Construction Dive’s Innovator of the Year

The US’ Construction Dive has awarded Innovator of the Year to NEXT Coalition.

Five major contractors have come together to create tech solutions for coronavirus-related challenges.

Construction remained essential throughout most of the country at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, which left contractors in need of ways to protect workers and keep jobsites clean and safe — not just from the usual dangerous work, but from infection. With a bevy of new state and local requirements and federal guidelines came an array of tech innovations promising to help contractors keep their workers healthy.

To help pore through all the new information and platforms, four major contractors — Black & Veatch, DPR, Haskell and McCarthy — came together in May to form the NEXT Coalition. In August, Swinerton announced it had joined the coalition as well. The alliance works to pilot, test and tweak technology solutions in the areas of contact tracing, safety oversight and cleaner jobsites.

The members sent out a challenge to design firms, builders and developers to submit ideas and solutions. From the 84 submissions, the coalition chose five ideas to deploy.

Brett Spence, manager of process and technology at Black & Veatch and a point person for setting up the coalition, said that connecting a wider net of contractors was key to determining the best way to keep workers safe. The companies, which are normally competitors, came together in the spirit of combatting the virus and fostering safety together.

“When it comes to safety there is no competition,” Spence said.

Read more at The Construction Dive