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November 21, 2022
Turner Construction Company held its seventh annual Innovation Summit on November 15 – 16, 2022. Presentations and discussions explored how climate, urbanization, socioeconomic shifts, and rapid technological change are impacting the built environment. The Summit, which was open to all Turner employees, served to inspire innovations that support people to become forces for change that drive the betterment of communities, society, and the planet.
The annual event brings Turner colleagues together with thought leaders to exchange ideas and learn about innovations at Turner, within the building industry, and beyond. This year, employees representing every region of the company as well as from our Sustainability, Engineering, Safety, Operations, Knowledge & Learning, and Lean teams connected to inspire change. This diverse group is enthusiastic about driving continuous improvement and sharing ideas that make us better builders.
In addition to Turner teams sharing innovation and creative building solutions from their projects, speakers at the 2022 Summit included:
Francis Kéré an architect, educator, and social activist. Kéré is the winner of the 2022 Pritzker Prize, architecture’s highest honor.
Tom Kelley partner at IDEO and the best-selling author of Creative Confidence, The Art of Innovation, and The Ten Faces of Innovation. Drew Boyd, global leader in creativity and innovation. Author of Inside the Box: A Proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough Results.
Christian Benimana, senior principal and managing director, MASS Design Group. Founding director of the African Design Centre, empowering leaders who will design a more equitable, just, and sustainable world.
Asha Curran, CEO of GivingTuesday, the world's first global generosity movement which inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.
Wil V. Srubar III, principal investigator and leader of the Living Materials Laboratory. Inventor of the world’s first algae-based concrete.
Alizé Carrère, National Geographic Explorer, filmmaker, and human adaption researcher.
Sharon Prince, Chair and President of Grace Farms Foundation, who launched Design for Freedom, a non-profit that seeks to eliminate forced labor in the supply chain.
Kate Frucher, Managing Director and Co-founder of The Clean Fight, a start-up accelerator for growth stage cleantech companies.
"This Summit is designed to spark and channel the collective ingenuity of our people and partners to advance purposeful innovations that deliver value to our clients, and create opportunities for our people," said Jim Barrett, Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer at Turner. Jim continued, "Ultimately we want to pioneer transformative advancements that shape the future of the industry, reinvent how we work, and improve people's lives."
Some of ‘purposeful innovations’ that Turner is evaluating on projects to make hard work easier and improve safety include:
Exoskeletons that reduce strain and fatigue and help workers perform physically demanding tasks like overhead drywall, piping, air duct, cables, and conduit installation, safely and comfortably.
Advanced robotic solutions that can perform critical or difficult work like overhead drilling to reduce worker strain and fatigue, keep workers off ladders and lifts, and reduce exposure environmental hazards like silica. Layout robots that autonomously navigate the construction site marking layout for walls, openings, HVAC, and other scope directly from coordinated 3D models. Mobile quadruped robots that conduct routine site walks and automate tasks like site laser scanning and progress monitoring.
The MX3 Hydration Testing System provides lab-quality results in a portable handheld device that facilitates the monitoring of an individual’s hydration status to reduce safety incidents and errors stemming from dehydration.
Versatile CraneView™ captures crane data and turns it into actionable insights that improve project performance and safety. The AI platform identifies unsafe behaviors and conditions so teams can observe, communicate, and correct them. Real-time alerts are also generated if cranes entered established ‘no fly zones’ or encountered ‘near misses.’
Extended reality tools (augmented reality / virtual reality) that streamline remote job walks and inspections, trainings, coordination, and facilitate real-time visual instruction.
Internet of Things (IoT) technologies are also being leveraged to enhance worker safety via sensors that provide proximity to equipment warnings, monitor health and environmental conditions, and communicate critical information to frontline staff in the event of an emergency.
Turner participates in numerous events to share lessons learned on pilot projects and to exchange innovative ideas about what may come next in the construction industry. Recent events include speaking the New York Building Congress’s ASCEND 2022 conference, Engineering News-Record’s FutureTech conference, the Robotics for Inspection & Maintenance Summit, the Augmented Enterprise Summit, and the DroneDeploy Conference at which Turner received the “Innovator of the Year” award which honors companies that are pushing the boundaries of reality capture technology and setting the tone for where the industry is heading.