What’s New, and How Will it Impact You?

What’s New, and How Will it Impact You?

Construction is inherently a service-based industry, one that’s rooted in delivering the infrastructure and maintenance needs of clients. Consumer demand drives major changes for builders, who have to continually adapt to new trends in facility design, technological needs, new building materials, and much more.

Fortunately for us, such a diverse array of client needs gives builders unique knowledge and insight about facility investments. So, we asked them:

What are some new innovations, capabilities, or trends emerging in the construction industry that could have a positive impact on Indiana companies?

Here’s what they had to say –


Jim Dyer, Senior Vice President
Berglund Construction

One of the most exciting trends in the Indiana construction industry today is the implementation of the CMc delivery method for public projects. Recently approved by the state legislature, all public schools and municipalities can use this construction delivery which eliminates having to hold multiple subcontractor agreements and be given a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) for the project.

The CMc or Construction Manager as constructor, also known as CM at Risk, provides all of the services of a CMa or Construction Manager as advisor, including early preconstruction budgeting, phasing, logistics and scheduling efforts. The only exception is that the CMc carries the risk of the GMP and holds the risk of all prime subcontractors. The CMc is selected on a competitive quality-based selection process. The CMc, with the best qualifications of similar projects, experienced personnel and financial capabilities enter into an agreement with the owner around the same time the architect is selected. The CMc, architect and owner work as a team to meet the project budget and program and ultimately agree to a GMP. Upon completion of the contract plans and specifications, the CMc will publicly bid all prime contractors and enter into contract agreements with them.

Shifting the owner’s responsibilities of a CMa to a CMc will save the owner resources, time and money. The CMc delivery is currently being used by all major Indiana Universities including Purdue and Ball State, and by many public schools and municipalities. Berglund is currently using this approach at Purdue University Northwest on their new $30 million Bioscience Innovation Building in Hammond.


William Hasse, President
Hasse Construction Company, Inc.

Hasse Construction Company is a general contractor serving the Chicago and Northwest Indiana building construction industry for the past 98 years, performing work in the site utilities, commercial, industrial and healthcare markets. Workforce development is our most important asset and we continue to see reinvestment by the Indiana union trades to their training of apprentice and journeyman and to their training centers. The construction industry, like others, is struggling to maintain sufficient skilled labor to give us enough manpower to do our jobs.  Innovations in offsite prefabrication and modular construction have helped to maintain quality control and production improvements, thus speeding up the delivery of project completion. Software has greatly improved collaboration between architects, owners, and stakeholders, specifically through the ease of sharing construction documents and with project management control software. As for construction equipment, improvements have been made for safety and productivity, which continues to elevate the industry.

The state of Indiana, through the IEDC, and local municipalities, have continued to work together to help foster economic development within the state. New markets are relocating and existing markets are reinvesting to Indiana as a result in industries like warehouse distribution, heavy industry and most recently data centers.


Sarah K. Hempstead, CEO, Principal
Schmidt Associates

While every project is unique, there are several tips every owner and project manager should keep in mind to create the best possible outcome for their projects.

  • Life Cycle Cost Matters – Look at a 5-10 and even 20-year time frame. Projecting what costs will be in the long run as you create the initial design will help you make informed decisions.
  • Plan for the Unexpected – Whether the project is large or small, something will come up during construction. Build a contingency fund into your budget.
  • No Free Lunch – Be cynical if someone tells you they can give you the same thing for substantially less. Dive into the details of the bid.
  • Communicate More – Problems, issues, wants and more don’t resolve themselves. Create a regular communication plan and then exceed it.
  • Tackle Problems Immediately – Problems don’t get better with time. Address them immediately and expect the same of your team.
  • Professional Marriage – Projects, particularly large projects, take a long time. Select the internal and external people you like to be around and who you trust to look after your interests.

This list isn’t the magic secret sauce to project success, but for the more than forty years Schmidt Associates has partnered on design and construction projects, these have proven to make the process more efficient and enjoyable.


Jack Lashenik, PE, Executive Vice President, Partner
American Structurepoint

An emerging capability is having the technological capacity, or digital workspaces if you will, to collaborate with employees and clients in multiple locations. American Structurepoint uses Citrix software technology to minimize infrastructure costs as we grow into new geographic locations beyond our corporate headquarters in Indianapolis. This technology allows our engineering and consulting professionals to work seamlessly between states and to exchange files, documents, plans, and other pertinent information when sharing resources on projects.



Mike McCann, President
Pepper Construction Indiana

I firmly believe that people are the best asset to any organization. And I’m not alone. Competition is always fierce when it comes to attracting the best and brightest. And the question of how to position Indiana companies as attractive to employees is one that affects every market and industry.

One of the ways the construction industry can help Indiana companies attract and retain a talented workforce is high performance building.

