Renovations are booming on college campuses and at health care facilities across the country. 

At colleges and universities, according to Sightlines’ 2018 State of Facilities in Higher Education, “capital investment in existing properties has finally returned to—and even eclipsed—pre-recession levels.”

At hospitals, facility renovations took up about 28% of capital budgets, compared to 25% for new construction, according to the American Society for Health Care Engineering’s 2019 Hospital Construction Survey.

Construction projects of just about any size can get complicated. But, when it comes to renovations, particularly upgrades to hospitals, health care facilities, colleges and universities, the stakes for schedule management and worker visibility are even higher.

Safety critical 

When the project takes place inside a building that remains operational, not only must builders and contractors stay focused on the task at hand, they also need to consider the safety of everybody else inside.

In the case of projects at hospitals, that includes medically fragile patients, visitors and health care providers, along with college students, teachers and other staff at higher education institutions.

To ensure safety and security, projects likely will require temporary entrances, exits and hallways; clear boundaries between construction zones and areas that are still in use; and other measures or phasing plans so systems such as heating, air and electrical remain available to the building’s occupants. 

Visibility key

But, just as safety measures are vital, so is visibility during a building upgrade or expansion. Managers must have complete visibility of who is on the jobsite and where they are at any given time to ensure that workers are where they need to be and unauthorized individuals haven’t gained access to the site.

Age-old construction management practices that include paper processes and no insight into your daily workforce, aren’t up to today’s requirements. What contractors need is comprehensive visibility to track who is in and around the jobsite. 

Technology can help

That’s why major contractors are turning to technology solutions to improve their ability to supervise and manage the jobsite.

Wearable devices, for example, make it possible for supervisors to monitor where workers are while they’re on the job and whether they’re in the vicinity of unauthorized areas. They can track equipment and quickly determine whether workers nearby have the required certifications to operate it. Some can send out real-time alerts to managers if an equipment operator doesn’t have the right training.

What’s more, today’s technology bolsters a contractor’s ability to better manage a project’s schedule, which is especially critical for higher education facilities that have just the summer months to complete some renovations before students return to class.

When the right solution is deployed, users can gain insights into not only which floors workers are on, but if those locations are where those trades should be spending their time. And, with the ability to monitor all man hours logged by trade, contractors can quickly compare the schedule to the number they included when they bid on the project to ensure they are staying on track.

If you’re ready for more visibility into your higher education and health care renovations, contact us.

Or, visit us at these upcoming events:

AGC Construction Safety, Health and Environmental Conference: July 23 to July 25;

Construction Industry Institute, Aug. 5 to Aug. 7, Booth 214;

AGC IT Forum Conference 2019: Aug. 7 to Aug. 9, Booth 205.