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Insights into the ideas and innovations that are transforming project planning and delivery

AEC Venture Capitalist Darren Bechtel Shares Insights into Construction Innovation

The Bechtel family has a long tradition of leadership in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) sector. One family member, Darren Bechtel, is charting a new path by combining his AEC experience and interest in venture capital and technology to disrupt the way we design, construct, and maintain the built world.

Bechtel shared his insights and journey as founder of the leading AEC venture capital firm earlier this year at the Oracle Industry Connect sharing event. Bechtel founded Brick and Mortar Ventures in 2015 with the sole purpose of identifying, investing in, and accelerating the growth of emerging companies that develop innovative software and hardware solutions for the AEC and facilities management industries.

The Dawn of the Digital Era

“We recognized that the dawn of the digital era for the construction industry was just starting to break over the horizon,” said Bechtel. “The industry’s need for productivity and safety improvement was clear, and the foundational technologies necessary to connect the field to the office, trailer, and digital world were just starting to become accessible to end users.”

The company is built around the team’s belief that the global construction industry – a $10 trillion-dollar sector expected to grow to $15 trillion by 2025 – will need to realize exponential growth in productivity and significant decrease in project delivery costs to meet the $50 trillion in infrastructure demand over the next 12 years.

Bechtel highlighted the human capital challenges AEC companies face as an important impetus for disruption.

“For an AEC organization to remain relevant, survive, and thrive over the next 10 years, we believe they need to be investing in innovation right now. And much more than just talking about; they need to be actively seeking out new technologies and learning how to work with the new generation of ever-improving solutions – or they will have a hard time remaining competitive.”

Since its creation, Bechtel’s firm has tracked more than 500 start-ups in the AEC technology sector. His organization sees innovation accelerating as the technology matures and the need to improve productivity through innovation becomes ever more pressing.

Brick and Mortar Ventures' vision for the construction site of the future includes:

  • augmented workers

  • local and remote connectivity

  • 4D/5D plans and ubiquitous “digital twins”

  • real-time, data-driven insight

  • smart schedules and tasks

  • autonomous and remotely operated equipment

  • zero-waste jobsites

  • pervasive off-site fabrication

  • and a transparent and efficient supply chain.

Read more about how Darren Bechtel is contributing to digital transformation within the construction and engineering industry.

And for more insights into innovation and digital transformation in the project delivery world, read our full report from Oracle Industry Connect, “Navigating the Future of Projects.”

Check out insights from the Oracle Industry Connect 2018 report here.

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