California construction: Champions for sustainability, technology and diversity – Silicon Valley Business Journal – The Business Journals

In 2024, the construction industry will play a pivotal role in ushering California into a more sustainable and diverse future. But that is not without its challenges. While financial uncertainty in the new year urges building owners to be prudent on capital project spending, recent environmental legislation requires buildings to adhere to decarbonization goals to reduce emissions. Simultaneously, equity and diversity continue to be critical areas of focus.
As California continues to trailblaze on these issues, the construction industry is emerging as a strategic partner in championing sustainability, delivering projects on time and within budget through the use of technology, and driving diversity initiatives.
Around 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions originate from the built environment. To address this, California enacted several legislative measures in 2023 aimed at decarbonizing buildings. These measures include new codes for large commercial buildings and schools to curb embodied carbon emissions and enhanced monitoring and disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions by large corporations.
To comply with these mandates, clients may find it beneficial to partner with general contractors on innovative solutions including:
Cutting-edge technology is redefining construction projects. Drones, aerial imaging and robotics streamline the decision-making process, improve safety and promise timely and cost-effective project delivery. On the Sutter Health Ambulatory Care Center and Surgery Center in San Jose, we utilized a Dusty Robotics field printer for improved layout design accuracy and efficiency. This project also leveraged the use of Takt Planning for enhanced construction efficiency. The impressive results speak for themselves — completion was achieved nearly three months ahead of schedule and $3 million under budget.
The use of technology and innovative strategies will continue to transform the construction industry in ways we have not seen before, benefiting clients as their projects are delivered on time and within budget.
Supplier diversity holds significant importance in California’s construction industry, given the state’s equity and diversity goals. However, it’s not just about filling quotas or meeting legal requirements; it’s about leveraging the full potential of the state’s diverse businesses for economic growth and social progress.
California’s diversity and equity goals require construction companies to be equally invested in supplier diversity — extending partnership opportunities to minority and women-owned business enterprises. Skanska continues to seek partnerships with minority and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) throughout our projects, which have significant implications for local economic development. Across the industry, construction companies are increasingly recognizing the value that minority and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) bring to their projects. These partnerships can lead to novel ideas, fresh perspectives and innovative problem-solving approaches that enhance project outcomes. Additionally, they create an inclusive business environment that reflects the state’s demographic makeup.
By partnering with MWBEs, large construction firms like ours can contribute significantly to local economies. These partnerships help stimulate economic development by providing MWBEs with new business opportunities, allowing them to expand their operations, hire more employees and contribute more extensively to local economies. In this sense, supplier diversity is also a powerful tool for socio-economic empowerment.
Skanska’s Construction Management Building Blocks Program exemplifies our commitment to supplier diversity. Through this program, we provide resources and support to minority and MWBEs, helping them overcome common barriers that may limit their ability to secure large contracts. The program equips these businesses with the necessary skills and knowledge to compete effectively in the marketplace, giving them a pathway to work with large construction companies like ours.
By offering a pathway for MWBEs to collaborate with larger firms on significant projects, we’re not only creating tangible opportunities but also sending a powerful message about the importance of inclusivity in our industry.
California’s dynamic landscape is driving innovation, marked by a transformative shift in sustainability practices and industry strategies that will eventually be modelled nationwide. Decision-makers across the region and beyond would benefit from further collaboration with construction companies to achieve ambitious sustainability goals and leverage technology for on-time, on-budget projects. This is also an opportunity to pioneer equity in partnerships with diverse subcontractors and suppliers, effectively shaping the future of construction in California and beyond. We look forward to the groundbreaking evolutions that will continue to take shape in the years to come.
Skanska Group uses knowledge & foresight to shape the way people live, work, and connect. Over 135 years in the making, we’re one of the world’s largest development and construction companies, with 2023 revenue totaling $14.8 billion. We operate across select markets in the Nordics, Europe and the United States.
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