Gordian's Business Predictions and Solution Enhancements for 2021
2020 was a year for the history books, one filled with challenges, innovation and inspiration. It was also a milestone year for Gordian, which celebrated 30 years as a leading provider of facility and construction cost data, software and expertise for all phases of the building lifecycle. As unpredictable as 2020 was, we are confident about our business and construction cost predictions for 2021:
Virtual and remote work is here to stay.
While some in-person business will return once the COVID-19 vaccine is thoroughly distributed, many virtual options are here to stay. Since March 2020, the majority of Gordian’s teams have adjusted to working from home and more and more of Gordian’s clients have restricted visitors to protect the health of their staff, clients and students. Through technology, communication and creativity, Gordian continues to provide value to clients despite facilities lockdowns and restrictions. One example of a solution Gordian offers that lends itself to this COVID-era is a reinvented approach to Strategic Capital Planning that allows clients to prioritize facilities needs. This assessment can be performed remotely if needed and at a fraction of the time it takes to complete a traditional on-campus assessment.
Prepare for a new era of construction that puts health first.
COVID-19 continues to challenge planners, builders and owners. As the public planning and procurement landscape evolves, Gordian continues to improve its solutions to best serve the nation’s government agencies, schools and communities. Gordian noticed a new trend emerging even prior to 2020 — one that puts the health of the building’s occupants at the center of its design. The concept of "healthy buildings" prepares the nation for a new era of construction where the potential health impacts of a building are just as important as the financial impact.
There is also a cost associated with putting health first on the jobsite. Infectious disease precautions can reduce the amount of available work time by up to 10%, increasing labor costs, especially on publicly-funded construction projects and those with high exposure risk levels. To account for these additional costs, new biohazard remediation line items and infectious disease precaution modifiers have been added to 2021 RSMeans data.
Alternative project delivery methods will continue to provide efficiencies.
In 1982, Gordian’s founder, Harry H. Mellon, created Job Order Contracting (JOC) to tackle the demanding requirements, tight timeframes and competitive bidding requirements at NATO facilities in Europe. JOCis an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) procurement process that helps facility and infrastructure owners complete many repair, maintenance, renovation and straightforward new construction projects with a single, competitively awarded contract. JOC has developed a strong reputation as effective for not only facilities projects but also horizontal construction and infrastructure. In their recent Interim Final Rule document, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) estimates that an average traditional contract takes 911 hours to complete, whereas an IDIQ contract takes 272 hours, leading to total time savings of 639 hours per contract. Today, Gordian supports thousands of active job order contracts that account for more than $2.4 billion in construction annually.
The construction industry will continue to embrace new technology innovations.
Gordian is focused on developing products and services to help plan, build and maintain the facilities of the future. In 2021, we will introduce AI capabilities into our estimating and procurement software, adding dramatically improved productivity tools to help clients more efficiently build proposals and estimate project costs.
As we continue into this new year, Gordian is looking forward to new opportunities to empower customers to overcome their business challenges by delivering critical data, innovative technology and extraordinary services.