Suffolk launches Smart Labs to spur innovation in construction

October 20, 2017 - Construction Design & Engineering

Boston, MA Suffolk officially launched its first of several Smart Labs the company will use to identify, test and scale new technologies intended to transform the construction experience and revolutionize the industry. Smart Labs will soon be located in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, Tampa and Boston, in addition to the Smart Lab recently launched in New York City.

 While other industries have already been transformed by advanced technologies, construction productivity and innovation has lagged behind. This inspired Suffolk to integrate its “build Smart” approach to the construction process, empowering project teams to explore innovative ways of leveraging new tools and technologies to provide value for their clients. As a result, Suffolk has consistently delivered the most complex projects with a level of predictability that is unique to the industry.

Suffolk Smart Labs are a physical manifestation of this build smart approach, and will enable project teams to sit side by side with clients and partners to provide a collaborative project planning, design and construction experience that adds value for all stakeholders involved.

“The momentum from our ‘build smart’ approach is unmistakable as we redefine what it means to be a builder and, more importantly, provide significant value and a positive project experience for clients, architects and trade partners,” said Chris Mayer, executive vice president and chief innovation officer at Suffolk. “We believe our Smart Labs are on the front lines of an industry disruption that will change the way buildings are designed and built, and we are excited to reinforce a culture of invention and curiosity – both in our own people and within the industry.”

Smart Labs will be equipped with sophisticated tools and the latest interactive technologies such as:

 • A Data Wall: Provides predictive analytics and operational performance indicators to effectively measure critical areas of its business.

A Huddlewall: Facilitates Lean pull planning meetings, provides closer collaboration and helps integrate 3D, 4D and 5D models, resulting in maximum project efficiency and optimized performance.

A Virtual Reality CAVE: Showcases the future of construction by immersing users in sophisticated virtual models. It allows clients to virtually “step foot inside” their building before it is built and allows architects and project teams to identify and address logistical challenges before construction begins.

Jobsite Feeds: Live streaming and time lapse of existing projects, and side-by-side comparisons of the current construction phase.

Suffolk recently opened its first Smart Lab in New York City and the San Francisco space will be unveiled this month. Additional Smart Labs will open in Miami, Tampa, and at the company’s headquarters in Boston later this year. The Los Angeles location will launch in 2018.

More from the New England Real Estate Journal