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U.S. Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: Prepare for Construction Funding

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Megan Tigue, Product Marketing Manager

construction management major road and highway bridge construction site


What Is the U.S. Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and What Does It Mean for the Construction Industry? 

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), was officially signed into law on November 15, 2021. The IIJA will provide USD 1.2 trillion for transportation and infrastructure spending, with USD 550 billion dedicated to new investments and programs such as roads and bridges, water infrastructure, resilience, and improved internet access. 

What some might not know is that included in the USD 550 billion is a smaller sum – USD 100 million – allocated specifically to construction technology. The money will be distributed over the next five years in increments of USD 20 million per year, emphasizing the critical need for advanced technology in construction…

Why Is the IIJA Encouraging the Adoption of Construction Technology? 

The IIJA includes a budget for digital construction technologies for a reason. For far too long, construction companies have used inefficient methods, including paper-based workflows, spreadsheets, inefficient communication methods and aging technology, to manage their projects and business operations. In fact, according to FMI Research, miscommunication and poor project data accounts for 48% of all rework on U.S. construction job sites, costing the industry over USD 31 billion annually.  

The IIJA is creating new opportunities for the industry, including the chance for teams to modernize existing processes and adopt cutting-edge technologies.  

What Kind of Construction Technology Should You Invest in?

The IIJA’s construction technology funding is intended for what it calls “advanced digital construction management systems.” The systems, according to the IIJA, should be used at all points of the construction process, from design to build, and should provide these five capabilities:

  1. Maximize Interoperability with Other Systems, Products, Tools, or Applications 
  2. Boost Productivity
  3. Manage Complexity
  4. Reduce Project Delays and Cost Overruns 
  5. Enhance Safety and Quality 

#1. Maximize Interoperability with Other Systems, Products, Tools, or Applications

Many firms implement point solutions to solve various issues in their construction workflows. The problem is these solutions are not integrated, creating even more challenges and inefficiencies in the process.  

Adopting cloud-based solutions that easily integrate with existing internal tools will enable you to maximize the full capabilities of your technology stack while removing barriers to data and project insights.

With SYNCHRO 4D, you can easily import and consolidate project data from your existing tech stack. Data consolidation provides a unified vision of your project to your entire delivery team in real time, and clearly displays the project in a full, comprehensive simulation. Your entire construction delivery team – owners, engineers, architects, operators, contractors, subcontractors, manufacturers, and materials suppliers – can share a single view of your entire project as it progresses. 

#2. Boost Productivity

Many people on the job site collect progress data, document issues, and take pictures. That data is brought back to the office where it is compiled into spreadsheets for coordination meetings. Too often, these meetings take four to five hours as the team works through outdated data to understand the true project status and areas of concern. That workflow increases risk and is prone to reduced productivity, delays, and lost revenue. 

SYNCHRO’s integrated field-based applications, such as SYNCHRO Field and SYNCHRO Perform, can help you dramatically increase productivity, visibility, and efficiency on the job site. You can move quickly through daily tasks with standard construction forms created with project-specific templates for logs, issues, observations, RFIs, submittals, inspections, and automated weather recording. You can even add geo-referencing for all data within your model for trusted spatial accuracy. 

With an integrated application, that four-to-five-hour coordination meeting is now cut down to one or two hours of transparent, highly productive problem-solving. 

#3. Manage Complexity

Construction projects are becoming increasingly complex, making it harder to rely on manual and paper-based processes. Without the ability to clearly, easily, and quickly communicate and collaborate with team members and project stakeholders, you are faced with higher than necessary project risk. 

SYNCHRO Control and SYNCHRO Perform allow you to leverage powerful and insightful analytics for complete visibility into project status and schedule, down to individual activity items. Comprehensive dashboards and reports allow you to filter and explore construction data in seconds. In addition, a central hub for project data and insights helps manage daily information so that it remains timely and efficient, expediting decisions and issue resolution while connecting the entire project team, whether they are in the office or in the field. 

#4. Maximize Reduce Project Delays and Cost Overruns

One of the biggest challenges on any infrastructure job is schedule management. Any delay will likely increase costs and could result in fines, legal action, and strained client relations. With large projects across all sectors often running 20% longer than scheduled and up to 80% over budget, having accessible data to show where those errors came from will allow you to retain good client relations and identify better forecasting methods.  

The most likely way to reduce delays and cost overruns is with field management and project management technology. With SYNCHRO Perform and SYNCHRO Cost, you will gain access to comprehensive progress cost management and earned value data to ensure you are optimizing field resources and prioritizing scheduled work. In addition, you will have insight into field-based progress and resource usage to make better data-driven decisions, immediate course corrections, and improvements. You can even monitor and report on daily costs and production rates in real time.  

#5. Enhance Safety and Quality

Working on a construction site can be a dangerous occupation, making safety a top priority for construction firms. But because the construction industry still utilizes inefficient, time-consuming, and manual processes, accidents and errors still happen. Digital construction technology can improve job site safety and quality by increasing communication and collaboration from the office to the field.  

SYNCHRO 4D enables the entire team to access up-to-date information – when and where they need it. With SYNCHRO, teams can understand what they are building before they build it, avoiding all the potential risks involved. You can even ensure that the entire team is engaged by inviting the supply chain to participate. Everyone performs at a higher level when they can review, communicate, and cooperate in a digital and interactive visual environment.  

Get a Head Start on Your Construction Technology Investment

Though it is unclear how the IIJA funding for digital technology deployment will be distributed, construction companies should begin researching and planning their construction technology options. 

SYNCHRO’s complete construction management platform – from 4D construction planning and modeling to cost management to project execution and field performance tracking – can help your team prepare for and meet the IIJA’s Contech goals and requirements.  

Curious to Learn More?

Contact us today to prepare for the IIJA’s construction technology funding by investing in visual-based inspection technologies that connect job sites to engineering offices in real-time, boosting efficiency, reducing risk, and accelerating project delivery.

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