High-performance building takes a direct approach to balancing human and building performance. With 90 percent of people’s time spent indoors every day, there’s enough research to show that building environments directly affect one’s health, growth and productivity. So, it only makes sense that the environments we build are powerful tools when it comes to attracting and retaining people in the workforce.

For Pepper, this means performing life cost analysis to improve a building’s energy efficiency and studying how it’s built will affect the health and well-being of those who occupy it – from material selection to systems to building practices.

As building professionals, I think it’s our responsibility to help our clients make the best investment. And high-performance building presents the opportunity for companies to invest in their people through building.


Ken Miles, General Manager
BMWC Constructors

Today, BMWC works across all North American major industries (predominantly in 9 industrial markets), so we’re uniquely fortunate amongst Indiana companies to have a much wider-angle lens that allows BMWC to observe and experiment with the technology and innovations happening in other parts of the country. This occurred in the 2000’s when BMWC was the first industrial contractor to adopt Lean Construction technology on a national scale, winning awards and bringing down costs.

And now in the 2010’s, it is happening again for BMWC as we’ve developed our comprehensive Virtual Design technology. We’re the first local constructor to have invested & built a full-scale department of experts bringing 3D modeling, laser scanning, construction animation, and drone technology into the hands of the construction teams. This eliminates the cost of the third-party middle-men, and better yet has driven down our overall installation costs significantly in our reimbursable and fixed price project results.  By taking this significant leap into technology & innovation, BMWC is now being recognized by our clients’ plant managers, construction managers, and purchasing managers as bringing greater value (measurable) to those throughout the state of Indiana.


Scott Olthoff, President
CORE Construction of Indiana

On the surface, the approach to the construction process may appear the same as it has been for decades.  However, amazing innovations and efficiencies continue to evolve at an incredible pace in our industry.

Getting our workers home each day is one of the most important tasks we have as a company.  To ensure a safe jobsite, CORE Construction equips every project manager and superintendent with an app on their mobile phone that enables daily safety audits of the jobsite to occur.  These audits develop a database that can predict potential safety incidents before they happen.  It is an amazing technology that has provided us with one of the lowest insurance modifiers in the industry.

We have also invested in assembling an entire team of Virtual Construction specialists who are integrated into nearly every project we construct.  When drawing updates occur, our systems scrub the drawings and instantly report any changes that have been made—a great reporting tool for our clients.  We also use this approach to check for conflicts with various construction elements such as steel and mechanical systems which can save a tremendous amount of time and expense by alleviating conflicts before they occur in the field.

When working in existing spaces, we implement our 3D scanners to digitally locate every item in the space.  This results in significant savings of time and money by enabling a highly accurate and fully coordinated design before any field work occurs.  Other uses include 3D site logistics plans and 4D project scheduling which are great tools that easily communicate how the project will be built.

This collaborative approach to the construction process creates a true team effort between owner, designer, and constructor.  While we have used this process for decades in the private sector, only recently has the state of Indiana permitted this delivery method on the public side.  Now known as Construction Manager as Constructor (CMc), it is a breakthrough in project delivery that keeps project costs low and schedule accuracy high.


Drew Peuquet, COO
Chester, Inc.

Time and time again we experience industry trends where construction projects aren’t always well-coordinated between the architects creating the design, then handed off to the general contractor and their project management teams. Typically, this engagement proves to be problematic at the onset and communications on the project can be difficult and time consuming for the owner; often leaving the owner in the dark on why the project isn’t being completed in a timely manner.

At Chester Architectural and Construction services we offer an innovative, seamless, teamwork approach of design/build construction that integrates both the architectural and construction process for a complete value-add to our customers. This provides the owner a single contract and single point of responsibility reducing multiple contracts with architects, engineers, contractors and construction managers. Communication is also enhanced between the design-builder and the owner, which translates to the owner having more and ongoing input into the project, providing an overall project cost savings. Additionally, we have our information technologies division that can assist in implementing a complete IT turn-key implementation to the project owners for a literal one-stop shop offering of a complete design, build, high-tech solution that creates a positive impact on Indiana companies.


Kevin Turner, Vice President
Wurster Construction Co. Inc.

We continue to see more prefabrication and off-site construction. The labor shortage may contribute to the need for contractors to become more efficient, in a controlled environment. More on-site technology is improving jobsite efficiency with faster responses to questions and the need for additional information. Also, drones have been great for progress photos and offer more frequent jobsite photos for marketing than ever before.





Jim Vermillion, CHC, Division Manager, Commercial Construction
The Pangere Corporation 

The technology of mobile phones, tablets, along with cloud-based systems and file sharing software allows contractors, owners, architects, engineers, and consultants to be more involved with what going on at the job site and makes it easier to share information. When there is an issue, we can share this information in real-time and bring everyone together quickly to come up with a solution, even if a lot of these people are not even near the job site. Years ago, it would take days or weeks to get everyone together to review the information and come up with a solution. Now, when can do it in a matter of hours or even minutes at time.



Category Features, Pro Voices