Digital Deals: PlanGrid and Autodesk expand integration ‘ecosystems’ and more

Tech firms in the construction space often join forces to marry their niche solutions with other technologies and provide more comprehensive and interoperable tools. Every few weeks, Construction Dive provides a roundup of the most recent mergers, acquisitions and integrations in the construction technology space. To view the entire series, click here.

PlanGrid expands integration ecosystem

PlanGrid on Tuesday launched PlanGrid Connect, a central hub to facilitate integrations between the productivity software and as many as 200 software solutions for CRM, analytics, task management, document storage and other applications. Aimed at eliminating data silos, the platform provides users “granular control over exactly how each application works together,” said co-founder and CEO Tracy Young in an announcement.

Users can create automated functions within PlanGrid Connect based on their preferred workflows. For example, project teams that keep a running spreadsheet list of issues on a project can set up automatic syncing between that sheet and data collected in PlanGrid.

The firm also announced APIs for Tasks, which launched last month, and Field Reports, which was released last year. The new endpoints allow for data syncing between PlanGrid and other systems like business intelligence tools.

Autodesk adds cost management to BIM 360

During the recent Autodesk University 2018 event, Autodesk announced that BIM 360, its design and construction management platform, will include support for the Cost Management workflow. In addition to punch lists, RFIs, submittals and other project data, users will be able to manage budget items, contracts, change orders and other documents affecting project cost, according to a blog post announcing the integration.

Jim Lynch, vice president and general manager of Autodesk’s construction solutions group, said the ability to manage costs within BIM 360 can reduce risk by consolidating cost-related construction activities in a single software and by “providing real-time visibility into the financial health of the project.” This year, the company added 60 software integrations to its BIM 360 “ecosystem,” bringing the total to more than 100.

Delair expands drone offering to U.S. with Airware acquisition

France-based commercial drone solution provider Delair recently announced an agreement to acquire key assets of Airware, which offers an analytics tool for drone data, for an undisclosed amount. The deal follows a B-series funding round with Intel Capital to support software development, and looks to expand Delair’s presence in U.S. construction, mining and other industries.

“The drone industry is maturing fast and customers are now looking for comprehensive, end-to-end solutions,” said Airware CEO Sasha Pesic. “Airware’s advanced data management and data analysis tools will be highly complementary with Delair’s existing solutions.”

Delair is an industry leader in beyond line of sight drone operations, which some speculate may be the Federal Aviation Administration’s next allowance in a string of deregulatory priorities.

Cove.Tool finds cost-effective routes to energy efficiency

Atlanta-based startup Cove.Tool recently closed a $750,000 round of early-stage funding backed by Tech Square Labs, Knoll Ventures and Urban Us for its automated big-data platform that helps AEC users identify the most cost-effective ways their projects can comply with energy efficiency requirements.

Among other things, the platform addresses the frequently changing federal, state and local codes that often overlap, reported TechCrunch. After contractors enter project specs, inputs and location-specific data, the platform runs through parametric energy models and spits out the most optimal combination of resources to meet efficiency goals for that locale. For example, the tool might recommend larger windows and increased investment in energy efficient wall installation for a project that faces heavy wind in a cold city, according to the report, in order to reduce HVAC spending.


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