Construction Software Trends During the Recession

Pretty much any way you measure it, the construction and architecture industries have taken a significant hit since the financial market collapsed over a year ago.  Over at Software Advice, Don Fornes takes a look at the trends in construction software during the current recession to see how firms have attempted to save time, money, and energy – at a time when jobs are hard to come by and competition is as stiff as ever.  Check out the article, here.

The trends aren’t surprising:

  • The demand of estimating software is up.
  • LEED credit tracking software is in high demand
  • Stimulus funds are not affecting IT spending

Estimating software demand is up

When the jobs are limited and the number of competitors trying to get the same job is greatly increased, its as important as ever to get the numbers right.  When the bids roll in, you need to be right on the mark in order to secure the project.  Not only does the software more accurately calculate the cost, it also saves time in calculating numbers with spreadsheets or even old fashioned pencil and paper.  While a recession may have spurred the use of estimating software, I imagine this is a trend that will continue long after the recession has eased.  In the end, more accurate and speedy estimates will improve the construction and architecture communities.

LEED credit tracking software is in demand

We’ve reached a point of no return, and its where sustainability becomes the norm and not the exception.  Once seen as a bonus if a building achieved LEED status, it will now be the only way to design and build a project.  And while LEED has made attempts to streamline their points system and the way certification is achieved, its still a time consuming process.  Not only that, the credit tracking needs to be accurate so buildings are truly achieving the goals they have set out to achieve.  With the use of LEED credit tracking software it is easy to integrate sustainability with construction and design.  There is a slight increase in upfront cost when constructing a sustainable building, which includes the LEED application fees.  However the money is recouped during the life of the building and clients are going to expect sustainable and LEED certified buildings moving forward.  The uptick in LEED credit tracking software is a bright spot even during this low time.

Stimulus funds not affecting IT spending

Off all the trends, this seems like the hardest to quantify.  But I am not surprised by the trend that exists.  For me, the purpose of the stimulus funds, and there were a lot for the construction sector (including many projects at my firm), is to have an immediate impact, hence stimulus.  So it makes sense that this money is not being spent on software that may aid firms in successfully gaining work, but rather spent immediately on the project and put directly into the economy.  The stimulating of the construction and architecture industries does not have time to wait for software to be implemented- such projects will be supplemented with new IT spending but not rely on such.

All of this is very interesting and puts a new perspective on how to quantify the recession on the construction and architecture industries and their response to it.  Please leaves your thoughts and comments.

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