Dodge Data & Analytics Unveils a Technology Driven Vision With PlanRoom

Dodge Data & Analytics Chief Executive Officer, Mike Petrullo, unveils a technology driven vision with PlanRoom. The vision for the company aimed at creating single-platform data integration for building product manufacturers, general contractors, specialty trades, architects and engineers. The platform will provide a cloud-based hub that serves as one workflow management and business growth solution for the industry.

In charting a path for “The New Dodge,” Petrullo announced the acquisition of Adenium Systems, a software developer whose experience in workflow management tools will enable the launch of Dodge PlanRoom, a brand new, free document management tool for the construction industry.

“Immersion of data, analytics and market intelligence directly into workflow tools holds enormous value for professionals across the entire construction industry supply chain,” said Petrullo. “Our recent acquisitions of Adenium Systems and Ingenium Technologies are two examples of the steps we’re taking to develop our cloud-based hub that will help change the way the construction industry does business.”

In remarks at the 2016 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Convention in Philadelphia, Petrullo outlined the company’s evolution from a trusted source of research-driven construction data – on which the U.S. Census Bureau relies every year as its sole private provider of construction starts and project data analysis – to a technology provider. Dodge harnesses its data to power single-platform integrated workflow tools for building product manufacturers, general contractors, specialty trades, architects and engineers.

Petrullo underscored Dodge’s aggressive goal to ensure the pre-planning process for projects is as seamless and efficient as possible through Dodge PlanRoom, a powerful, free document management tool for building product manufacturers and contractors to keep tabs on project progress and status. PlanRoom’s technology includes personalized plan storage, invitation to bid functionality and integration of Dodge projects and contacts. Additional features will be available with reasonable pricing tiers.

“In the same way that our Sweets App for Revit connects building product manufacturers more directly into the architect’s workflow, Dodge PlanRoom will provide a solution for general contractors and specialty trades to store their project information at the same time as they work together to finalize bids and plans,” said Petrullo.

Building on a foundation of expertise in construction industry research and data products, the Dodge platform will allow industry professionals to more efficiently find projects, craft designs, specify materials, submit bids, manage projects and coordinate with partners and subcontractors.

In addition to PlanRoom, some of the solutions being introduced this year as part of the growing Dodge platform include:
•Sweets apps for Revit/AutoCAD – Solutions for architects that integrate building products and materials data directly into the design workflow to simplify discovery and selection. The Sweets app for Revit launched earlier this year, and the AutoCAD version is being previewed at the AIA convention. The Sweets apps will include over 100,000 building products by the end of September.
•ConstructionPoints for SalesForce – A set of integration and management tools that provide same day plug-and-play integration of Dodge data into Salesforce, one of the world’s leading Customer Relationship Managament (CRM) systems. Additional CRM solutions are being developed.
•Dodge Mobile app – Dodge is now a fully mobile solution. The Dodge Mobile app launched in the Apple and Android app stores. Dodge Global Network subscribers can search projects on the go, find local activity, and have instant access to any projects or contacts they’ve already flagged—all with the goal of keeping the design and build community connected with the right projects and professionals.

“The beauty of the Dodge platform is that it will change the way the construction industry operates without the requirement to learn new tools or technology,” added Petrullo. “Like our industry, we are evolving to make it faster and easier for industry players to extract value from our data to enhance their business and advance their market positions.”

“As this is just the beginning of our evolution, we will be making further announcements on key milestones toward our end goal of a single project platform for the industry.”

U.S. Construction Starts Will Improve in 2015

Dodge Data & Analytics has released its 2015 Dodge Construction Outlook, a mainstay in construction industry forecasting and business planning. The report predicts that total U.S. construction starts for 2015 will rise 9 percent to $612 billion, a larger gain than the 5 percent increase to $564 billion estimated for 2014.

“The construction expansion should become more broad-based in 2015, with support coming from more sectors than was often the case in recent years,” said Robert Murray, Chief Economist and Vice President for Dodge Data & Analytics. “The economic environment going forward carries several positives that will help to further lift total construction starts. Financing for construction projects is becoming more available, reflecting some easing of bank lending standards, a greater focus on real estate development by the investment community, and more construction bond measures getting passed. While federal funding for construction programs is still constrained, states are now picking up some of the slack. Interest rates for the near term should stay low, and market fundamentals (occupancies and rents) for commercial building and multifamily housing continue to strengthen.”

Based on research of specific construction market sectors, the 2015 Dodge Construction Outlook details the forecast as follows.

Commercial building will increase 15 percent, slightly faster than the 14% gain estimated for 2014. Office construction has assumed a leading role in the commercial building upturn, aided by expanding private development as well as healthy construction activity related to technology and finance firms. Hotel and warehouse construction should also strengthen, although the pickup for stores is more tenuous.

Institutional building will advance 9 percent, continuing the moderate upward trend that’s been established during 2014. The educational building category is now seeing an increasing amount of K-12 school construction, aided by the financing made available by the passage of recent construction bond measures. Healthcare facilities are expected to show some improvement relative to diminished activity in 2014.

Single-family housing will rise 15 percent in dollars, corresponding to an 11% increase in units to 700,000 (Dodge basis). It’s expected that access to home mortgage loans will be expanded, lifting housing demand. However, the millennial generation is only gradually making the shift towards homeownership, limiting the potential number of new homebuyers in the near term.

Multifamily housing will increase 9 percent in dollars and 7% in units to 405,000 (Dodge basis). Occupancies and rent growth continue to be supportive, although the rate of increase for construction is now decelerating as the multifamily market matures.

Public works construction will improve 5 percent, a partial rebound following the 9% decline estimated for 2014. Highway and bridge construction should stabilize, and modest gains are anticipated for environmental public works. Federal spending restraint will be offset by a greater financing role played by the states, involving higher user fees and the increased use of public-private partnerships.

Electric utilities will slide 9 percent, continuing the downward trend that’s followed the exceptional volume of construction starts that was reported during 2011-2012. With more projects now coming on line, capacity utilization rates will stay low, limiting the need for new construction.

Manufacturing plant construction will settle back 16 percent, following the huge increases reported during both 2013 (up 42 percent) and 2014 (up 57 percent) that reflected the start of massive chemical and energy-related projects. Next year’s volume remains quite high by recent historical standards.

The 2015 Dodge Construction Outlook was presented at the 76th annual Outlook Executive Conference held by Dodge Data & Analytics in Washington, D.C. Order copies of the report with additional details by building sector. Additional reports and projections are available from Dodge Data & Analytics.