construction issues for more than 30 years, having started at Engineering News-Record (ENR) in New York, before becoming its Midwest Bureau Chief in 1990. In 1998, McManamy was named Editor-in-Chief of Design-Build magazine, where he served for four years. He subsequently worked as an editor and freelance writer for Building Design + Construction and Public Works magazines.

A native of Bronx, NY, he is a graduate of both the University of Virginia, and The John Marshall Law School in Chicago.

Contact him at [email protected].