Current Builders Introduces Drone and Virtual Technology to Enhance Onsite Safety and Resolve Issues in the Field

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. -- Investing in the most advanced technology is essential to Current Builders' mission. The general contractor is introducing the latest drones and virtual reality applications to enhance safety protocols on their South Florida construction projects; and are in the R&D phase of using the technology to resolve issues in the field, an application that will save time and money.

"Years ago, Current Builders advanced BIM (Building Information Modeling) throughout the industry," explained CEO Chip Reid. "We were an early adopter of the technology and were very open to sharing our experiences with colleagues and competitors alike because we felt it was critical to the industry. Today, we are on the cutting edge of Virtual Design and Construction (VDCO)."

Current Builders is using the latest technology to enhance safety protocols by showing team members in 3D which conditions could be hazardous before they even step onsite.

"Utilizing this emerging virtual technology to enhance job site safety is a critical application," said Kar Ho, Virtual Design and Construction Director. "This virtual technology is useful for seasoned employees but is invaluable for recent graduates entering the field. Now, they will be much better prepared to enter real world conditions."

Current Builders' mentoring and education programs have been a core component of the 45-year-old company, and now with this tech immersion the construction industry is attracting a wider range of students exploring the profession.

"For kids who grew up gaming, they find our field very exciting," continued Ho. "We are in the R&D phase of drone flights over projects, that once fully implemented, will take daily and even hourly photos, to capture 'as-built' conditions. That information will then be overlaid into the 3D model, which will allow us to make adjustments to reflect the onsite realities. Ultimately, the combination of these technologies will give us a greater capacity to forecast problems before they happen in the field. This ability will offer our clients tremendous cost savings."

Ho is confident the next phases of virtual reality will usher in an even greater era of problem solving capabilities, as he anticipates designers meeting virtually at sites to review real-time situations, making changes before construction begins.

"Communication is going to be greatly enhanced," explained Ho. "Less will be lost in translation between all the different teams and subcontractors, and problems will be mitigated much earlier in the timeline."

Ho sees this level of this immersive VR being about a year or so away, as currently the controls need to become more intuitive and user-friendly.

"Changes are coming rapidly -- it is an exciting time in the industry. Years ago, we would spend hours with clients showing them a variety of samples for kitchens and baths finishes, now they watch 3D models and instantly click through hundreds of different combinations," said Ho. "This has eliminated days, if not weeks, from this process because they are experiencing it in 3D instantly. The next step will be even more productive as it will be a truly virtual walk-through experience."

About Current Builders:

Established in 1972, the award-winning Current Builders is a full-service general contractor with construction volumes of over $150 million annually. Current Builders is recognized as the eighth largest contractor in South Florida by South Florida Business Journal and 18th largest in the state of Florida by ENR Southeast. Credited with more than 40,000 residential units, 15 million square feet of office/industrial space and 250,000 square feet of retail space, CB's project portfolio features all building types.

More information: http://www.currentbuilders.com/.

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