Posts

Oakland’s building boom is giving rise to robos, virtual reality and other construction tech

With the building boom in full swing in Oakland, many contractors are using different technologies from productivity software to robots to improve productivity, efficiencies, and job-site safety.

Contractors that are ahead of the game are using drone technology, 3D modeling and building information modeling, virtual reality, print camera technology and mobile-friendly software, such as PlanGrid, which digitizes building plans and makes them accessible on any device. The startup was just bought by AutoDesk for $875M.

Nationwide, contractors are turning to these technologies to create better efficiency, supplement the workforce during a skilled-worker shortage and reduce mistakes and project costs.

Construction technology is still new to many contractors in Oakland, and it hasn’t yet been fully implemented. Because of this, some contractors are still running up against a lot of rework due to poor communication, PlanGrid Western Region Customer Advocate Ross Wagner said.

“Business out here hasn’t had the growth that San Francisco has had … but overall there certainly are people who are ahead of the curve in Oakland,” Wagner said. “The growth curve is just a little bit later.”

He said technology is allowing contractors to work together and increase productivity without having to go back and forth to the trailer to get information needed at the job site.

 

 

Read more on Bisnow Oakland

 

 

Facebook’s building permits soar past $1B in its hometown of Menlo Park

Facebook may be rapidly expanding its footprint across the Bay Area, but a new report shows the social media giant is still highly focused on — and invested in — its hometown of Menlo Park.

In recent years, Facebook has filed building permits valued at more than $1 billion in the small Peninsula city, according to an analysis by Kelsey Graeber of BuildZoom, a San Francisco-based startup that tracks building permits to connect property owners with contractors.

“Menlo Park has been our home since 2011 and we’ll continue to be a responsible corporate citizen as we grow in this community,” John Tenanes, the company’s vice president of global facilities and real estate told Silicon Valley Business Journal in a statement on Tuesday.

Facebook declined to confirm specific dollar amounts for the campus, often referred to as its “West Campus,” and it’s worth noting that building permits are not an exact science.

The values on the publicly available permits are companies’ best estimate early on of what a given project will cost, and often fall below what is actually spent on a building. The permits generally do not include costs for items like small change orders, furniture or some fixtures for instance.

 

Read more from Silicon Valley Business Journal