TrimbleMembers of AEM are at the forefront of developing and adopting technologies that will facilitate the construction of our nation’s infrastructure in a more, timely, cost-effective and safe manner.  With a number of our member companies increasing work in the smart construction space, AEM’s Advocacy Team was asked by the House Committee on Small Business to help identify an industry leader to testify. On Nov. 19, AEM member executive Chris Shephard, Vice President, Construction Solutions Group for Trimble, Inc., testified before the House Small Business Committee’s Contracting and Infrastructure Subcommittee.

Shephard joined a panel of industry stakeholders and experts involved in digital construction for a hearing on Smart Construction: Increasing Opportunities for Small Businesses in Infrastructure. Joining Mr. Shephard on the panel were Mr. Lennart Anderssen, Director of Virtual Design, Construction & Operations with the LiRo Group and professor with the Pratt Institute; Mr. Ryan Forrestel, President of Cold Springs Construction who testified on behalf of the GPS Innovation Alliance; and Mr. Phillip Ogilby, CEO and Co-founder of STACK Construction Technologies.

The hearing delved into smart technologies deployed in construction and how small businesses can play a role in infrastructure utilizing this technology. Subcommittee Chairman Jared Golden (ME-02) began the hearing by talking about the need for “a comprehensive infrastructure package that incorporates information technology and communications so that our nation not only has the fastest and most efficient infrastructure, but also the most modern.” The Chairman went on to say “technology has the ability to reshape the construction industry by creating digital construction solutions where small firms can help lead the way.”

Mr. Shephard of Trimble emphasized the role that incorporating digital construction technologies in infrastructure project can have on reducing inefficiencies.

“The return on investment of implementing digital construction technologies is well documented,” Shephard included in his testimony. “When technology is used on infrastructure projects, the results are significant and measurable: machine productivity increases 30 percent, rework is reduced by 50 percent, overall project delivery costs improve by up to 30 percent.”

AEM and its more than 1,000 members will continue to play a leading role in promoting technologies that will allow us to address critical infrastructure needs and help our nation reclaim its infrastructure advantage.

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