2021 predictions and Junior Mints hot cocoa
Newsletter cover photo
Pictured: Raiders owner buys steaks for 12,000 Allegiant Stadium workers
Happy December (huh?),
Life-hack: Just hide your scale and don’t bother finding out what the damage was. Your post-Thanksgiving weight can be like Schrödinger's cat.
We’re on the home stretch before the holidays and the implied mercy of the year 2021, so we may as well kill some time and get to this week’s links—

Construction

Bim+
listed the
top 7 digital construction targets
for venture capital in the wake of COVID-19’s much-publicized acceleration of contech adoption. The list is accumulated from
McKinsey’s report
, “Rise of the platform era: The next chapter in construction technology.”
From a
Business Wire
press release, Windover Construction
announced IDEA
(Innovations for Design, Engineering and Automation), a consulting platform that combines leading-edge technology solutions including BIM, drones, and robotics to build faster, safer and more sustainably while providing real-time solutions for project challenges.
Amr Raafat, Windover VP of VDC and Technology and 2019 Autodesk AEC Innovator of the year, will head up IDEA, likely because it was his idea. You had to figure the likelihood that we'd reach for this low hanging fruit of a joke was roughly that of the Moderna vaccine’s
serious case efficacy
.
This is the third time this year that Windover Construction has flexed its innovative muscles in this newsletter. We’ve titled them everything from “the Dr. Strange of Construction,” to “the tech-savviest GC on the block." We’re maybe 2 or 3 more mentions away from including a “Windover” section aside from “Construction” and “Non-Construction.”
Congruent with our story last week that Texas was the largest state with the least COVID-affected construction industry,
Jacobs Engineering
released their Q4 and 2020 overall fiscal reports
revealing a 6.5% increase from last year and a slightly better Q4 than in 2019. Jacobs additionally plans to transform 30% of its current workforce into a WFH-force.
From
ENR
,
a transparent interview
with Jim Donaghy of STO (No. 7 on ENR’s Top 400 GC list) regarding the best-case scenarios for a Biden administration’s effect on STO and the industry at large. Topics include Donaghy’s opinions on the administration’s most impactful priorities, Biden’s abilities in light of a potentially divided Congress, and reversals of the Trump administration’s executive orders.
From
Fox 5 Las Vegas
, Raiders owner Mark Davis
delivered on his promise
to treat all 12,000+ Allegiant Stadium workers (aka
From the Ground Up
cast-members) to a steak dinner. Rather than the logistical nightmare of a scene akin to the Grinch carving the roast beast at the head of a 12,000+ seat table, Davis instead opted to give $100 gift cards to everyone. Any guesses as to how much of that $1.2MM ultimately goes toward steak?
Construction Coverage
examined numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to find the
20 cities
in America with the highest percentage of women in construction (spoiler: the top 3 are Minneapolis, Seattle, and San Francisco). Women comprise just 10.3% of the construction industry as a whole, a figure that has remained about the same for the last 30 years and metaphorically a party you walk into and Grandpa Simpson GIF your way immediately out of. Kudos to these 20 cities for helping to change that narrative.
From
Construction Global
, German general contractor PERI is working on
Europe’s largest 3D-printed
structure, an apartment building in Wallenhausen, Bavaria. We’ve come a long way from when 3D printers were used exclusively to make
black market-looking versions
of action figures out of sheer boredom.
From
Construction Junkie
, check out a video of the new world record for
tallest building demolished by explosives
. The record-setting implosion occurred in Abu Dhabi. We haven’t featured a controlled demolition video in quite a while. This is us trying to step our game up.
From
Equipment World
, learn what 3 of the most important construction economists, including Buildr Newsletter regular Anirban Basu of ABC,
predict for 2021
. As far as optimism goes, let’s just say if these folks were psychics you'd debate tipping them.
From
CNBC
, here's a video on
how autonomous robots
are changing construction. Excavators accelerating unmanned may be cause for alarm and an audible “Did I leave that in drive?” at the moment, but will be commonplace sooner than you think.

Non-Construction

Lego my Eggo
: Cementing himself as a 1st round construction draft pick, a 14-year-old built a seemingly accurate depiction of the Manhattan skyline
completely out of Legos
.
When Eilish upon a star
: They said
this collab
could never happen, but we finally have Billie Eilish x Gucci x Spot the robot construction dog. The fact that the previous sentence exists is a testament to how unpredictable 2020 has been.
Channel the force
: Salesforce acquired Slack for
a cartoonishly large number
because Microsoft is much easier to push over if someone else is kneeling right behind them.
That’s a wrap
: Spotify year-end summaries
are out
, so you can see how many thousands of minutes you spent listening to Tame Impala and The Weeknd. Or, if you’re Buildr co-founder Caleb whose Spotify listening statistics have been compromised by his daughter—Disney Princess Mix 3: Elsa Edition.
Stocking stuffers
: If you’re still hurting from Black Friday and need some inexpensive gift ideas, here are
10 under $10
including Junior Mints hot cocoa packs.
The Leftovers
: If you’re not still hurting from Black Friday and aren’t picky about Cyber Monday deals that are getting cold, check out
the remaining deals
.
Orwell done
:
Wonder Woman 1984
, the 1,984th film in the beloved Wonder Woman series,
will be streamable on HBO Max for free
on Christmas. This will be like that Christmas everyone on earth watched
Bird Box
at the same time.
Stitcher Premium
: Ever wonder what’s up with
that stitch in your side
when you’re running? Doctors do too.
Impending Zoom
: Time to brush up on your high school theater skills—Microsoft
filed a patent
to record and analyze work meetings (virtual and in-person) to give you a score based on body language.
Feline Musk
: An ex-engineer for Amazon’s Alexa is working on an app that
translates your cat’s meows
. A common phrase will likely be: “Bye-bye, I’m disappearing for like 2 days then scaring you with my tail rubbing against your leg suddenly.”
Crossing the line
: An In-N-Out opened in Colorado and the line was
14 hours long
. Yikes. We can speak from experience, being California-based, that the maximum you should ever wait for In-N-Out is 11 hours.
That’s all for this week. If you'd like some news and notes in your inbox every other Wednesday morning,
be sure to subscribe here
.
See you next time.
PS We'll leave you with this piece of wisdom: