Dodge Data & Analytics held its 79th annual Dodge Construction Outlook Executive Conference at the Swissôtel Chicago.
The Dodge Outlook is a mainstay industry event for building product manufacturing, design and architectural, contracting, engineering, and industry association firms looking to engage with influential speakers, network with peers, and gain insights into industry prospects for the coming year. The forecast, presented by Dodge Chief Economist Robert Murray, also offers critical data for members of the media covering economic and sector-based trends.
This year’s theme was connectivity, collaboration and integration in the construction industry. The conference shed light on how new technologies are transforming relationships between design professionals and builders to improve the cost, timeliness, performance and quality of completed projects. Attendees also learned how players across the supply chain, including building product manufacturers and distributors, can benefit from this trend. For the second time, the conference included a construction forecast for Canada.
“The U.S. construction industry has made the transition to a more mature stage of expansion,” states Robert Murray, Chief Economist for Dodge Data & Analytics. “After climbing 11 percnet to 13 percent each year from 2012 through 2015, total construction starts advanced 5 percent in 2016, and that pattern of deceleration remains present in 2017. Yet, while some project types like multifamily housing are losing momentum, other project types such as office buildings, education facilities, and transportation terminals are picking up the slack. How this shifting mix by project type plays out will determine if the expansion for construction can continue into 2018.”
Outlook 2018 opened with a networking reception, with presentations the following day. Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations for the Oakland Athletics, Billy Beane, the subject of the film “Moneyball,” was delivered at the luncheon keynote address.
Other featured speakers included Cristian deRitis, senior director at Moody’s Analytics; Richard Branch, senior economist, Dodge Data & Analytics; and Steve Jones, senior director of Industry Insights Research, Dodge Data & Analytics. Jones will also moderate a panel on Full Team Collaboration featuring industry players representing all stages of the AEC supply chain: Danielle Dy Buncio, president, VIATechnik LLC; Hilda Espinal, senior vice president, chief technology officer, CannonDesign; David Pikey, vice president, corporate technology, The Hill Group; Mike Prefling, director of virtual construction, Ryan Co.; Nick Scheib, marketing director, Dow Building Solutions; and Gene Toombs IV, group president, MiTek Industries Inc.
The 2018 Dodge Construction Outlook Executive Conference is produced by Dodge Data & Analytics. The sponsors this year included Modern Marketing Concepts, American Institute of Steel Construction, HKA, Lockton and Sweets.