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VRCA award submissions highlight industry trends

Warren Frey
VRCA award submissions highlight industry trends

If you want to see the latest trends in construction, judge them.

Retired construction executive Bob Proctor is one of the judges for this year’s Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VRCA) Awards of Excellence and has a bird’s eye view of not only the best projects in the province but also the trends driving the way things are built.

One of the key trends driving construction at present is technology, Proctor said, particularly personal technology on jobsites.

“More contractors are installing computer terminals and using tablets on jobsites for drawing reference, real time access to change orders, and so forth. We are seeing an increased use of drones for progress updates and marketing as well,” Proctor said.

He also pointed to wood construction to create new and innovative forms such as the Brock Commons student housing facility, one of the tallest mass timber structures in the world, exterior cladding and in interiors, dropped ceilings using cross limited timber.

“In general, green construction practices continue to grow. From recycling and reducing the amount of packaging materials onsite to ever improving HVAC systems and controls, we see tremendous increases in sustainable construction practices,” Proctor added.

In addition to innovation, he said, human factors are continuing to affect the industry.

“In the relatively short time I have been on the committee, I have seen a marked increase in the number of women in positions of responsibility in our presentations,” Proctor noted.

But while there are positive changes to the industry, there are also demographic concerns that haven’t abated.

“Finding enough labour is an increasing problem and our buoyant market and aging labour pool make this a continuing problematic trend,” he said.

Proctor also praised the nominees and other VRCA members for their dedication to both their craft and the industry.

“A trend that has not changed is our members’ ability to meet challenges put before them. From seemingly unrealistic deadlines, to lack of available labour, our members and their staff always find a way to meet owners’ expectations,” he said.

The VRCA Gold Winners will be announced at the 2018 Awards of Excellence Gala on Oct. 23.

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