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Sprinting to new technological solutions

At this week’s Construction News Summit, we hosted our first ever 24-hour hackathon.

The Tech Sprint, sponsored by BIM Show Live, saw 32 of the brightest young minds from across the industry – contractors, consultants, architects and suppliers – come together to devise a technology-based solution to improve the efficiency of construction.

24 hours in the making

The teams first met at around 3pm on day one of the Summit and there was a real buzz in the room as introductions were made and everyone settled in.

After a quick meet and greet, the teams swiftly set about brainstorming ideas for what they would work on through the night, before making an initial presentation to our judges just 90 minutes in.

At this point, ideas were still nebulous, but already it was clear that the teams were beginning to settle on the themes they wanted to explore.

“The final ideas were as varied as they were inspiring, including a one-click-buy app for housing, and a platform to gather reams of site data in an easy-to-use visual format”

The teams worked through the night, before putting together their final presentations at 3pm on day two of the Summit.

The final ideas were as varied as they were inspiring, including a one-click-buy app for housing, a system for using robots to replace people on sites, and a platform to gather reams of site data in an easy-to-use visual format.

Winning our competition, though, was Team Resource, who devised what they dubbed ’the Uber for concrete delivery’.

Cn summit 16 tech hack team photo

Cn summit 16 tech hack team photo

Essentially, it was an app that proposed changes to the way concrete is delivered from batching plants, allowing loads to be shared efficiently between multiple sites to minimise the need for part loads, as well as enabling builders to sell on unused concrete to other sites without having to send it back to the plant for a fee.

On the other side

Looking a bit bleary-eyed, but no less enthusiastic, all of the teams had come up with really intriguing and inspiring ideas – all the more impressive when you consider that they hadn’t met each other until 24 hours before.

Thinking outside the box is vital if construction is to keep up with other industries and win the war on talent – and this group of 30 or so young people showed what can be done when you try something new.

A full report on all four of the team’s ideas will appear online and in next week’s magazine.

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